The Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group, Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor recently honoured staff at the Al Habtoor Group's annual Employee Excellence Awards. Joanna Andrews brings you the highlights.
On Tuesday March 10, 2015 the Chairman personally congratulated each of the winners at an award ceremony at the 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 units.
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 Habtoor City hotels, starting with the St. Regis later this year.
The Employee Excellence Awards brings together all the Group’s UAE entities, including the Al Habtoor Group 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 recognise 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 with over 100 nominees 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 K.P. 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 Director of Culinary, 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. The Milestone Award, eligible for employees exceeding 15 years of service, was won by Hanan Mohamed Abdelaziz Aly, Government Relations Supervisor, Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection and 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.
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 Schools.
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.”