Hotelier Middle East Awards 2018: Meet the judges

Hotelier Middle East introduces you to the panel of experts set to select the winners of this year’s awards


Set to honour the stars of the Middle East’s hospitality industry, the Hotelier Middle East Awards 2018 will celebrate its 13th edition , on Wednesday, October 24. The event will take place at the Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Dubai.

Once nominations close on September 2, the editorial team will sift through more than 500 nominations to shortlist nominees in each category, before sending the shortlist to the experts. You will spot some new faces on the panel this year, and also some who have served as an important part of our panel for a long time. All the judges, however, unanimously support Hotelier’s goal to champion the heroes of the region’s hospitality industry and celebrate their success.

For more information on categories, criteria, and how to nominate your colleagues, please visit

Essential contacts

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Essential contacts

Nomination Enquiries
Greg Wilson
Group Editorial Director

Other Enquiries
Sophie McHugh
Marketing Manager

Table Bookings
Teri Dunstan
Table Sales Executive

Greg Wilson, Group Editorial Director, ITP Media Group

Greg Wilson has been a business and lifestyle journalist and editor for the last 20 years. During that time he has worked on numerous ITP Media Group titles, including Arabian Business, CEO Middle East, Construction Week, Hotelier Middle East, Time Out Dubai and Time Out Abu Dhabi, Esquire Middle East, Grazia, Harper’s Bazaar and many more publications. Between 2008 and 2013 he opened ITP’s Indian publishing house based in Mumbai and launched six B2B titles in quick succession before taking up his current position based in Dubai. He currently focuses on the firm’s portfolio of business-to-business magazines, websites and events.

Christopher Hewett, Associate director, TRI Consulting

Christopher Hewett is an associate director at TRI Hospitality Consulting, a management consultancy firm specialising in the hospitality and tourism industry. Hewett has been with TRI for seven years and has given strategic advice to government authorities, publically listed companies, high net worth individuals, and international hotel operators on various hotel and real estate projects. In addition to his consulting experience, Hewett has more than 10 years of hotel operations experience with senior management roles in New Zealand, Australia and Dubai. He is also a regular columnist for Hotelier Middle East, and speaker at ITP Media Group’s Hospitality conferences.

Anke Boehning, Director – Design Development, Ròya

Educated in Germany with a Master Degree in Architecture, Anke Boehning soon commenced her own practice in Berlin. Several of her projects focused on closing the gap between the two parts of the country and earned her the First Prize in the international urban planning competition “Stadthafen Sassnitz”. She moved to the Middle East in 2007, and worked across the UAE, Oman and Jordan. During her time as design manager at Turner International, she began focusing on hospitality-related projects and then moved to Emaar Properties in a development management capacity. She joined Ròya in 2017, where she leads the group’s design function for its rapidly expanding local and international practice.

Judy Hou, Managing Director, The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management

Judy Hou has more than 20 years’ experience across international hospitality and higher education organisations in the US, Asia, and Europe. On the hotel side, she worked with Swissôtel, Park Hyatt, and Mandarin Oriental; and on the education side with Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland, the School of Hotel & Tourism Management at the Hotel Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, and Les Roches Jin Jiang International Hotel Management College in Shanghai, part of Laureate International Universities network. Her most recent position was the CEO of the Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland.

Dr Ibrahim Alsini,Dean, Tourism Institute, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah

Dr Ibrahim Alsini is the dean of the Faculty of Tourism at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah. He is also the MD of Bait Alseyaha for Consulting & Training. He has a PhD degree in Hospitality Management from Surrey University, UK. He holds a proficiency certificate in Hospitality Management from École hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland. He is also a certified consultant in International Etiquette & Protocol from the Protocol School of Washington. Dr Alsini is a member of the board of directors of Dhyafat Albalad Alameen Company, owned by the Saudi Investment Fund and the Municipality of Holy Makkah, which focuses on hospitality and tourism developments in the Makkah region.

Robert Maclean, Principal, National Institute of Hospitality, Oman

Robert Maclean started his career in the hospitality industry at the age of 12 when he began working for a hotel in his native Scotland. He earned a diploma in Hotel Management, followed by his professional HCIMAS qualification at Robert Gordon’s University in Aberdeen. He worked as deputy manager at the Lakeside Hotel, followed by a lecturer’s role at a local college. He joined the National Hospitality Institute (NHI), Oman in 1995 and has remained ever since. In 1997 he was promoted to principal of the institute. In 2003, the Gulf Chef School was launched to focus on the culinary needs of the local industry. This part of NHI has trained several hundred chefs over the years. In 2009 Maclean helped launch the Oman Chefs Guild, and the Food Safety Academy in 2009.

Raki Phillips, Senior Vice President Development, Senior Partner, INHOCO Group

Raki Phillips joined INHOCO Group in 2015, after a successful 15-year hotel career. Prior to his current role, he spent eight years at FRHI Hotels & Resorts, with a latest role as regional director, Middle East, Africa and India. He has over 15 years of experience in global hospitality sales, marketing, revenue management and hotel development and has been listed in the Top 20 Most Powerful Arab Hoteliers. Phillips received a BSBA Hospitality Management from the University of Central Florida & Masters of Organisational Management (Honours) from the University of Phoenix.

Martin Bäuerle, Founder, MB Hospitality

Martin Bäuerle is a hospitality professional with a proven track record of more than 10 years’ expertise in hospitality operation and management. He is a specialist in rooms operation, auditing and quality control, employee engagement, and learning & development as well as sustainability solutions. In his role as the chairman of the Green Hotel Interest Group, he is constantly driving a sustainability development within the hospitality sector, and advises developers, hotel owners, and executive managers.

Marianne Saulwick, Director of Industry Liaison and Professional Training, Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management

Prior to moving to Dubai, Marianne Saulwick had a career in hospitality spanning her own restaurants and event company, restaurant reviewing for the Sydney Morning Herald and the New South Wales Restaurant and Catering Association and founding a successful food festival. She joined Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management eight years ago and is the director of industry liaison and professional training.

Naim Maadad, CEO, Gates Hospitality

With more than 28 years’ experience across Australia, Asia and  the Middle East in various senior management roles, Naim Maadad has  covered a wide spectrum of positions within senior leadership, including the role of managing director for both Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas and The Anantara Group. Based in the Middle East for the past 19 years, Maadad established Gates Hospitality in 2012, the parent company of home-grown brands such as Ultra Brasserie, Reform Social & Grill Dubai, The Lion by Nick & Scott, Bistro Des Arts, Folly by Nick & Scott, Publique, and Via Veneto Osteria e Cucina and ownership of Six Senses Zighy Bay.

Award Categories:

01. Fitness/Spa Person of the Year
02. Concierge/Guest Services Person of the Year
03. Housekeeper of the Year
04. IT Manager of the Year
05. Hotel Engineer of the Year
06. Safety & Security Person of the Year
07. HR & Training Person of the Year
08. Procurement Person of the Year
09. Finance Person of the Year
10. Sales Person of the Year
11. Marketing & PR Person of the Year
12. Executive Chef of the Year
13. F&B Manager of the Year
14. Young Hotelier of the Year
15. Unsung Hero of the Year
16. GM of the Year
17. Hotel Team of the Year
18. Mid-Market Hotel Team of the Year

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