Winners triumph at Hotelier ME Awards 2013

Hotel heroes revealed in circus spectacular at world's tallest hotel

The winners celebrated together.
The winners celebrated together.

The stars of the Middle East’s hospitality industry have been recognised for their dedication and achievements at the Hotelier Middle East Awards 2013.

More than six hundred hotel professionals from across the region gathered at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai on October 30 for the ninth edition of the Hotelier Middle East Awards, held in association with Du.

In total, 19 awards were presented at the circus-themed spectacular, with categories including Young Hotelier of the Year, CSR Champion of the Year, Sales Person of the Year, Hotel Engineer of the Year, HR Person of the Year and Executive Chef of the Year.

Taking two of the most coveted titles were Jorg A. Hauri of Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi who was awarded General Manager of the Year, and Mary June Amora, hotel staff nurse at Doha Marriott, who was named Hotelier’s Unsung Hero of the Year 2013.

The judges concluded that Jorg A. Hauri was a consummate professional and proof of the growth that can be achieved at already successful hotels. He’s improved colleague and guest satisfaction scores, spearheaded energy conservation and completed numerous renovations.

On winning the award, Hauri attributed his success to the support of his team, coupled with nearly five decades of hospitality experience.

“Walk the talk, lead the team, be a mentor,” was his advice to aspiring GMs. “ I've been in the industry for 48 years. I've been an expatriate for 38 years in 15 countries so I guess experience helps... and achieving results too – that’s what the owners are looking for and companies are looking for. But without a team, no general manager is a general manager,” said Hauri.

Mary June Amora was declared the Hotelier’s Unsung Hero of 2013 for great resolve she has shown through some very difficult, emotional and testing situations over the past year, supporting injured and grieving colleagues after a fatal bus crash involving the hotel’s staff in April.

She’s nursed colleagues back to health, made countless hospital and home visits, and shown great empathy with her team, some of whom credit June with their recovery.

As she collected her award, Amora said: “I’m really surprised to be honoured like this, as I wasn’t expecting my work to be highlighted this way at all. But to win feels great and this will motivate me when I go back to the hotel and carry on my work.”

“In Doha we don’t have any family, we are all expats so we have to become each other’s family and help each other. That is why I don’t mind if I have to work a little late or if I have people calling me at home. I just try my best and rely on the help of all my colleagues as well.”
Another highlight of the evening was the announcement of the Hotelier Middle East Team of the Year Award, now in its fourth year.
The winner was Hilton Sharjah, which beat Highly Commended Hotel Team Jumeirah Zabeel Saray to first place.

At Hilton Sharjah, a team of 11 managers leading191 staff, have worked together over the past two years to deliver a conversion project that has exceeded expectations.

Having only been under the Hilton flag officially since February, the hotel is number one in the Hilton UAE Centre of Quality – a huge accomplishment and all credit to a strong team.
Collecting the award on behalf of the hotel, general manager Richard Gosling commended his team for their commitment to the conversion process.
“It certainly was a big challenge operating without an international brand name like Hilton and it meant that the team had to pull together stronger and stronger to try and market our service and products, in order to keep our business going during that two year period. We always knew that at the end that we would see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

“I think I was lucky enough to get the right people on the bus, sitting on the right seats. We bonded together in this conversion process and that made us stronger,” said Gosling, adding that he was very excited to be part of the burgeoning hospitality scene in Sharjah.

Commenting on the success of the 2013 awards, ITP business group editor hospitality and Hotelier Middle East editor Louise Oakley said: “The Hotelier Middle East Awards are the only accolades that celebrate the wealth of talent working in the Middle East hotel industry. Through a rigorous nomination and judging process, the Awards recognise the hotel heroes going above and beyond the call of duty in order to ensure the success and reputation of their hotel.

“The calibre of the winners celebrated at last night’s Hotelier Middle East Awards was the highest to date. Each winner was not only a consummate hotel professional, but an ambassador for their hotel and role model for their peers.

“I would like to thank everyone who supported the event and offer my personal congratulations to all the winners and to every highly commended nominee.”

Hotelier Middle East, part of Dubai-based ITP Business Publishing, received more than 500 nominations for the awards.

The top nominations in each category were then whittled down to a shortlist of five and a team of industry judges, each with their own areas of expertise, was tasked with picking the winner and highly-commended nominees from each category.

The judges included: Ron Hilvert, managing director of The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management; Asma Abdulla Al Fahim, vice president, European International College for Management Studies (EIC) Abu Dhabi; Naim Maadad, CEO, Gates Hospitality; Stefan Breg, F&B concept design director, Asia, Middle East and Africa, IHG; Lynne Bellinger, managing director UAE, Purple Cubed; Guy Wilkinson, partner and general manager, Viability Management Consultants; Jeff Strachan, former vice president sales and marketing Middle East and Africa, Marriott International; Louise Oakley, group editor hospitality, ITP Business; and Daniel Andrews, editor, Arabian Travel News.

Please scroll to the next page to see the full list of winners.



CONCIERGE OF THE YEAR: Erwin Rachim, Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche
Highly Commended: Shetty Kottakki Harshavardhana, Hilton Al Ain
Sponsored by MMI

SPA / FITNESS PERSON OF THE YEAR: Neil Hewerdine, Atlantis, The Palm
Highly Commended: Paul Hawco, Jumeirah Group
Sponsored by Intercoil Group of Companies

PROCUREMENT PERSON OF THE YEAR: Pushpa Nair, Crowne Plaza Dubai
Highly Commended: Negussie Tedela, Mövenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate
Sponsored by Du

LAUNDRY MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Siraj Khan, Dar Al Tawhid InterContinental
Highly Commended: Arshad Mehmood, Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa
Sponsored by Diversey

HOUSEKEEPER OF THE YEAR: Mercedita Fernandez, The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre
Highly Commended: Laetitia Lasry, The Palace Downtown Dubai
Sponsored by Restonic

IT PERSON OF THE YEAR: Mahmoud ANasser, Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa
Highly Commended: Lijeesh Rajan, Al Murooj Rotana Dubai
Sponsored by Prologic First

HOTEL ENGINEER OF THE YEAR: Rajeev Chopra, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi
Highly Commended: Andrew Astley, Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah
Sponsored by Diversey

CSR CHAMPION OF THE YEAR: Marietou Seck, Accor Middle East
Highly Commended: Iftikhar Hamdani, Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman
Sponsored by Diversey

HR PERSON OF THE YEAR: Kristina Vaneva, Atlantis, The Palm
Highly Commended: Waseem Hassan, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel
Sponsored by European International College, Abu Dhabi (EIC)

MARKETING AND PR PERSON OF THE YEAR: Stacey McMurtrie, Jumeirah Emirates Towers
Highly Commended: Hannah George, The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre
Sponsored by SAP

SALES PERSON OF THE YEAR: Ashmita Sequiera, Media One Hotel
Highly Commended: Ikuko Iijima, The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre
Sponsored by Du

CHEF DE CUISINE OF THE YEAR: Akshay Nayyar, Melia Dubai
Highly Commended: Steven Peter, Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah
Sponsored by MLA

FOOD AND BEVERAGE MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Monika Muschkiet, Atlantis, The Palm
Highly Commended: Felix Hartmann, Mina A'Salam, Madinat Jumeirah
Sponsored by San Pellegrino

EXECUTIVE CHEF OF THE YEAR: Sebastian Nohse, Madinat Jumeirah
Highly Commended: Sascha Triemer, Atlantis, The Palm
Sponsored by Nestle

YOUNG HOTELIER OF THE YEAR: Jennifer Lombard Knight, Asst. Front Office Manager, InterContinental Regency Hotel Bahrain
Highly Commended 1: Arun Ramakrishnan, Banquet Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre
Highly Commended 2: Nadeem Muhammed Iqbal, Chief Accountant, Media One Hotel
Sponsored by Ronai

HOTEL MANAGER / EAM OF THE YEAR: Wael Maatouk, The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh
Highly Commended: Luke James, Media One Hotel
Sponsored by London Dairy

HOTELIER’S UNSUNG HERO OF THE YEAR: Mary June Amora, Hotel Staff Nurse, Doha Marriott
InterContinental Hotel Abu Dhabi
Highly commended: Subait Moosa, Coffee Server, Crowne Plaza Bahrain
Sponsored by

GENERAL MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Jörg A. Hauri, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi
Highly commended: Michael Koth, InterContinental Regency Hotel Bahrain
Sponsored by Catererglobal

Highly Commended: Jumeirah Zabeel Saray
Sponsored by IFFCO


Presenting sponsor: DU

Platinum sponsor: SAP

Silver sponsor: Samsung




For all the latest hospitality news from UAE, Gulf countries and around the world, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page.

Most Popular