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Wed 1 Aug 2007 12:00 AM

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And the award goes to…

The Hotelier Middle East Awards 2007 will be a celebration of excellence in our industry. Nominations are now open for all those employees who do their best to improve the hotels in which they work.

This year's edition of the Hotelier Middle East Awards promise to be bigger and better than ever, as we bring the industry together to recognise the back-of-house heroes that make our hotels the fantastic places in which to stay - and work - that they are.

It’s about the people who go the extra mile and who regularly go out of their way to make their guests feel special.

Make no mistake about it, the Middle East hotel industry is booming, and much of the driving force behind double-digit RevPAR growth and ever-increasing investment opportunities is the wonderful hoteliers who go that extra step to ensure guests are well looked after.

Building an awe-inspiring building is one thing, making guests feel comfortable and wanting to return to your property is another.

The Hotelier Middle East Awards 2007 seeks to go beyond the marble lobbies and the immaculately turned-down beds to reward the people working in a range of front-of-house and back-of-house roles.

From accounts to stewarding, and F&B to housekeeping, there are awards to recognise the best of the best all the way to the top: Hotelier's Hotelier of the Year.

ITP Business Publishing's senior group editor Gemma Greenwood said the awards recognised the unsung heroes that contribute to making a hotel great.

"These awards are unique because they are not about the best hotel brand, or which hotel has achieved the highest RevPAR or profits - they are about the people who are passionate about their jobs and the hotel industry," she explained.

"It's about the people who go the extra mile and who regularly go out of their way to make their guests feel special, or who step in to help their colleagues in all tasks, big or small."

Greenwood emphasised that the awards were not limited to employees of the big hotel chains.

"We would welcome nominations from independent hotels or small boutique properties that add another dimension to this exciting market," she added.

Last year's recipient of the Hotelier's Hotelier of the Year award was the Ritz-Carlton Doha's loss prevention supervisor Jacob Ekere, who said the awards were well respected across the Middle East region.

"Receiving the award for Hotelier's Hotelier of the Year was the best thing that has happened to me so far in my life," he said.

"Both my family and I were so grateful. My mum has a photo of me receiving the award on her wall at home in Nigeria, and the story [about me winning the award] was even published in several Nigerian newspapers.

"These awards tell staff what level they are at in their careers - they let them know if they are the best of the best, and people should work hard to achieve these awards. It's great to be recognised, and to be proud."

Nominating your colleagues is simple, with the full details of the nomination and judging process available at www.itp.net/hotelierawards. Nominations will be accepted up until September 10.

These are your awards, so we look forward to hearing from you.

This year's awards ceremony and gala dinner will be held at the Madinat Jumeirah resort in Dubai on October 31.

The Awards

Hotelier's Hotelier of the Year
Open to anyone that works in hotel operations, this award recognises those that work to a consistently high standard with a friendly smile and a helpful attitude.

General Manager of the Year -Presented by Key Information Technology
For the boss who does it all, from getting their hands dirty to making big financial decisions, this award recognises those who are respected by guests and staff alike.

Marketing/ PR Person of the Year
From answering journalists' questions to dealing with sales reps, this award recognises those that do their job with creativity, style and enthusiasm.

HR Person of the Year
This award recognises the people who understand that happy staff make for happy guests.

Chef of the Year -Presented by Nestle Food Services
From creating tasty treats to mentoring staff and entertaining diners, this award recognises chefs that have it all.

Sommelier of the Year - Presented by California Wines
Not merely for the connoisseur, this award recognises the experts who can match wine with both food and guests.

Outlet Manager of the Year
This award recognises those that keep the service personal and their staff motivated.

F&B Manager of the Year - Presented by San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna
From raw supplies to finished meals and happy staff, this award recognises those going the extra mile.

Procurement Person of the Year
Staying ahead of product trends, co-ordinating supplies and delivering value for money will be recognised with this award.

Concierge of the Year
This award is for the concierge who regularly makes the impossible possible with their local knowledge and positive attitude.

Stewarding Person of the Year
From changing a light bulb to cleaning a corridor, this award recognises one of the true back of house roles.

Laundry Manager of the Year -Presented by JohnsonDiversey
Thinking clean, thinking green and managing a team will be in the spotlight for this award.

Housekeeper of the Year -Presented by Sealy
Keeping rooms up to scratch and ready on time will be key traits of the winner of this award.

Hotel Engineering Person of the Year
This is for those working behind the scenes that keep the hotel working seamlessly.

IT Person of the Year -Presented by IDS Softwares
From managing the hotel's technology demands to helping out guests, this award recognises those who step out from behind the keyboard to help.

Accounts Person of the Year
Crunching the numbers can often be tedious, but this award recognises the people ensuring the hotel's operations all add up.

Spa Person of the Year
Quality of touch and exceptional industry know-how will be recognised with this award.

Fitness Instructor of the Year
This award recognises those that work up a sweat keeping guests healthy with a careful eye on their welfare.

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