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Al Habtoor awards top talent at Employee Excellence Awards – Chairman presents total of 24 awards to commend high performers across Group

Khalaf Al Habtoor with all the winners
Khalaf Al Habtoor with all the winners

DUBAI, UAE, March 15: The Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group, Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, recognized top talent at the Al Habtoor Group of companies today at the Al Habtoor Groups annual Employee Excellence Awards. The event took place at the Habtoor Beach Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection on Monday 14 March 2016.

The Chairman personally congratulated each of the winners at an award ceremony, which 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.

The Employee Excellence Awards brings together all the company’s units, including Al Habtoor head office, Habtoor Hospitality (The Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection, 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 across the Group. Each of the winners were hand delivered an engraved trophy, a certificate and a monetary prize to acknowledge their achievements.

Al Habtoor said, “I believe it is important to reward and recognise staff that consistently outperform. These are people who are hardworking, motivated and disciplined; attributes which lead to success. I am very proud of them.”


He added, “I always say that our staff are our biggest assets. This is what makes a company succeed. We are doing exceptionally well throughout all our units, and staff should be recognised for their hard work and commitment.”

Al Habtoor said, “As a Group we have grown significantly, especially in the past 12 months. In our hospitality division we now have seven hotels abroad, and seven in Dubai – including those under construction. Our real estate division is expanding with debut of the Residence Collection at Al Habtoor City, a new landmark in Dubai. Plus, we are in the process of developing luxury villas at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club – an upmarket equestrian haven in DubaiLand.”

“Al Habtoor Motors is number one in the world across most of its brands, and we now have a presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with Mitsubishi Fuso. In addition, we recently opened the world’s first Bentley Café and Boutique, and soon we will open the world’s first iconic Bentley Showroom on Sheikh Zayed Road,” he added.

“Our schools, Emirates International School, Jumeirah and Meadows each year improve on the last. Many of our students are graduating to some of the world’s top universities. This is a great achievement. We are preparing our young people to go out into the world armed with the right skillsets to succeed,” the Chairman said.

There were eight categories in the Al Habtoor Group Employee Excellence Awards:

* 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 hand-picked the highly-coveted Chairman’s Award and Distinction Award winners.

“This year I selected three winners for the Chairman’s Award. Sunderesh Iyer, Chief Operating Officer, Al Habtoor Investment – Al Habtoor Group. He has been active in the Group’s expansion overseas. Maan Halabi, Managing Director, Al Habtoor Group, who has been at the Group for decades, has played a key role across the Group entities. The final winner was Yusef Shalabi, Technical Advisor to the Chairman, Al Habtoor Group. Yusef has been with me since the 1980s, and is one of the best engineers I have ever worked with.”

The winners of the Distinction Awards were Abdul Salam Al Marzooqi, General Manager, Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Foundation; Satdev Singh Jamwal, Director Operations, Al Habtoor Motors and Medhat Yousef Fayez Yassa, General Manager Credit, Al Habtoor Motors.

There were 10 winners in the Individual Excellence Award category, which was open to all employees with less than 15 years of service: Ahmed Zakaria Al Shahir, Assistant Manager-Credit from Diamondlease; Mam Chand Rameshwar Dayal, Mobile Lube Mechanic cum Driver, Diamondlease; Michaela Podkovcik, Senior Media & Communications Executive, Al Habtoor Group; Abdelghani Chiha, a Government Relations Manager, Habtoor Hotels;  Mohammad Juma Darwish Shaban, Front Office Reception, Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection; Rosito Galasinao Dominia, Assistant Manager from the Tires Division, Al Habtoor Motors; Nerogina Abao – or Gina for short.  Secretary/Administrator to Director, Prestige; PYB Ramesh Kumar, Manager – Application Development & Support at Al Habtoor Motors; GullRukh Rafiq, Year 4 teacher, Emirates International School – Meadows; Raveendran Krishnan, Chief Accountant, Emirates International School – Jumeirah;

The Milestone Award, eligible for all employees exceeding 15 years of service, was won by Kamarudeen Sahib Ebrahim Kutty, Assistant Manager – Clearing and Customs, Al Habtoor Motors. He has been with the Group for 35 years. Another winner in the Milestone category was Theresa Braga, Sales Secretary, Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection, a 24 year veteran of the Group.

The Employees’ Choice Award, selected through a staff vote, went to Janine Badawy, Executive Assistant to the Director of Schools, at Emirates International Schools. This is the only award selected by employees. 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 for the second year running. Both campuses (Jumeirah and Meadows) have been very active with the local and international community. They have conducted endless awareness programmes from cancer to recycling – and got actively involved in initiatives for regional crises including Yemen and Syria.  The schools have has also conducted Eco Green initiatives, as well as a sustainable programme in Cambodia, and launched an ‘adopt a school’ initiative in Mauritius to help provide impoverished children with an education.

There were three Departmental Award winners. The Mitsubishi Sales team at Al Habtoor Motors led by C. V. Ravin, General Manager, Sales; Diamondlease Inbound Rental Sales Team led by Khushroo, Deputy Manager, International Sales and the Media & Communications Department, Al Habtoor Group led by Noura Badawi, Chief Communications Officer.

The Business Unit Award went to Al Habtoor Motors for the fourth time running.  Al Habtoor said, “Al Habtoor Motors is a worthy winner for the fourth year in a row. I am very proud of the management team and all the staff across all our network of branches.”

The 450-strong audience was treated to several performances throughout the Award Ceremony including a traditional Chinese dance by Xindi Dai, a year 1 student from Emirates International School – Jumeirah and a solo by Tracy Werunga, a Grade 10 student from Emirates International School – Jumeirah who sang ‘To Make You Feel my Love’ by Adele.

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