Editor's Choice

40670 01 Mar 2023

Hozpitality's Best 30 HR Leaders in the Middle East Revealed

Recognizing the most popular human resource leaders in the region.

The Hozpitality Group is proud to announce the launch of the second edition of their "Hozpitality's Best 30" list, recognizing the top 30 HR leaders in the Middle East who have made a difference in their field. By sharing their inspiring stories, we hope to give motivation to everyone.

Like the previous "Hozpitality's Best 30" list for GMs, the nominees for this list are selected through nominations from major hospitality establishments. The ranking is then determined by the number of votes received online, indicating how popular the nominee is among their colleagues, teams, suppliers, partners, and friends. The top 30 HR leaders are unveiled at the end of the 30-day voting period, and their stories are featured in this article.

This year's list will highlight the thirty highly regarded HR leaders in the Middle East, with an additional ten commendable individuals also being recognized. These HR leaders serve as the vital link between owners and teams, balancing a focus on increased revenue and profitability with cost-effectiveness. Their exceptional efficiency, leadership, and management skills make them the captains of their respective hotels or restaurants.

Hozpitality Group would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the winners. We look forward to celebrating the achievements of these outstanding individuals and sharing their stories with the wider community.

 

Here is the list of 30 Best Most Popular HR Winners (in alphabetical order):

  1. Ahmed Lasheen, Regional Director of HR - Arabian Peninsula - Hilton Worldwide  
  2. Antia Odero, Senior HR Administrator - Human Resources, Dubai Golf  
  3. Aseem Kapoor, CEO, Ark People Solutions  
  4. Aseema Fernandes, HR Manager, Bahi Ajman Palace Hotel  
  5. Cherry Santos Cruz, Director of HR, Sofitel JBR  
  6. Elie Abi Samra, Director of Talent & Culture, Rixos hotels, Gulf  
  7. Ellaine Siruelo, Sr HR Leader, IHG - Kuwait & Bahrain and Director of Human Resources IHG - InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Mina Al Arab Resort & SPA
  8. George Mathew, Cluster Director of HR, Grand Hyatt Dubai  
  9. Ina Lorenz, Director of L&D, Accor Academy India, Middle East, Africa & Turkey  
  10. Jane Fernandes, Cluster Director of Human Resources, (Multi-Country) Dubai: Sheraton Mall of the Emirates Hotel Dubai, Aloft City Centre Deira Bahrain: The Westin and Le Méridien City Centre  
  11. Kieth Walter Ayuso, Director of HR, Jannah Hotels & Resorts  
  12. Madhav Kumar, Human Resources Manager, Seven Holding SPC, Bahrain  
  13. Mohamed Ribayathulla, Talent & Culture Manager, Ramada by Wyndham Beach Hotel Ajman  
  14. Paarth Mathur, Cluster Dir. of HR, Valor Hospitality - Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek, Wyndham Dubai Deira, Days Hotel by Wyndham, Super 8 by Wyndham  
  15. Payal Kulkarni, Area Director of Human Resources - Abu Dhabi and Jordan - Hyatt Hotels Corporation
  16. Rajashree Purandare Vichare, HR Director, Kitopi  
  17. Rania Roufael - Chief People Officer, Sunset Hospitality Group  
  18. Razvi Raza, Cluster Director of Talent & Culture, Movenpick Hotel & Apartments Bur Dubai and Movenpick Hotel Apartments Al Mamzar Dubai  
  19. Roni Masri, Regional Director of HR and Talent Development Golden Tulip MENA/ Louvre Hotels  
  20. Salima Hussaini, Director of Human Resources at Taj Exotica Resort and Spa, The Palm, Dubai  
  21. Sameer Aboobacker, Cluster Talent & Culture Manager, The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel, Ramada by Wyndham Downtown Dubai, Ibis Styles Dubai Jumeirah
  22. Santhosh Gopinathan, Director of Human Resources, Bab Al Qasr, Abu Dhabi
  23. Sergio Snyder, Area Director of HR, Marriott International  
  24. Shamsa Alwardi, Director of Human Resources, Kempinski Hotel Muscat  
  25. Stefan Geyser, Group Director of People & Culture at Minor Hotels  
  26. Sunny Mehta, Director of Human Resources, Millennium Place Barsha Heights  
  27. Susan Abdullah Crone, Director of Human Resources at Caesars Palace Dubai  
  28. Tarek Jarrouje, Director of HR, Conrad Hotel Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers  
  29. Uzma Noor, HR Manager, DoubleTree by Hilton - Dubai Jumeirah Beach  
  30. Vivek Srinivasan, Director of Human Resources, Shangri-La and Traders Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi  

 

  Commended  

  • Aileen Biscocho, Human Resources Manager, TIME Grand Plaza Hotel  
  • Ayesha Aldhafri, Director- HR & Administration, D&B Properties UAE  
  • Deepak Kunnath, HR Manager, The Tower Plaza Hotel  
  • Dinesh Chaudhari, Head of HR and Talent Development at Palazzo Versace Dubai  
  • Eugene Bosman, Cluster Director of Human Resources - Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island
  • Kamran Aslam, Human Resource Manager, Ramada Suites by Wyndham, Dubai, JBR  
  • Renukrishna Ratheesh, Asst. HR manager, Al Jawhara Gardens Hotel  
  • Sonam Lhanzom, HR Executive, voco Bonnington Dubai  
  • Victor Thomas, HR Manager, Ajman Hotel  
  • Zamir Abbasi, Cluster Director Human Resources, Millennium Hotels Doha  

 

Ahmed Lasheen, Regional Human Resources Director at Hilton Hotels in the Arabian Peninsula

Ahmed Lasheen – Regional Human Resources – Hilton Hotels in Arabian Peninsula is a human resources specialist with over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He boasts extensive knowledge in every aspect of human resources, from talent management to compensation and benefits. He also has deep expertise in employee relations, workplace administration, and recruiting.

Ahmed has spent 25 years with Hilton hotels starting from Training all the way to HR leader for a large region. He demonstrated great success in managing talent and creating an atmosphere of respect, acceptance, and collaboration for all team members in the region. He has a strong track record of connecting the right talents to the right roles and efficiently onboarding them into their new positions.

Read the full story here: Ahmed Lasheen - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Antia Odero, Senior HR Administrator - Human Resources, Dubai Golf   

Antia's lengthy career is marked by more than 15 years in the hospitality industry, 8 years in the banking profession, and about 4 years in the infrastructure business. She started her career in Dubai from 1993 to 1995, when Dubai was slowly starting its development plan for the United Arab Emirates. Antia worked as an Executive Assistant with Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, a leisure organization under HHE Properties. She had the opportunity to work alongside an array of visionary colleagues and bosses, where she learned how to work in multicultural environments and be mentored and hone her leadership skills. 

Read the full story here: Antia Odero - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Aseem Kapoor, Founder & CEO of ARK People Solutions 

Aseem Kapoor, a veteran Human Resource & Talent professional, is the Founder & CEO of ARK People Solutions, a company he launched after having worked in the corporate and hospitality world for almost 25 years. ARK People Solutions drives transformation within the people to function with a future-forward mindset and delivers pragmatic, practical, and easy-to-implement solutions that impact the most important aspect of any company – its People! Bringing brands to life through people is what ARK aims to do with every organization that they partner with.

Over the last two years, a one-person company has grown to have an in-house team of dedicated talent professionals.

Read the full story here: Aseem Kapoor - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Aseema Fernandes, Human Resources Manager, Bahi Ajman Palace Hotel

Aseema Fernandes has over 12 years of experience and currently heads the Human Resources department at Bahi Ajman Palace Hotel, a luxurious heritage retreat with a contemporary spirit. Anchored on the true essence of reliability, trust, and efficiency, she leads by example and goes the extra mile by openly supporting other departments. Aseema has tackled the largest projects, such as rebranding, management change, and ensuring no losses in the hotel's human capital during COVID-19.

She has developed and fostered a relationship with suppliers, service providers, and guests. Her attention to detail, focus on efficiency, positive attitude, and resourcefulness have helped the company save financially.

Read the full story here: Aseema Fernandes - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Cherry Santos Cruz, Human Resource Director, Sofitel Hotel, JBR

Cherry Santos Cruz is a career mother and a Human Resources professional. In 2006, Cherry was offered to work as an HR Officer and Executive Assistant to the Senior General Manager at the prestigious One&Only Reethi Rah Resort in Maldives, a member of the 'World's Leading Hotels.' Throughout her career, she worked for some of the most renowned five-star resorts and hotels domestically and internationally. She excelled in various senior roles and has been fortunate to progress through several firms' ranks.

Cherry is adamant that creating a welcoming atmosphere, encouraging people to appreciate life, and ensuring everyone on the team is content that will result in an excellent team.

Read the full story here: Cherry Santos Cruz - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Elie Abi Samra, Director of Talent & Culture, Rixos Hotels Gulf   

A hotelier and a seasoned human resources professional with over 23 years of diverse, and comprehensive hospitality industry experience. Elie commenced his career in hotel operations moving through the ranks till he held several operational leadership roles. He then shifted his career to Human Resources, where he found his true passion. 

As an HR business partner, he looks after people and culture, takes great interest in all parts of the business, and actively contributes towards all organizational strategies "operational, financial, sales, marketing & revenue management." 

Read the full story here: Elie Abi Samra - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Ellaine Siruelo, Senior HR Leader at IHG - Kuwait & Bahrain and Director of Human Resources and IHG - InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Mina Al Arab Resort & SPA

Ellaine Siruelo is the new addition to the landmark Ras Al Khaimah resort's executive committee, joining as Director of Human Resources. With three decades of experience, Siruelo has been with the IHG brand for 13 years.

In 2009, she joined the Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi pre-opening team as Human Resources Manager, responsible for setting up the Human Resources Department, before moving to Assistant Director of Human Resources at InterContinental Abu Dhabi.

Siruelo later moved to Bahrain as Director of HR, where she continued increasing colleague engagement scores and retention by spearheading the region's InterContinental Hotel Group human rights initiatives.

Read the full story here: Ellaine Siruelo - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

George Mathew, Cluster Director of HR, Grand Hyatt Dubai and Andaz Dubai The Palm

Mathew recognizes talent and encourages young dreamers to dive into their learning journey and find themselves while advancing in their professional careers. Mathew began his career with Hyatt hotels in 2003 when he joined Park Hyatt Goa as a Personnel Manager. His impressive multitasking and people-oriented skills helped his career escalate rapidly, moving to Hyatt Regency Kolkata as a Director of Human Resources in 2006.

With over 20 years of experience, Mathew is a visionary in the HR field and has successfully guided ambitious individuals who serve as General Managers in various Hyatt hotels. His passions are people and employee well-being, contributing to the success of the Hyatt hotels in Dubai.

Read the full story here: George Mathew - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Ina Lorenz, Director of L&D, Accor Academy India, the Middle East, Africa & Turkey

Ina is an accomplished Learning, Development & Quality professional with 19 years of luxury hospitality experience with a proven track record in creating and implementing successful development and training initiatives across MEA that align with various establishments' strategic objectives within the Luxury Hospitality sector. Ina possesses strong abilities in improving organizational talent and moulding future leaders. She is specialized in enhancing overall organizational performance and quality by implementing value-adding processes. Ina can build and develop cohesive target-orientated teams who are highly motivated to deliver required business outcomes whilst developing individuals to meet their full potential and ambitions.

Ina graduated from the Hotel Management School Pegnitz, Germany, with a bachelor's degree in business administration.

Read the full story here: Ina Lorenz - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Jane Fernandes, Cluster Director of Human Resources (Multi-Country) Dubai, Sheraton Mall of the Emirates Hotel Dubai, Aloft City Centre Deira Bahrain, The Westin, and Le Méridien City Centre  

Jane Fernandes is a passionate and creative HR professional with solid combined expertise in establishing and developing HR teams and contributing to productivity, culture, and cost-saving initiatives focusing on overall organizational development, change management, and business excellence. For the past 15 years in Marriott HR, she commenced her journey as HR Voyager in APAC and has been a loyal member of the Marriott family since. She is one of the youngest multi-country and multi-property HR directors, heading HR for two hotels in Bahrain and two hotels in the United Arab Emirates.

In her approach to work, Jane can be highlighted as a team Builder, talent Builder, and future Builder. 

Read the full story here: Jane Fernandes - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Kieth Walter Ayuso, HR Director, Jannah Hotels & Resorts

Kieth Walter redefines what 'Human Resources' are all about - it's not purely about the operational, admin, and support services, but more of the strategic business partner that drives holistic growth to the People, which benefits the commercial aspect of the business. 

Keith developed the Employee Engagement and Social Welfare program that covers monetary assistance to newlywed employees and newborn babies, and family death. He introduced interim positions, professional certifications, birthday leave, long service awards, and monthly engagement sessions, among many others. Kieth is a solid asset to the organization. His positive energy and charisma, bounded by his strategic and creative skills, make him a relatable HR leader.

Read the full story here: Kieth Walter Ayuso - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Madhav Kumar, Human Resources Manager, Sevens Holding SPC, Bahrain

Throughout his twelve-year career, Madhav feels fortunate to have worked with various companies, such as Lords Hotel and Resorts, IHG Hotels & Resorts, and Carlson Worldwide. His career progress has garnered much attention from all brands and mentors.

Madhav has continuously advocated for the morale of the workforce, maintained an open-door policy for the workers, and tried to uphold the company's ethos, values, and profitability. According to Madhav, HR serves as a link between employers and employees, and if that link is compromised, both parties will have to suffer.

Read the full story here: Madhav Kumar - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Mohamed Ribayathulla, Talent & Culture Manager, Ramada by Wyndham Beach Hotel Ajman

Mohamed Ribayathulla is known to be a one-man army at Wyndham Hotels Ajman. He brings 20 years of experience in different fields, starting his career as a Plant Operator in Indian telecommunications. His journey in hospitality began in 2009 at Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Ajman as a receiving officer in Finance department. He worked in various areas such as Storekeeper, Cost Controller, Fix Asset In-charge, and Purchasing Assistant before being promoted to the Human Resources department, where he now oversees the Human Resources and the operations of the private beach at Ramada by Wyndham Beach Hotel Ajman.  

Read the full story here: Mohamed Ribayathulla - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Paarth Mathur, Cluster Director of HR, Valor Hospitality - Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek, Wyndham Dubai Deira, Days Hotel by Wyndham, Super 8 by Wyndham   

Paarth brings extensive experience building high-performing teams with a strong focus on Organizational Culture and Development. He has successfully led organization planning and employee engagement through strategic initiatives and programs to support top talent sourcing, development, and retention. He has managed talent engagement practices, process improvements, staff development, performance management, and workforce augmentation effectively. 

Paarth holds a Master's in International Human Resources Management from Oxford Brookes University and has worked with various international brands such as Hilton, Sheraton, Westin, and Le Meridien.

Read the full story here: Paarth Mathur - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Payal Kulkarni, Area Director of Human Resources - Abu Dhabi and Jordan - Hyatt Hotels Corporation

With two decades of experience under her belt, particularly centered around opening large, critically acclaimed hotels in India, Payal Kulkarni (aka PK) is currently helming the Area Director of Human Resources role for Hyatt Hotels in Abu Dhabi and Jordan. 

A culture-driven professional, Payal is passionate about nurturing and developing talents. Under her leadership, both as an area head and Co-Chair for the Women@Hyatt Abu Dhabi chapter, Payal has led the three Hyatt Hotel teams in Abu Dhabi to increase and maintain an average of 30% representation of female colleagues as well as 28% representation of women in management for 2022. 

Read the full story here: Payal Kulkarni - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Rajashree Purandare Vichare, Global People Director, Kitopi   

Rajashree Purandare Vichare is determined to make a difference by being a voice for the voiceless. A human capital leader, Rajashree comes with a wealth of international experience across 14 countries in MENA, APAC, and EU regions, having dealt with 76+ nationalities in her HR journey. 

With her expertise in implementing strategic HR solutions, Rajashree has a proven track record of improving business results while being cost-effective and providing value-added solutions. She is passionate about creating human-centered workplaces and advocating for diverse and inclusive work environments. Based in Dubai, Rajashree is an accomplished Human Capital leader with over a decade of experience in HR Transformation, Talent & Organizational Development. 

Read the full story here: Rajashree Purandare Vichare - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Rania Roufael - Chief People Officer, Sunset Hospitality Group   

Having been with the group since 2018, Rania Roufael joined as an HR Director and has significantly improved the group's strategic organizational programmes, consumer audit results, and employee engagement metrics. 

With the responsibility of spearheading the HR department at Sunset Hospitality Group, she has formulated and implemented global HR strategies, ERP software HR modules, improved employee training, development, and performance management across the group's twenty-six lifestyle and hospitality brands as well as implemented tools to strengthen organizational health and efficiency. 

Under her leadership, Sunset Hospitality Group received the Great Place to Work® certification, the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures, for 2021 and 2022. 

Read the full story here: Rania Roufael - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Razvi Raza, Cluster Director of Talent & Culture, Movenpick Hotel & Apartments Bur Dubai and Movenpick Hotel Apartments Al Mamzar Dubai   

Razvi is a result-oriented Human Resources (Talent & Culture) professional who is courageous in taking on challenging projects directly impacting revenues, bottom line, and key business performance results.  

Razvi has experience driving HR Strategy, analytics, talent management, team engagement, and pre-opening initiatives. He has a proven record of negotiating with various stakeholders to drive initiatives that positively impact the employee and guest journey.

Razvi has championed the cultural transformation (Heartist®) for and supported fifty-six openings of new hotels in the region and has been awarded for developing and deploying talent development programs.

Read the full story here: Razvi Raza - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Roni Masri, Regional Director of HR and Talent Development Golden Tulip MENA / Louvre Hotels

Roni Masri is a visionary human resources leader with a wealth of experience in talent acquisition, employee development, and organizational culture. Throughout his career, Roni has fostered a supportive and inclusive work environment encouraging employees to reach their full potential.

As a seasoned HR professional, Roni is skilled in designing and delivering employee training programs, conducting performance evaluations, and managing employee relations. He deeply understands the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and has worked to create inclusive environments where employees feel valued and supported.

Roni is a passionate mentor and advocates for young professionals, and he volunteers his time to help them envision their career paths.

Read the full story here: Roni Masri - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Salima Hussaini, Director of Human Resources at Taj Exotica Resort and Spa, The Palm, Dubai

Salima Hussaini has led Human Resources and L&D function in a leadership position for over 15 years. She came to Dubai in 2007 and, since then, has worked with several hospitality brands. Her experience includes working with IHG, Accor, and IHCL. She joined Taj Dubai as Director of Human Resources in 2019 and made no redundancies during COVID – presumably the most challenging time in the hospitality industry.

In 2021 she was appointed as Pre-Opening Director of Human Resources of Taj Exotica Resort and Spa, The Palm, Dubai, featuring 325 rooms, an award-winning spa, and great F&B offerings. She is results driven and enthusiastic about Engagement, Diversity, Inclusion, and Talent. She holds CIPD and is a certified Personal Coach.

Read the full story here: Salima Hussaini - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Sameer Aboobacker, Cluster Talent & Culture Manager, The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel, Ramada by Wyndham Downtown Dubai, Ibis Styles Dubai Jumeirah

Sameer Aboobacker has embraced the vision and mission of these hotels by showing a commitment that goes above & beyond. He demonstrates a leader's spirit & has implemented seamless policy & procedures, a performance management system, and has been a pillar for R Hotels since 2016. From onboarding, nearly 315 employees with the support of a small team to plan a systematic execution for the Relocation of Accommodations for employees in just two weeks & furthermore, introducing employee welfare & recognition activities just proves how much he buckles down for everything that he does and goes the extra mile for the same.

Read the full story here: Sameer Aboobacker - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Santhosh Gopinathan, Director of Human Resources, Bab Al Qasr, Abu Dhabi

With over 17 years of experience in the GCC region in developing and managing human capital to upskill the hospitality industry in multinational hotel brands, including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Divan, and Millennium Hotels and Resorts. 

Santhosh is an experienced HR hospitality specialist, who holds a Master of Human Resources Management in Annamalai University, India. He was also awarded the CHRM / CHRP / CIRS certifications from American Certification Institute. 

Santhosh believes the key to great business results is getting the best people and maximizing their motivation, performance, and effectiveness once you have them. He is an expert in all areas of Human Resources, including organizational skill development, training, employee relations, job design, and HR compliance. 

Read the full story here: Santhosh Gopinathan - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Sergio Snyder, Area Director of HR, Marriott International

Sergio has worked on three continents and in twenty-five countries over his 30-year tenure with the company. He has held several HR Leadership roles throughout his career with Marriott, both on Property and above Property.

In 2007, Sergio became the Regional Director of Training for Continental Europe and, in April 2011, moved to Area Director of Human Resources for Eastern Europe, where he worked for seven years. Before moving to his current role, he joined Western Europe in November 2018 and Western Europe and the Maghreb in 2020 as Director of HR Operations. He is fluent in English and Spanish, a graduate of Westminster College in London, the London Institute, and a member of the Institute of Personnel in the UK (CIPD).

Read the full story here: Sergio Snyder - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Shamsa Alwardi, Director of Human Resources, Kempinski Hotel Muscat

Shamsa understands the key to any good business is its people. With this in mind, Her continued efforts were evident in every team member at the hotel, from ensuring people's safety to helping them achieve their goals by maximizing their time to complete their individual development plans.

Shamsa is approachable, transparent, and at one with her team. She believes in an open communication style allowing employees to provide feedback and raise issues in a safe and healthy environment.

Shamsa has implemented many activities within the hotel to enhance staff engagement and bring fun and a lively feeling for the staff members to excel at their demanding jobs.

Read the full story here: Shamsa Alwardi - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Stefan Geyser, Group Director of People & Culture at Minor Hotels

As Group Director of People & Culture for Minor Hotels Middle East & Africa, Stefan brings over 20 years of international experience in the hotel industry. Stefan started his career with Starwood Hotels in 1999 as the Human Resources Director of the opening team for the first Starwood hotel in South Africa. He has since held various Human Resources positions in South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the UAE in Starwood Hotels and Marriott International.

Stefan is a trained Industrial Psychologist who completed his Baccalaureate in People Management and Honors Baccalaureate in Industrial Psychology at Free State University. He holds a master’s degree in Industrial Psychology & Human Resources from the University of Pretoria.

Read the full story here: Stefan Geyser - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Sunny Mehta, Director of Human Resources, Millennium Place Barsha Heights

Heading the Human Resources Department of Millennium Place Barsha Heights is Sunny Mehta, who brings more than 19 years of experience. Sunny has a background in F&B and front office operations and started his hospitality career as an F&B associate in India. He joined Millennium in 2015, and this is his third Millennium property and his third role.

Passionate about creating a culture that encourages employee development and satisfaction, Sunny works hard to ensure the hotel has the best possible staff. He is known for his excellent interpersonal skills, as he is highly capable of managing people and dealing with difficult situations. An organized and detail-oriented professional, he deeply understands the needs of both employees and employers.

Read the full story here: Sunny Mehta - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Susan Abdullah Crone, Director of Human Resources at Caesars Palace Dubai 

Spanning over 30 years in hospitality, Susan’s career has taken her from Asia to the Middle East, where she is currently the Director of Human Resources at Caesars Palace Dubai.

Her impressive professional journey has seen her work across some of the most prestigious hospitality brands, like the Rosewood Hotel Group, Mandarin Oriental, Hilton Resorts, Shangri-La, and more, in Operations and Business Development before moving into Human Resources towards the latter half of her career.

Susan’s nurturing leadership style, combined with her natural empathetic and approachable quality, people-focused management approach, creativity, and positive energy, makes her an inspiring leader, admired for her ability to engage with stakeholders across the board.

Read the full story here: Susan Abdullah Crone - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Tarek Jarrouje, Director of HR, Conrad Hotel Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers

Tarek G. Jarrouje is known for his impeccable people skills and passion for nurturing personal and professional growth.

Tarek has a background of over 25 years in the hotel industry and has thrived in numerous prestigious properties. Tarek's talent management skills are of remarkable quality, as evidenced by the career development within the hotel's existing staff and the business performance during his time there. Tarek brings imagination and creativity to his role, especially when encouraging staff members to harness key strengths and expand their skill sets. Tarek always takes the time to get to know team members and curates an approach that brings the best out of that individual for their betterment.

Read the full story here: Tarek Jarrouje - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Uzma Noor, HR Manager, DoubleTree by Hilton - Dubai Jumeirah Beach

Uzma is a dynamic, results-driven human resources strategist with over 15 years of experience. She holds a record of achievements and demonstrated successes while providing visionary leadership in a highly competitive and demanding Human Resource field. Her solid track record in ascertaining and translating human capital needs and maintaining a positive relationship with all employees and stakeholders is commendable. Her excellent organizational, training, and time management skills, complemented with effective communication and public speaking skills, have made her one of the key contributors to the organization's success.

Her people's philosophy has created an inclusive environment focusing on various nationalities and gender diversity and created opportunities.

Read the full story here: Uzma Noor - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

Vivek Srinivasan, Director of Human Resources, Shangri-La and Traders Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi

Vivek Srinivasan is a well-rounded HR professional with extensive practical experience in strategic roles in the hospitality sector across multiple international posts throughout his career. As Director of Human Resources at Shangri-La and Traders Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, he has spearheaded drives alongside the Department of Culture and Tourism to set up weekly PCR testing and free vaccination programs for colleagues and their dependents.

In 2022, he helped achieve sustainability goals for the region through new projects such as plant-based water bottles to cut down on plastic usage. For the group, he championed special projects on governance, implementation, and roll-out of departure interviews, HR Analytics, and Employee Engagement programs, which helped reduce the region's attrition rate by 5%.

Read the full story here: Vivek Srinivasan - Most Popular HR Leader

 

 

 

Here are the winners of the 10 Commended General Managers:

 

Aileen Biscocho, Human Resources Manager, TIME Grand Plaza Hotel

Learning what it means to be human is the first step in becoming a successful human resource manager. Aileen's professional trajectory is inspiring: she began as a secretary and has since risen to the position of Human Resources Manager. This demonstrates tenacity and perseverance throughout the process.

More than thirty community service projects were launch last year due to her initiative. Her relentless commitment to the success of her team is admirable. By going the extra mile for the team and partnering with local brands and other small businesses in the neighborhood to hold a CSR, team members could indulge in discounts and privileges, allowing them to enjoy their work more and feel more appreciated.

Read the full story here: Aileen Biscocho - Commended HR Leader

 

 

Ayesha Aldhafri, Director- HR & Administration, D&B Properties UAE

Ayesha Aldhafri is an Emirati HR professional with over 15 years of experience in the field. She serves as Director of Human Resources at D&B Properties, a well-known real estate company based in Dubai. Ayesha began her career at JAFZA, DP World, a semi-government entity, where she quickly became known for her strong interpersonal skills, tenacity, and leadership qualities.

Throughout her professional journey, Ayesha has gained extensive knowledge and expertise in organizational development, talent acquisition and management, compensation and benefits administration, workforce planning, legislative compliance, performance management, leadership advisory, and training & development. Her track record includes developing strategies that positively impact employee morale while increasing process efficiency.

Read the full story here: Ayesha Aldhafri - Commended HR Leader

 

 

Deepak Kunnath, HR Manager, The Tower Plaza Hotel

Deepak has 23 years of experience in the hospitality industry in Rooms, Food & Beverage, Learning and Development, and Human Resources Management. He started his career as a receptionist in Oberoi Hotels. He gained experience in other renowned hotels such as Six Senses, Starwood, Carnival Cruise Lines, Rixos, and Millennium Hotels.

Deepak persisted and advanced through the ranks till he was appointed HR Manager of the hotel The Tower Plaza. Deepak is an expert in developing and enhancing crucial HR procedures and implementing cutting-edge approaches.

Read the full story here: Deepak Kunnath - Commended HR Leader

 

 

Dinesh Chaudhari, Head of HR and Talent Development at Palazzo Versace Dubai

Dinesh has earned professional experience working for over 21 years in five-star luxury hotel chains like Kempinski, Jumeirah Group of Hotels and Resorts, and Palazzo Versace Dubai. Some of the big names he has in his profile include Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Leela Kempinski, and Palazzo Versace Dubai, in addition to various other hospitality task force projects. Dinesh comes from a strong hotel operations background, having worked in Rooms Division before establishing himself as a seasoned Human Resources and Learning & Development practitioner. 

He has been speaking on several occasions as a speaker sharing his knowledge, experience, and learning in various reputable conferences like ATDmiddleeast, Work 2.0, Training & Development show, HR Tech Mena, etc. 

Read the full story here: Dinesh Chaudhari - Commended HR Leader

 

 

Eugene Bosman, Cluster Director of Human Resources - Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island

Eugene Bosman is an HR professional and leader at Hilton, with over 12 years of operational and enterprise-level corporate experience across the Middle East & Africa. With a proven track record of opening new hotels and designing processes and frameworks for driving employee engagement, development, and growth, he has a reputation for building empowered, motivated, and highly effective HR teams.

His expertise in project, team, and stakeholder management across all verticals, as well as his in-depth understanding of how technology can be leveraged to drive the HR and enterprise agenda, and a passion for people, has supported him in enhancing benefits and fostering employee engagement and driving enhancements in employee wellbeing.

Read the full story here: Eugene Bosman - Commended HR Leader

 

 

Kamran Aslam, Human Resource Manager, Ramada Suites by Wyndham, Dubai, JBR

Kamran Aslam started his career in 2004 with experiences in BPO, Online Sales, and Logistics as Customer Support Representative, Support Manager, and Team Lead for ARAMEX. He moved into hospitality industry with R Hotels as part of the pre-opening project team in 2014 for Ibis Styles Jumeirah. His passion for human resources, strong work ethic, and in-depth knowledge got him a long way. Having been promoted from Human Resources Assistant to Human Resources Manager at Ramada JBR, Kamran Aslam is a genuine people leader with vision, focus, flexibility, and resilience. Keeping abreast of the latest trends and best practices in his profession makes him a deserving recipient of this award.

Read the full story here: Kamran Aslam - Commended HR Leader

 

 

Renukrishna Ratheesh, Asst. HR Manager, Al Jawhara Gardens Hotel

Driven, ethical, and detail-oriented human resource professional with more than nine years of industrial experience, Renuka is versed in managing personnel records management, compensation and benefits, and employee relations. Renukrishna Ratheesh joined Al Jawhara Group of Hotels and Apartments in 2012 and currently working as HR-in-charge for Al Jawhara Group of Hotels and Apartments.

Read the full story here: Renukrishna Ratheesh - Commended HR Leader

 

 

Sonam Lhanzom, HR Executive, voco Bonnington Dubai

Sonam Lhanzom is the talented and passionate HR Executive of voco Bonnington Dubai. Sonam's career journey from hotel operations to human resources is fascinating. Holding a diploma in Hotel Management in India, she jumpstarted her career as a Hostess at Hyatt Regency – New Delhi in 1997. Then she joined the Burj Al Arab pre-opening team in 1999. There, she was promoted multiple times as Guest Relations Executive, Sales Agent – Restaurant Reservation, Team Leader – Restaurant Reservation, Senior Team Leader – Restaurant Reservation, Culinary Coordinator, and Culinary Administration Manager. Her exposure to hotel operations gave her a rich perspective of genuinely caring for colleagues with their actual needs at work.

Read the full story here: Sonam Lhanzom - Commended HR Leader

 

 

Victor Thomas, HR Manager, Ajman Hotel

With over 15 years of expertise in HR and operations, Victor is a diligent, result-oriented professional who delivers talent acquisition, retention, and motivational solutions to harness the most valuable asset: the people.

He has dedicated his career to creating a robust culture that promotes well-being and continued growth and development. Since starting his passionate hospitality career, he has guided the execution of HR strategies to proactively contribute to achieving organizational goals through stronger collaborations, improved efficiency, and increased effectiveness. His craftsmanship with managing people led him to be part of pre-opening hotels in places like Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Singapore, the Maldives, Qatar, Iraq, and India.

Read the full story here: Victor Thomas - Commended HR Leader

  

 

Zamir Abbasi, Cluster Director Human Resources, Millennium Hotels Doha

For more than 2-decades, Zamir Abbasi has been heading the Human Resources Departments of top Hospitality Brands, i.e., Hyatt Regency KSA, Ritz Carlton Bahrain, InterContinental Hotels Dubai, Radisson Blu Sharjah, and currently working as Cluster Director Human Resources of Millennium Hotels Doha.

On Group/Cluster level, he worked as Corporate General Manager (HR & Training) of Elite Hospitality Bahrain, Group Director of Human Resources of Economides Group Dubai, and Group Director of Human Resources of Central Hotels Dubai.

Zamir also attained many professional certifications, i.e., Certified Hospitality Trainer (CHT) and Certified Human Resources Executive (CHRE) from the Educational Institute of American Hotels & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI).

Read the full story here: Zamir Abbasi - Commended HR Leader