|The Dubai chapter of the International Association for Front Office Managers and Assistant Hotel Managers (AICR), in partnership with the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), recently hosted a glittering gala awards dinner for the International Receptionist of the Year competition.
Over 200 top hoteliers from around the world joined their Dubai counterparts at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel for the prestigious awards ceremony.
The annual event was hosted for the first time in the Gulf region, and 12 finalists, representing international chapters from Europe to Australasia , battled it out in a bid to win the coveted international trophy.
Markus Mormels, a receptionist at the luxury Four Seasons Hotel Canary Wharf , London , clinched the title, receiving the David Campbell Trophy and a boost up the hotel career ladder.
Commenting on the accolade, he said: “Dubai is the cutting edge of the hospitality industry and the support of the AICR team here makes it a very special place.
“There are 12 amazing people on the stage today and I am honoured to be here, and in Dubai . To take home the trophy is an incredibly experience. The hospitality industry gives me the opportunity to do something special for other people every day.”
According to Mr. Ebrahim Yaqoot, Executive Director Human Resources and Training Solutions, and Chairman of Emiratisation Task Force for Tourism at Dubai ’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, the awards are extremely important for the tourism industry in Dubai . “There are 200 delegates here from across the world. When they go home they’ll be talking about Dubai , which will help raise the profile of the destination and promote it internationally.”
Commenting on holding the awards in the UAE, Michael JJ Stenner, AICR international president, said, “The hospitality we have received in Dubai has been astounding. Dubai is already on the map internationally, but to hold these awards here has really helped to put it on the map within the industry. This is an incredible place.”
Dubai ’s own competition finalist, Simba Eric Mhuriro from the Oasis Beach Tower hotel, didn’t manage to steal the top slot, but did receive a special mention from the AICR international president, who said: “Simba, the Dubai candidate, in particular, was fantastic. He was up against exceedingly strong competition, and he did extremely well.”
Next year’s awards will be held in Monte Carlo on the Côte d’Azur and, according to Kerstin Pundt, AICR Dubai chapter president, the emirate has already set its sights on producing the first Dubai–based winner. “This is an invaluable experience for the city’s emerging hotel talent, and our local members have had the opportunity to mix with their international counterparts and exchange ideas and best practice. We are definitely aiming to groom a future winner from Dubai to take part in next year’s awards.
“It means a lot to hold this event in Dubai . We are a relatively new chapter within AICR globally and this is the first time a Gulf destination has been picked to host the annual Presidium. This has been an amazing opportunity to showcase Dubai ’s hospitality and attractions to our international industry peers.”
Award sponsors included Dubai ’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Jebel Ali International Hotels, Jumeirah, Fairmont Dubai , the Big Bus , USA Today and Concierge magazine