22-year old Noura Al Boodai from Al Ahsa InterContinental has been crowned as Hotelier Middle East's Young Hotelier of the Year 2017.
This category was fiercely contested with more than 30 nominations put forward on behalf of the region’s most talented hoteliers under the age of 30. This year, the Hotelier Middle East Awards 2017 judges were looking for a young hotelier from any hotel discipline who progressed exceptionally well since entering the industry.
Al Boodai, a Saudi national, started her career as a fitness trainer. Once she came on board, the number of the ladies’ memberships gradually increased and exceeded projections. She was soon promoted from a shift leader to a sales executive last year. Her managers see her potentially rising to become part of the ExCom team someday, no small feat amidst the cultural restrictions for a female Saudi national to work in an environment with diverse nationality and genders.
Al Boodai fought off tough competition from other young hoteliers including: Anjum Muhammad Hafeez, human resources and learning & development coordinator, InterContinental Regency Bahrain, Daniel Pictor, outlet manager, Bridges Sports Bar, Fairmont Dubai, Olga Velceva, assistant front office manager, Palazzo Versace Dubai, Noura Al Boodai, sales executive, Al Ahsa InterContinental, Saurav Puri, director of revenue strategy, The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai, Srinivasan Gopalsamy, pastry chef, Crowne Plaza Bahrain.
The judges felt Al Boodai made great progression throughout her career in the industry, and has actively contributed towards improving operations within the property. This category being highly contested, led the judges to have to undergo a tie-breaker session during the judging meeting earlier this month.
Backstage at the awards, she revealed her long term plan was to get to the position of director of sales and marketing or general manager position, "Inshallah in 10 years," she said to Hotelier Middle East after her win.
Highly Commended in this category was Daniel Pictor from Fairmont Dubai.
The award sponsored by Dimara, and Al Boodai was presented her trophy by Farah Aslam, managing director of Dimara.
The Hotelier Middle East Awards 2017 was supported by the following companies: silver sponsor SNS Haute Couture Furniture; category sponsors SIAL Middle East, A. Ronai, Diversey, Jung, OSN for Business, Dimara International; supporting sponsor Pulsar Foodstuff; event sponsor Party Social; floral sponsor Forever Rose London; coffee sponsor Dallmayr Coffee; water sponsor Acqua Panna & S.Pellegrino and beverage sponsor MMI.