Three winners crowned at AHIC Creating Impact Awards

Three winners crowned at AHIC Creating Impact Awards


Winners of the prestigious annual AHIC Creating Impact Awards were celebrated.

Hosted by Amine Moukarzel President, MENA Region – Louvre Hotels Group, the Outstanding Leadership Award was presented to His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, in recognition of his achievements in leading the emirate to unprecedented levels of success, particularly with regard to Ras Al Khaimah’s burgeoning tourism and hospitality industry.

The Outstanding Contribution to the Industry Award 2019 was presented to Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi, Founder and President of Millennium Hotels & Resorts in the Middle East and Africa. Having launched the brand with a single property in Abu Dhabi 16 years ago, Alzaabi has spearheaded major growth for the company.

Millennium Hotels & Resorts MEA now comprises 40 hotels in operation totalling 12,619 keys in the region. Under Alzaabi’s leadership, the hotel company has its eyes set on a massive expansion plan with more than 35 hotels in the pipeline.

On collecting his award at AHIC 2019, Alzaabi said: “I have envisioned a great potential in the hospitality industry that inspired me to introduce an array of distinct brands to the region, serving different market segments over the last 20 years and I am proud that the Millennium brand has firmly established itself as one of the fastest growing hotel management companies in the Middle East region”.

Alzaabi added: “Our commitment as a brand is not only to our employees, owners and customers but also to causes and organisations that make a difference in the lives of others and hence we have launched programmes like ‘Taddamon’, a CSR initiative in collaboration with Al Jalila Foundation, and ‘TooMooH’ a concerted, consistent programme to accelerate nationalisation by integrating Nationals in the private sector and offer increased opportunities in the hospitality industry, thus allowing us to truly create an impact within the hospitality sector”.

AHIC also revealed the winner of the first Arabian Young Leader Award, open to GCC Nationals aged 30 years and younger that have been working in the Middle East hospitality sector for at least two years.

Sharihan Al Mashary, General Manager of Manzil Downtown in Dubai, was named the winner in recognition of her dedication to the industry and her colleagues, as well as her commitment to supporting other young people in the UAE to develop their hospitality careers.

Al Mashary said: “Twelve years ago if I had not chosen to serve with courage and commitment my country and my nation in the hospitality industry, I would’ve been a Brigadier today. Being recognised as a leader in the hospitality industry for my work, my contribution to education, youth vocational training and to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for the UAE is an honour I wear as a rank on my shoulder. Thank you! Service to country and field comes in all forms when one leads selflessly with courage, commitment and curiosity”.

Al Mashary received a full three-day access pass to AHIC and enrollment onto the Executive Certificate programme provided by The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management as part of her prize.

Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events and Founder of AHIC, said: “AHIC has long-championed the human factor in the hospitality industry and encouraged the next generation of hoteliers to develop careers in the Middle East’s dynamic hotel sector. We are thrilled to celebrate the achievements of Sharihan Al Mashary, our first Arabian Young Leader Award winner, at this year’s forum.”

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