John Hazard pips other GMs to pole position

Doha Marriott general manager John Hazard has won the highly popular Hotelier Middle East General Manager of the Year title

John Hazard with Somer Gundogdu
John Hazard with Somer Gundogdu

One of the most popular categories at the Hotelier Middle East Awards, the General Manager of the Year 2015 was named - Doha Marriott Hotel's John Hazard.

The presenter of this award was Diversey vice president Somer Gundogdu, who gave away the trophy at the James Bond themed event at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City.

The judges believed he has made a hugely positive impact on his property. Under his leadership, the hotel has gone through a complete transformation and repositioning, not only in terms of revenue and profit, but also in the perception of the hotel in the local market.

Once considered an ageing hotel with little flair, the hotel has since become a property that delivers edgy, cool and happening events.

Hazard said: "We completely changed the strategy of the hotel, and turned everything on its head, worked with our owners who were very supportive. They gave us significant investment to improve the outlook of the hotel. And we engaged all of our associates in one common goal to drive sales forward, have fun, and deliver owner and Marriott budget."

He continued: "We moved the very, very old accommodation and provided new accommodation for all of our associates. And two would be the complete strategy change of the hotel."

The hotel's PR & marketing communications manager Katie Roberts said Hazard is very well respected with the hotel associates, and is often seen eating in the team cafeteria with his colleagues. Hazard revealed: "I have a very hands-on approach to the business at all levels. I engage with every associate. I take my food in the canteen and take clients in there as well. You've got to look after the associates and they will look after the guests."


For the Highly Commended nominee the judges selected someone who really made their mark as general manager of Crowne Plaza Dubai. Georges Farhat was commended by the judges for staying with the property for nearly two decades.

Other shortlisted general managers included: Bill Keffer, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai; Horst Walther-Jones, Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach; Rabih Melhem, Media Rotana Dubai; Samir Arora, Ramada Downtown Dubai.

The Hotelier Middle East Awards took place on October 28 at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City.

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