Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Awards Employees at Al Habtoor Group’s Employee Excellence Awards 2015


The Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group, Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, honoured staff at the Al Habtoor Groups annual Employee Excellence Awards on Tuesday 10 March 2015. The Chairman personally congratulated each of the winners at an award ceremony at Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection. The event was also attended by Sultan Al Habtoor, President, Al Habtoor Motors; Mohammed Al Habtoor, Vice Chairman and CEO, Al Habtoor Group and senior management across the Group.

This year’s Employee Excellence Awards ceremony was extra special as 2015 marked the Al Habtoor Group’s 45th anniversary. 2015 will also see the opening of the Al Hotel City hotels, starting with the St. Regis later this year.

The Employee Excellence Awards brings together all the company’s units, including Al Habtoor head office, Habtoor Hotels (Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection, The Metropolitan Palace, The Metropolitan Deira Hotel), Metropolitan Catering Services, Al Habtoor Motors, Diamondlease and Emirates International Schools (Jumeirah and Meadows).

The Chairman presented a total of 24 awards to commend the high performers in the Group. Each of the winners received an engraved trophy, a certificate and a monetary prize.  Al Habtoor said, “I value all our employees but it is important to reward and recognize our top talent. These are people who take initiative, are highly motivated and are role models for everyone – no matter what their grade within the Company. We reward all levels of staff.”

He added, “The Al Habtoor Group has grown significantly – particularly in the past couple of years - and we have big expansion plans with the opening of our new hotels and other developments in the coming years and I want to ensure that we retain key people within the Group.  Motivating staff is very important.”

“We are witnessing growth throughout the Group, particularly Al Habtoor Motors, which has opened several new showrooms over the past 12 month. It is also building the first state-of-the-art iconic Bentley showroom on Sheikh Zayed Road, and it has announced new partnerships, including one with Russian oil giant Lukoil,” he said.

There were eight award categories:-

  • The Chairman’s Award
  • Distinction Award
  • Business Unit Award
  • Departmental Award
  • Milestone Award
  • Individual Excellence Awards
  • Employee’s Choice Award
  • CSR Award

Over 100 nominees were selected by the department heads and submitted to a selection committee. Once the winners were chosen, based on relevant criteria, they are reviewed by the Audit board for approval. 

The Chairman however hand-picked the highly-coveted Chairman’s Award and three Distinction Award winners.

“This year I selected KP Rajan, Group Financial Advisor as the winner of the Chairman’s Award. He has been with the Group for many years. Managing the finances of such a big Group has many, many challenges. He does this with a calm head. He is respected both within and outside the Group, a truly valued employee.”

The winners of the Distinction Awards were Yehya Harfouch,  Group Director – Projects; Omar Khalaf, Chief Financial Officer, Habtoor Hotels, and Executive Chef Paul Hage.

There were 11 winners in the Individual Excellence Award category, which was open to all employees with less than 15 years of service: Amr Marei Amr Ahmed Abdel Ghani, legal coordinator, Al Habtoor Group; Dasan Koodamvetti, senior beach attendant at the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection; Lucy Kagure Mwangi, reception shift leader, from the Metropolitan Deira Hotel; Hussein Fakhry, Food and Beverage Manager from the Metropolitan Palace Hotel; Anthony Rambano Lim, , Bodyshop Supervisor, Mitsubishi Service, Al Habtoor Motors; Basel Mohamed Farra, Sales Specialist for Bentley; Mustafa Yousef Solaiman Abdelghani, Management Accountant, Al Habtoor Motors;  Sarah Louise Wakeling, PE teacher and Head of Year 12 & 13 CAS coordinator, Emirates International School-Meadows; Naser Khan, Purchasing Manager, Emirates International School-Jumeirah; Hibathullaji Mytheen Kunju, Office Assistant in the HR Department, Diamondlease; Biju Varghese, Senior Debt Collector, Diamondlease.

The Milestone Award, eligible for all employees exceeding 15 years of service, was won by Hanan Mohamed Abdelaziz Aly, Government Relations Supervisor, Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection. She has been with the Group for 30 years. Another winner in the Milestone category was Anan Abdullah Dharif Alnimer, Director, After Sales, Al Habtoor Motors.

The Employees Choice Award, selected through a staff vote, went to Moataz Mahmoud Mohamed Tawfik, Assistant Reservation Revenue Manager, Metropolitan Deira Hotel. Each unit had one winner, but the overall winner was the one who received the most number of votes on a weighted average.

The Corporate Social Responsibility Award went to Emirates International Schools. Both campuses (Jumeirah and Meadows) have been very active within the local and international community. They have supported many causes, including mangrove preservation, turtle rehabilitation, and the protection of dolphins. They have also taken part in numerous awareness campaigns from cancer to diabetes.

There were three Departmental Award winners out of more than 20 nominations: Mitsubishi Sales, Al Habtoor Motors; Kitchen Department, Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection; Year 4 Team from Emirates International School (Meadows).

The Business Unit Award went to Al Habtoor Motors and Emirates International School.

Al Habtoor said, “It is really important to identify the top talent within the Group, and recognise their achievements. Our employees are the Company’s biggest asset, and they need to be reminded of that. I am proud of all our units, and an event like this shows how we are one big happy family.”

The 450-strong audience was treated to several performances throughout the Award Ceremony including a Korean dance performed by Year 1-8 students from Emirates International School (Meadows), and a duet entitled ‘The prayer’ composed by David Foster, which was performed by Year 11 student from EIS (Jumeirah) Noor Charif on the flute, Year 7 teacher and head of Music Christopher Garden on the clarinet, and Fiona Fielding on the piano.