Editor's Choice

13020 25 Mar 2024

Hozpitality Group Best 30 HR Leaders in the Middle East 2024

In the bustling world of hospitality, where seamless operations are paramount, lies a cornerstone often overlooked - the Human Resources department. Beyond the glamorous facade of hotels and resorts, HR professionals are the gears that keep the engine running smoothly. They are the architects of corporate culture, the guardians of employee welfare, and the conduits between management and staff. Amidst the whirlwind of tasks encompassing recruiting, retention, diversity management, budgeting, and strategic planning, HR professionals in the hospitality sector bear immense responsibility and wield significant influence.

Recognizing the pivotal role played by HR leaders, Hozpitality Group, a beacon in the Middle East's hospitality industry, started a noble endeavor to honor these unsung heroes. The latest edition of Hozpitality's Best 30 HR Leaders in the Middle East Powerlist, spotlights those individuals who epitomize excellence in human resources management within the region.

HR professionals navigate a complex labyrinth of challenges within the corridors of hotels and resorts with relentless resolve. Their daily grind involves listening to the concerns of hundreds of employees, resolving conflicts, and devising strategies to foster a harmonious work environment. It's a role that demands an equal measure of empathy, diplomacy, and resilience.

Every HR leader featured in Hozpitality's esteemed list brings a unique narrative shaped by their experiences and triumphs in the hospitality industry. From pioneering initiatives to enhance employee engagement to spearheading diversity and inclusion programs, each story benchmarks their dedication and ingenuity.

The hospitality industry is renowned for its fast-paced nature and demanding clientele, placing immense pressure on HR professionals to deliver results while maintaining equilibrium. Yet, amidst the chaos, these individuals stand as beacons of stability, steering their organizations toward success with poise and proficiency.

Hozpitality Group's initiative to honor the top HR leaders in the Middle East celebrates their achievements and underscores the indispensable role played by HR departments in shaping the trajectory of hospitality enterprises. By acknowledging their contributions, the industry pays homage to those who toil tirelessly behind the scenes, ensuring that the heart of hospitality beats strong.

As we raise a toast to the Best 30 HR Leaders in the Middle East, let us also extend our gratitude to all HR professionals who continue to be the unsung heroes of the hospitality realm. Their relentless commitment and tireless efforts are the industry's bedrock, illuminating a path toward excellence and innovation.

 

Here is the list of Hozpitality's Best 30 HR Leaders in the Middle East winners of 2024 (in alphabetical order):

  • Ahmed Ghaleb
  • Antia Ann Odero
  • Antoraj Mariasusai
  • Bella Hazel Galas Macarine
  • Dragos Paraschiv
  • Elis Aptula
  • Ellaine Siruelo
  • Elvira Akhmetshina
  • Farida Al Raisi
  • Felicita Shanthy Balavendran
  • Gina Galcescu
  • Hasan Al Haj Hasan
  • Jahanzeb Khan
  • Jennifer Thalawinna
  • Majid Alali
  • Manish Sadhu
  • Mariya Rudzynska
  • Mary Ann Andaya
  • Rajashree Vichare Purandare
  • Rasha Alameen
  • Robert Mikaelian
  • Rochelle Morales
  • Salima Hussaini
  • Sameer Aboobacker
  • Santhosh Gopinathan
  • Shirly Dizon
  • Sushma Shetty
  • Sylvia Melika
  • Taisia Kurteeva
  • Ziwa Htun

 

Here is the list of Hozpitality's Best Commended HR Leaders in the Middle East winners of 2024 (in alphabetical order):

  • Adithya Iyer
  • Judith Marcos
  • Kamran Aslam
  • Renukrishna Ratheesh
  • Uzma Noor

 

 

Hozpitality's Best 30 HR Leaders in the Middle East winners of 2024

 


Ahmed Ghaleb
Director of Talent and Culture
Swissotel Al Murooj  

As a recognized leader in the field, Ahmed Ghaleb continues to inspire and empower his team, setting new standards of excellence in talent management and organizational culture within the hospitality industry.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Ahmed Ghaleb Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 

 


Antia Ann Odero
Senior Human Resources Administrator
Dubai Golf  

Antia has contributed nearly 15 years of invaluable service to Dubai Golf. She has consistently epitomized excellence throughout her distinguished career, showcasing an unparalleled dedication to HR witnessed in the industry.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Antia Ann Odero Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 

 


Antoraj Mariasusai
Multi-Property Director of Human Resources
Delta by Marriott, Elements City Center by Westin, Elements West Bay by Westin,
and Al Samriya Autograph Collection by Marriott  

With an impressive academic background boasting an MBA from Switzerland, an MSc from the USA, and over 16 years of HR experience across prominent hotel brands spanning eight different countries, Antoraj brings a wealth of global expertise and a relentless commitment to fostering inclusive workplace environments.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Antoraj Mariasusai Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Bella Hazel Galas Macarine
Human Resource Manager
Coral Beach Resort Sharjah

Bella's journey in hospitality commenced in 2004 after she earned her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Xavier University—Ateneo de Cagayan, Philippines. Fueling her passion for continuous learning, she pursued a Master's degree in Business Administration from Lipa City Colleges, Philippines.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Bella Hazel Galas Macarine Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Dragos Paraschiv
Cluster Director of Human Resources
Canopy, Hampton & Curio Collection by Hilton Hotels, Dubai  

With over twenty years of experience, Dragos has honed his expertise across various capacities, including Hotel Operations, Human Resources Management, Training Management, and significant roles in F&B operations.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Dragos Paraschiv Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Elis Aptula
Complex Assistant Director of HR
Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre | Le Meridien Fairway | Aloft Dubai Airport |
Element Dubai Airport | Aloft Al Mina | Element Al Mina  

Before joining her current position, Elis spent over nine years at the renowned JW Marriott Grosvenor House in London, United Kingdom, where she held various pivotal roles within the Human Resources department.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Elis Aptula Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 
Ellaine Siruelo
Area Human Resources Leader for UAE,
PES IHG Hotels & Resorts - InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Mina Al Arab Resort & Spa 

With a track record of success in navigating complex organizational landscapes, Ellaine Siruelo continues to shape the future of HR, driving innovation and fostering environments where individuals and businesses flourish.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Ellaine Siruelo Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Elvira Akhmetshina
Cluster HR Manager
DoubleTree by Hilton Business Bay  

Elvira's journey in the industry began in 2014 when she started her professional career as a receptionist at the Hilton Resort & Spa in Ras Al Khaimah.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Elvira Akhmetshina Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Farida Al Raisi
Director of Human Resources
Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Hotel  

A diverse background, encompassing roles across various sectors such as FMCG, Retail, Insurance, Omani Police, and regional luxury hospitality, distinguishes Farida's professional journey. This wealth of experience uniquely positions her to bring valuable insights and innovative approaches to the field of Human Resources.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Farida Al Raisi Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Felicita Shanthy Balavendran
Director of Human Resources
Taj Dubai

Throughout her career, Felicita has actively participated in various corporate initiatives to enhance HR processes and employee engagement within IHCL.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Felicita Shanthy Balavendran Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Gina Galcescu
Cluster Director of HR
Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa & Nour Arjaan by Rotana  

Gina demonstrates exceptional strategic vision by aligning HR initiatives with the organization's business objectives. Her deep understanding of Middle Eastern market dynamics enables her to craft HR strategies that drive growth and foster organizational success.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Gina Galcescu Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Hasan Al Haj Hasan
Cluster HR Director
DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai M Square Hotel & Residences  

Hasan's academic credentials, including a dual MBA in Human Resource Management and Global Business and a bachelor's degree in English literature, underscore his multifaceted leadership approach and dedication to personal and professional growth.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Hasan Al Haj Hasan Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Jahanzeb Khan
Cluster Director of Talent & Culture
Pullman Dubai Jumeirah Lakes Towers & Novotel, and ibis Abu Dhabi Gate  

Jahanzeb’s journey, which began in 2010, has been fueled by a profound desire to cultivate positive work environments and effect meaningful change within the hospitality industry.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Jahanzeb Khan Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Jennifer Thalawinna
Cluster Human Resources Manager
Wyndham Dubai Deira  

Jennifer brings an extensive 24-year tenure in the hospitality industry, with a remarkable 20 years devoted to Human Resources. Her strategic prowess played a pivotal role in Valor Hospitality's seamless transition in 2023, laying the groundwork for their HR Shared Services.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Jennifer Thalawinna Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

  


Majid Alali
Human Resource and Public Relations Director
Millennium & Copthorne Airport Hotel 

Majid has showcased remarkable dedication and leadership throughout his tenure. Since joining the Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai in October 1999, Majid has progressed through merit-based promotions, reflecting his unwavering commitment and exceptional capabilities.

 

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Majid Alali Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Manish Sadhu
Area Director of HR
Yas Plaza Hotels  

With an impressive track record spanning over 20 years in the hospitality industry, Manish brings extensive expertise to his role, overseeing HR operations across six hotels and managing a diverse workforce of over 1,000 employees.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Manish Sadhu Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Mariya Rudzynska
Director of Human Resources
Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort  

Mariya possesses a remarkable ability to cultivate a culture of trust and respect within the organization, thereby unlocking the full potential of its human capital. She passionately advocates for gender diversity and inclusivity in the workplace, championing continuous learning opportunities, experimentation, and personal growth for all employees.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Mariya Rudzynska Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Mary Ann Andaya
Cluster Talent & Culture Manager
MAF-Accor Properties  

With a Master's in Business Administration specializing in Human Resources and currently pursuing a CIPD Level 5 certification, Mary Ann embodies a commitment to continuous learning and professional development.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Mary Ann Andaya Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Rajashree Vichare Purandare
Global HR Director
Kitopi  

Rajashree is a transformative force in human resources, dedicated to reshaping work environments and championing the underrepresented. Based in Dubai, UAE, she boasts over a decade of experience in HR, specializing in implementing strategic solutions that drive business outcomes while nurturing diverse and inclusive workplaces.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Rajashree Purandare Vichare Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Rasha Al Ameen
Head People & Culture
Exhibition World Bahrain  

With a rich professional journey spanning 17 years across diverse industries, Rasha brings a unique amalgamation of expertise and dedication to empowering individuals while nurturing a flourishing organizational culture.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Rasha Al Ameen Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Robert Mikaelian
VP - HR
JA Resorts & Hotels

Robert seamlessly integrates HR strategies with broader business objectives, contributing significantly to the company's success. His knack for aligning HR practices with organizational goals underscores his strategic acumen and leadership prowess.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Robert Mikaelian Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Rochelle Morales
Cluster Human Resources Manager
Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Ajman, and Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche  

Rochelle has consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence, earning multiple accolades. Her progression from an Accounts Payable Officer to Cluster Human Resources Manager speaks volumes about her adaptability and ability to thrive in dynamic environments.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Rochelle Morales Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Salima Hussaini
Area Director of HR Middle East and DHR
Taj Exotica Resort and Spa, The Palm  

Salima has left a lasting mark on the hospitality landscape with over 17 years of experience at the helm of Human Resources and Learning & Development functions.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Salima Hussaini Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


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

Sameer has shouldered diverse responsibilities, including establishing policies, implementing performance management systems, and engaging with governmental authorities. His impact was particularly notable during the pre-opening phase of The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel, where he played a key role in establishing the HR department amidst significant challenges.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Sameer Aboobacker Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Santhosh Gopinathan
Director of Human Resources
Bab Al Qasr Abu Dhabi  

One of Santhosh's notable achievements is his exceptional commitment to achieving and surpassing Emiratization targets. Through proactive talent development and recruitment strategies, he has bolstered the hotel's expansion and significantly contributed to the national objective of empowering Emirati talent.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Santhosh Gopinathan Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Shirly Dizon
Manager of People and Culture
NH Collection Dubai The Palm

Under Shirly's guidance, the hotel's People & Culture department has thrived, becoming a cornerstone of strength by aligning organizational goals with employee well-being, development, and engagement. Her initiatives have significantly boosted employee satisfaction and positively impacted the hotel's bottom line.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Shirly Dizon Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Sushma Shetty
Human Resources Manager
Movenpick Grand Al Bustan Hotel & Convention Centre Dubai

Sushma Shetty is a culture-driven Human Resources professional with over 17 years of experience in the hospitality industry, having worked with international brands such as IHG, Hyatt, and ACCOR Hotels.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Sushma Shetty Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Sylvia Melika
Director of HR
SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences

 Sylvia brings over 18 years of extensive experience in the hospitality industry, focusing on human resources. Throughout her tenure, Sylvia has played a pivotal role in reshaping HR strategies, fostering a positive work culture, and enhancing employee engagement initiatives at SLS Dubai.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Sylvia Melika Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Taisia Kurteeva
Manager of People and Culture
Souq Al Wakra Hotel Qatar by Tivoli

In her position, Taisia oversees a diverse team of 113 employees representing 25 different nationalities. Her exceptional leadership skills have consistently propelled her to overcome challenges with hard work, dedication, and strong problem-solving abilities.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Taisia Kurteeva Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Ziwa Htun
Complex Director of Human Resources & Training
Al Habtoor City Complex

Ziwa Htun is a distinguished hospitality professional renowned for his outstanding human resources and training management contributions.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Ziwa Htun Recognized in Hozpitality Best HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 

 

Hozpitality's Commended HR in Middle East Power List Winners      

 


Adithya Iyer
Human Resources Manager
Dubai Golf  

With over 15 years of extensive experience in human resources management across diverse sectors, Adithya is a strategic HR leader committed to driving organizational excellence through various initiatives.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Adithya Iyer Recognized in Hozpitality Commended HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Judith Marcos
Assistant HR Manager
TIME Asma Hotel

Judith Marcos-Dionisio embodies the essence of HR leadership with over a decade of diverse experience spanning secretarial, administrative, and HR functions.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Judith Marcos Recognized in Hozpitality Commended HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

  


Kamran Aslam
HR Manager
Ramada Hotel and Suites by Wyndham Dubai JBR  

As a true people leader, Kamran embodies vision, focus, flexibility, and resilience. His journey from customer support to HR leadership in the dynamic hospitality industry inspires aspiring professionals, illustrating the possibilities that arise from embracing change, pursuing one's passions, and continually striving for excellence.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Kamran Aslam Recognized in Hozpitality Commended HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Renukrishna Ratheesh
HR Manager
Al Jawhara Gardens Hotel  

Renukrishna Ratheesh has exceptional communication skills, comprehensive understanding of HR policies and procedures, adept problem-solving abilities, strong leadership skills, organizational prowess, and unwavering dedication to creating a positive and inclusive work environment.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Renukrishna Ratheesh Recognized in Hozpitality Commended HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024

 


Uzma Noor
HR Manager
DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai - Jumeirah Beach
 

Uzma Noor has over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry. She is dedicated to nurturing the well-being and growth of individuals and teams within the organizations she serves.

Read More: Hozpitality Group - Uzma Noor Recognized in Hozpitality Commended HR Leaders Powerlist for the Middle East 2024