Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Founding Chairman, Al Habtoor Group singled out top performing employees across all the Al Habtoor Group units at the Group’s annual Employee Excellence Awards ceremony on Monday 26 March 2018. Al Habtoor personally thanked the top performers at an award ceremony at the Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection. He first introduced the Awards in 2007 to recognize and reward exceptional talent.
Al Habtoor said, “I always say that the staff are the Group’s biggest asset. Success comes from having a strong army of loyal, motivated and positive people around you. All our winners and nominees this year and every year have helped contribute to our overall success. They are the pillars of the Al Habtoor Group, and I am incredibly proud of them. Irrespective of the position they hold within the company, each and every person within the Group plays a crucial role.”
He added, “This is the Al Habtoor Group’s 47th year of existence. Look what we have achieved so far. We have a lot more to do.”
The Employee Excellence Awards brings together all the Al Habtoor Group’s units including Habtoor Hospitality, Al Habtoor Motors, Diamondlease, Emirates International Schools (Jumeirah & Meadows), Al Habtoor Real Estate and Al Habtoor Group head office.
Al Habtoor presented a total of 23 awards to recognize and reward the top performers across the Group’s units. There were eight categories in this year’s event:
Business Unit Award
Individual Excellence Awards
Al Habtoor Community Service Ambassador
Each winner received a trophy, certificate and a monetary prize in recognition of their high achievement.
Al Habtoor said, “It is important to recognize employees for their valuable contribution to the company and motivate them to excel. We are an incredibly diverse and active group and we need to ensure that we have the best people working for us. We have a high retention rate in the company and we want to maintain it. When an employee joins the Group, they become part of an extended family.”
Several years ago, the Group coined the term ‘Habtoorian,’ a word that best describes the core values adopted by Al Habtoor Group employees including loyalty, discipline and commitment.
The Al Habtoor Group consists Of Habtoor Hospitality which incorporates 14 hotels around the world; seven in Dubai and seven internationally. The Group’s rapidly expanding Real Estate division includes multiple properties in Dubai including the luxury Residence Collection at Al Habtoor City, which recently saw its first tenants move in. The Auto section, Al Habtoor Motors, carries marques such as Bentley, Bugatti, McLaren, Mitsubishi, JAC and Cherry. The rental unit, Diamondlease which was established in 1996, has earned a reputation as the premier car rental firm in the UAE. The Group also owns two highly respected IB schools: Emirates International School – Jumeirah and Emirates International School – Meadows.
The winners, nominated by their managers, were selected from nearly 70 submissions. Three categories, The Chairman’s Award, Distinction and The Al Habtoor Community Service Ambassador were handpicked by the Chairman himself.
This year’s Chairman’s Awards went to The Audit Department, Al Habtoor Group.
Al Habtoor said, “The reason I chose the Audit Department is because they rigorously protect the interests of the Group. They are our eyes and ears. With the introduction of VAT in the UAE, this department has ensured the process has been smoothly implemented across all our units, despite the significant increase in workload.”
Al Habtoor handed out three Distinction Awards. The first award went to the Polo & Equestrian Club at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club. “Since inception the team have ensured the Polo & Equestrian Club has been visible to the equestrian community. They have made great efforts in social media exposure, and organizing numerous events to showcase the club in its best light,” Al Habtoor said.
The second Distinction Award was won by the Metropolitan Hotels International for centralizing key services for the hospitality division. The team launched 6 new hotels in record time.
The third Distinction Award went to Alaa Shaddad, Complex Director, Security at Al Habtoor City for his unwavering commitment to the Group. “Safety and security is something we do not compromise on,” Al Habtoor said. “Alaa and his team go the extra mile to ensure everything at the complex is in top shape. This includes the logistics with the influx of visitors to La Perle by Dragone.”
The Chairman selected Dr Sheikh Fares Al Mustafa as the inaugural Al Habtoor Community Service Ambassador in recognition and appreciation of his CSR efforts and his commitment to the community at the Al Farooq Omar Bin Khattab Mosque & Centre.
The Corporate Social Responsibility Award was presented to Emirates International Schools – Jumeirah & Meadows for the third year running for its many CSR initiatives which have been incorporated into the curriculum and have become part of the school’s ethos.
There were 11 winners in the Individual Excellence Award category. The award recognizes exemplary staff with less than 15 years of service. The winners were Philomina Pereira, Personal Assistant to the Managing Director, Al Habtoor Group; Hena Ajaya Kumar, Manager, Sales Admin, Al Habtoor Motors; Shoukat Ali, Workshop Accountant, MMC Service, Al Habtoor Motors; Vaishak Nambia, Accountant, Al Habtoor Motors; Pradeep Rama Kurup Venugopal, Lease Costing Executive, Diamondlease; Radhakrishnan CR, Senior Debt Collector, Diamondlease; Florentina Cantretti, English Teacher & EAL Coordinator, Emirates International School – Meadows; Mariyam Athiya Kabeerullah, HR Secretary, Emirates International School – Jumeirah; Alan Alegado, Chef D’Cuisine, Metropolitan Catering; Kuttappa Ittira, Chief Engineer, Metropolitan Hotel Dubai; Moamen Abdelswahed, IT Manager, Habtoor Hospitality.
The Milestone Award, which recognizes staff who have been with the Group for at least half of the number of years of the respective unit, went to Teresa Balatbat Panganiban, Finance Secretary, Al Habtoor Group Head Office, who has been in the company for 23 years and Rawda Ahmedi, an Islamic Teacher from Emirates International School – Jumeirah who has been at EIS for 25 years.
The winner of the Business Unit Award was The Metropolitan Hotel Dubai. The Hotel, which opened in in 2016, has had a consistently high occupancy rate since it first opened its doors. Al Habtoor praised the energetic team who have helped the hotel re-establish a name for itself since the original hotel was demolished to make way for Al Habtoor City.
“The team has work tirelessly to ensure the continued success of the Metropolitan. The hotel has reestablished the solid reputation the previous Metropolitan had since the 1980s. The general public wanted to see the return of an old favourite and have remained loyal to the brand. That is down to the hard work and commitment of all involved to guarantee its success,” Al Habtoor said.
The three Departmental Award winners were the Human Resource Department at the Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection; The Early Years Department at Emirates International School – Jumeirah; The Group Risk Management Department at the Al Habtoor Group head office.
In addition to the prize giving ceremony, a new category was introduced: The Employees’ Choice Ballot where staff from across the Group get the opportunity to vote for a new morale-boosting initiative to be implemented for a period of 12 months.
The audience also got the chance to see fellow Habtoorian’s perform live at the event. The first performer was Neelima Saseedharan, a telephone operator from Al Habtoor Motors in Al Ain, who performed a traditional Indian dance. Begimay Abdysamatova, a box office agent at La Perle by Dragone sang a solo of Hallelujah, and a Dance Troop from the Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection closed the ceremony with a contemporary dance medley.