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Middle East Update Q3 - 2012

WelcoMe to tHe tHiRd instalMent oF tHe Middle east Update

2012 has flown by, it’s hard to believe it’s already mid october. As we approach the end of the year, there’s no sign of slowing down. Q3 was as busy as ever, with various initiatives and programmes launched. over the summer our new ideals ‘values in Action’ were introduced and implemented in stages. Everyone in the region should now be more than familiar with ‘Being a Host’ and more recently ‘Living Trust’, by early 2013 the third and final value, ‘Fighting Z-Spirit’, will also be rolled out. You only need to read this newsletter to see how we’ve always embraced these values throughout the region, from September’s annual Responsible Business Month to the launch of Think Planet. You can find out more about both this events along with best practises below. we’ve had some great initiatives from many of our hotels throughout the year don’t forget to share your ideas and plans for the next and last issue (of 2012) of the Middle East Update, we’re always keen to hear success stories.

Until next time, Mark Willis


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Middle East Update Q3 - 2012

Responsible Business Month The Box Appeal Think Planet! Meet Lumi Responsible Business Yes I Can! Star! Home Is where The Heart Is‌ Learn Arabic with the Radisson Blu Residence, Dubai Marina Awards and Achievements Appointments Events Coming Up


Responsible bUsiness MontH Each September every Rezidor hotel takes part in Responsible Business Month. A whole month dedicated to giving back to the community and caring for the environment. Across the Middle East hotels created and took part in various activities, from the flagship Box Appeal, to hosting events for children, to raising money for good causes. Read on to find out what took place in the region for the 9th annual Responsible Business Month.


SPLASHES AnD SMILES Radisson Blu Hotel Muscat, invited 25 children from the orphanage Care Centre for a fun day out. The Responsible Business Team and management team put together a fun filled day of activities for the children, drawing, painting, games and of course splashing around in the swimming pool followed by a feast in the Lazy Lizard. The hotel has organised similar events for the last two years and will continue to support and grow its relationship with the orphanage Care Centre. BLooD DonATIon DRIvE Radisson Blu Hotels and the Park Inn by Radisson in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia conducted a two day blood donation drive during Responsible Business Month. 147 staff took part

Rezidor hotels in the Kingdom are leading the way in hosting blood drives like this one. Mohamed Benamar, District Director Saudi Arabia Hotel Group “It’s important to give blood- every drop makes a difference. You’re giving the gift of life.” HoTELS joIn FoRCES Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City and the Radisson Blu Residence, Dubai Marina made their annual visit to the Autism Center in September. For the last four years, the two hotels have helped with general maintenance at the center as part of their Responsible Business Month activities. The entire engineering team and members of the human resources departments painted the class rooms at the Autism Centre as well as helping with a general cleanup.

tHe boX appeal The Box Appeal returned for its 5th and most successful year to date. All nine hotels in the UAE have taken part alongside the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cairo, Heliopolis and The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa in Bahrain.

they are small they don’t have the resource to organize something like this themselves. It made me realize how much people want to help and we make it easier for them. People are very positive and enthusiastic towards this project!

originally created in 2008 as part of Responsible Business month, the annual appeal runs between September the 1st and october the 31st. we asked the volunteers from all the hotels “what’s the best experience you’ve had with The Box Appeal?’

Hana Fuchs, Manger of PR & Marketing, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek The buzz it creates among people that we meet on a daily basis who come from all walks of life. over the last two months, whenever I sit down for a meeting or happen to talk with Staff, Guests, Suppliers, owners, Business Partners, Friends, Family, and even with some of the Government officials, we invariably speak about the Box Appeal. The response and interest it generates is extremely high. I was to have an hour and a half meeting with a business partner and at the end, Box Appeal conversation took over half the meeting and he ended up sponsoring 10 boxes and as a result of the positivity of the topic, I got my request approved as well!

Rose Ann Guevarra, Human Resources Coordinator, Radisson Royal Hotel Box Appeal can touch the heart of many people especially those who are in need. Simple things can make a big difference on how they are seeing their life and for them to know that they are not being forgotten by our society. You will have the opportunity to encourage and inspire them. Ariadna Alaniz, Sales Executive, The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa I visited a small office in the Bahrain Financial Harbor and they were so thrilled that they could take part in a charity campaign like the Box Appeal. Because

Middle East Update Q3 - 2012

Zaheen Abbas, Human Resources Manager, Radisson Blu Resort, Sharjah It’s amazing to see how the community’s participation continues to grow each year in Sharjah. As well as the participation from schools, which has been tremendous,

it just goes to prove how involved children are with society and how compassionate they are towards people who don’t have luxuries in life. nader nevine, Director of PR, Radisson Blu Hotel, Cairo Heliopolis The best feeling came from sharing this experience with the Egyptian orphanage Institution children. we loved seeing the joy in their eyes when each one happily received their gift. our hearts were beating in unison when we shared this moment of happiness with them. Providing gifts from the Box Appeal is a wonderful way of assisting the orphanage and I will always do my best now to help them carry on with their work. Charlotte Rossignol, Manager of PR & Marketing, Radisson Blu Hotel & Park Inn by Radisson Abu Dhabi Yas island when we got the opportunity to go the American Community School and see the enthusiasm of everyone: from the Radio presenter, to the photographer, from the school teachers to the children! It was a very nice moment and I am glad our team has been able to see the impact of the campaign.


tHinK planet! Meet lUMi

Think Planet was launched earlier this year, since then Think Planet has been sweeping across the region. The new addition to our team and the face of Think Plant is Lumi, a very cute and energetic firefly. We managed to track Lumi down, despite her busy schedule and asked her all about Think Planet.

FoR THoSE oF US wHo AREn’T QUITE SURE YET CAn YoU EXPLAIn wHAT IS THInK PLAnET? Think Planet! is Rezidor’s new energysaving initiative, designed to help our hotels reduce our energy consumption by 25% over the next five years. As an energetic and pro-active programme, Think Planet! will generate a real focus on saving energy throughout our whole organisation to help us achieve our ambitious target by 2016. wHY HAvE REZIDoR DECIDED To IMPLEMEnT IT? Many of our hotels have already introduced progressive, environmentally friendly measures. Think Planet! will help us spread these great initiatives into all of our hotels and to set priorities for implementing those energy-saving investments that will have the biggest impact. wHAT SoRT oF InnovATIvE EnERGY SAvInG TECHnIQUES ARE YoU THInKInG oF? In operations, Think Planet focuses on


creating smart energy habits: Switching off lights and equipment, turning heating/ cooling to eco-mode. we’re also asking all staff to report energy related issues so preventive maintenance can be carried out. we will also implement low-cost solutions – across the group for example: daylight and motion sensors for lighting. How CAn STAFF GET InvoLvED? There’s lots of ways everyone can get involved. The 2012 Think Planet pack for hotels contains back of house posters, the hotel’s action plan and three Think Planet training video’s for staff. we recently launched the monthly Lumiquiz to all employees. By answering 5 fun questions per month on energy, employees will get to know more how to save energy and can win an iPad. The hotel that saves the most energy over the next 12 months will be given foldable bikes for each member of staff!!! You can also check out the new website

Lumi has been flying around the region to see what hotels across the Middle East are doing for Think Planet, find some of her favourite activities below. Park Inn by Radisson Hotel in Muscat has implemented infrared sensors on all Tv’s in the rooms, so the Tv switches off immediately if there is no movement in the room. Radisson Blu Resort, Sharjah has converted diesel boilers to natural gas resulting in savings of up to AED 3,000,000, equating to a 9% save in energy. Radisson Blu Hotel, jeddah has implemented monthly incentives for the staff alongside holding internal competitions between the departments to see who can save the biggest percentage energy wise. Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City and Radisson Blu Residences, Dubai Marina have both implemented green apartment of the Month Awards for the staff accommodation. The

Middle East Update Q3 - 2012

apartment with the lowest consumption of water and electricity each month wins recognition and prize. Radisson Blu Hotel in Muscat has renamed the staff canteen, after me, Lumi! The café is now officially called Lumi Cafe. And finally, Radisson Blu Resort, El Quseir will make a 4% reduction in energy consumption by using voltage optimisation/ power correction. This will result in 705,000 kwh being saved in the next 5 Years!!!

Stephanie Aboujaude, regional Marketing Manager “I promise to make sure we turn all lights off in the office at night, sometimes we forget! no more.”

It’s not just the hotels who are hard at work saving energy. Lumi paid a visit to the Regional Office and asked the team there to make their personal green pledges.

Stuart Allum, Regional Purchasing Manager “I promise to boil only what I need in the kettle for my cups of tea.”

Mark willis, Area vice President “I promise from now on to unplug all my chargers, electrical equipment when I leave the office at night. no more stand by!”

Klara Zakis, Regional PR Manager “I promise to give up my car for the winter in the months in Dubai and walk to and from work.”

vera Strasser, Support office Coordinator “I promise to use re-use paper for printing and will print on both sides whenever possible.” Marc Descrozaille, Regional Director UAE, Egypt and jordan “I promise to keep the AC in my office at a steady 24 degrees.

Aline Barhouche Regional HR Manager “I promise to organise recycling bins for the office, ensuring our plastics are separated from our paper. By recycling you can save 9% of energy compared to creating something new from scratch.”


Responsible Business Radisson Blu Hotel, Kuwait sponsored an exclusive ‘Ghabka’ meal during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan in conjunction with the Kuwait Medical Rehabilitation Center. The hotel sales and human resources team hosted patients from the Medical Rehabilitation Center. The event was held under the patronage of Sheikha Fariha Al Ahmad Al-Sabah, member of the ruling family in Kuwait.

urgent need for basic medical items at the Sri Lankan government hospital. Back in Abu Dhabi he took it upon himself to gather his colleagues on the island with one aim in mind, going back to the hospital and donating two wheelchairs. Using their own money and time, Sanjeewa and his colleagues managed to collect enough funds to buy two wheelchairs.

Yas I Can! After undergoing surgery himself last year, Sanjeewa Chamil, executive sous-chef the Radisson Blu Hotel and Park Inn by Radisson, Abu Dhabi Yas Island, saw the

Ramadan Iftar for Egyptian Orphanage Radisson Blu Hotel, Cairo Heliopolis invited 30 children from the Egyptian Orphanage Institution to break their fast at the hotel


during the holy month of Ramadan. The event was one part of the hotel’s charity drive for the orphanage the hotel also collects clothes and money to donate. The children really enjoyed the party atmosphere of the iftar, with games, quizzes, presents and movies. The Egyptian Orphanage Institution is a non-profit organization devoted to the care and welfare of boys and girls between the ages of four and 10 years. It provides education, teaches skills and provides shelter in a home environment for underprivileged children who have no parents or who have been abandoned by extended family members.

yes i can! star Crisanta Pagador, Meeting and Events Supervisor Park Inn by Radisson Muscat Crisanta, originally from the Philippines, has been nominated by her colleagues at the Park Inn by Radisson Hotel in Muscat due to the fantastic recommendations and feedback she has received from guests. Here’s an extract from just one of the many positive guest experiences ‘I am just writing to thank you for providing such an excellent venue and although this was our first foray into the Oman market we will now definitely return. Hospitality shown by you and all your staff was second to none.” Favourite part of your job? Meeting people with different cultures and exchanging views and learning from their traditions and customs. If you were GM for today? Being General Manager is a tough job. But if I was given a chance to be a GM for a day, I would give them all a big yearly bonus to encourage them and give them a reward for all the little extras

Middle East Update Q3 - 2012

and contributions they have given to the hotel. I would also implement some new concepts for our roof top bar. Funniest thing that’s happened to you while working? It has to be the astonishment on guest’s faces when they get a tour around the hotel. From the outside it looks juts like a box, you never expect the amazing atrium when you step inside. What does Yes I can! Spirit mean to you? Going that extra mile, not just for guests but for your colleagues too. What’s your dream job? My dream job would to be a private investigator, it’s a challenging role for a woman but there’s a height limit so I would never be able to do it! What do you like to do in your spare time? I love to swim, travel, hang out with my friends and do my own nail art designs.


HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS… This quarter we get the low down on living in Dubai with Pinar Kirlar Kaya, Cluster Marketing and Communications Manager for the Radisson Royal Hotel in Dubai and the Radisson Blu Resort in Fujairah.

“Like all of those who visited Dubai even once, I was impressed from day one with this great city, a couple of years on and I’m still enjoying my time here. Without any doubt, I can definitely call Dubai – a city where modern meets with tradition –it’s this fusion that makes me feel at home and reminds me of Istanbul the city where two continents, Europe and Asia meet! Dubai is a great place for me both personally and professionally. We all work in the hospitality business and there’s no better place to do it then Dubai. The city hosts more than 400 hotels, hotels aren’t just places to stay in Dubai they are the social hub of the city. The world’s most famous hotels are here, alongside business, resort and budget hotels, everyday there’s something new to learn, try, see and experience… What I really like about Dubai is the year round warm climate, the sun means I can wear a floral dress to work with heels


and then after work slip on my flip-flops which automatically gives you that relaxed holiday feel, even after a busy stressful day in the office. Life in Dubai is relatively hassle free, compared to Istanbul even the traffic isn’t that bad! With all my friends and family who visit me here, I know that both living and being a tourist in Dubai is a great experience. Every day can feel like a mini holiday here, I still enjoy visiting the Downtown area where I can shop in The Dubai Mall, watch the Dubai Fountains, see the city lights from the bar on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa – highest tower in the world. I also love to hang out in the Marina area, I pass by the Yacht Club for a drink. I also like to eat in Icho the trendy Japanese restaurant on the the 49th floor of the Radisson Royal, the restaurant has an amazing view of Dubai’s skyline. I also recommend the old part of Dubai, the creek side is beautiful and you can enjoy the traditional souks.

janet jaohall

Erhard Dawson

name: Erhard dawson occupation: Housekeeping Manager nationality: Sri Lankan Languages currently spoken: English, Tamil, Singhalese, a bit of German Favourite Arabic phrase: Tasaarrafnan what it means in English: nice to meet you

Rochie Masaki

Rob Collier

Benji Catu

name: Janet Jaohali occupation: Finance Assistant nationality: Filipino Languages currently spoken: English, Tagalog Favourite Arabic phrase: Shu Ismak what it means in English: what is your name?

name: rochie Masaki occupation: Telephone operator nationality: Filipino Languages currently spoken: English, Tagalog,japanese Favourite Arabic phrase: Kayfalak, taman al hamdu l-laah what it means in English: How are you? I’m fine in God’s goodness name: rob Collier occupation: General Manager nationality: British Languages currently spoken: English Favourite Arabic phrase: Maafii Faluus what it means in English: There is no money! name: benji Catu occupation: Reservation supervisor nationality: Filipino Languages currently spoken: English, Tagalog Favourite Arabic phrase: Shukran what it means in English: Thank you

Middle East Update Q3 - 2012

leaRn aRabic WitH tHe Radisson blU Residence, dUbai MaRina

Working in the hospitality industry it’s more than common to come across colleagues who can speak a variety of languages. Always looking to improve their skills even further the team at Radisson Blu Residence, Dubai Marina spent the long hot summer learning Arabic. Here we ask the team to give us a beginners guide to Arabic, useful phrases that you can use in everyday life in and out of the hotel.


aWaRds and acHieveMents It’s not just at the Olympics that you find champions this summer. Our colleagues were winning awards and medals left, right and centre. Putting us top of the medal chart!

EnVironMEnTal CElEbraTions Radisson Blu Hotel, Cairo Heliopolis has recently been named ‘Egypt’s Best Hotel for Supporting the Environment’ by the Minister for Tourism. The coveted Certificate of Excellence was awarded to the Radisson Blu Hotel, Cairo Heliopolis during world Tourism Day which took place on September the 27th. The hotel was recognised for the role it plays in supporting Egyptian tourism but also for showing total commitment to protecting the environment and utilizing sustainable resources in all its activities. dEira CrEEK Wins aT ThE dUbai bUrJUMan World Food FEsT 2012! Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek won 15 gold medals, 7 silver medals, 5 bronze and 4 Diplomas at the renowned Burjuman world Food Festival. on top of those amazing achievements the Chef’s also competed in three different categories to claim the top accolade of Burjuman Young Chef 2012. The hotel’s Chef’s won first, second, third and fifth place amongst


strong competition from other hotels. And last but not least, the hotel was also given special recognition from the Emirates Culinary Guild with a certificate of Appreciation for the Best Effort by an Individual Establishment. radisson blU rEsorT, FUJairah, Wins Gold aT EasT CoasT CUlinary CoMPETiTion The Radisson Blu Resort, Fujairah, won a slew of medals at the recent East Coast Culinary Competition. Chef Pankaj, won gold in the pastry showpiece category, Chef Cherry Ann won silver in the Individual Meat/Lamb Static and 2 bronze medals were won by Chef Gayan and Chef wajid. The hotel also scooped an array of merits resulting in 7 awards in total. Radisson Blu Al Mahary Hotel, Tripoli recently celebrated two team members receiving diamond Yes I Can! pins. Credit Manager Ezhu Gafoor celebrated an incredible 20 years and Rohit Karunakaran, Director of F&B marked five years with the company.


Denis Dernault

Mohamed Abdo

vera Strasser

Ajay Dhoundiyal

appointMents Please welcome the following people to the Carlson Rezidor team or congratulate those colleagues who have been promoted. Radisson Royal Hotel, Dubai has welcomed a new General Manager, Cornelia Erhardt formerly at Radisson Blu Resort, Fujairah. Her replacement at the resort is Kosta Kourotsidis. In Sharm el Sheikh, Denis Dernault has been appointed as General Manger for both the Radisson Blu Resort and Park Inn by Radisson. Hakan Alakus has been appointed as the first Director of Sales-Turkey, for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and Mohamed Abdo has been appointed as Director of Sales

Middle East Update Q3 - 2012

in the Dubai regional office. Hazem Aouad has taken up Mohamed’s previous role as Cluster Director of Sales at the Radisson Royal Hotel and Radisson Blu Resort, Fujairah. Kristian Cox has joined the Dubai regional office as Regional Director of Engineering & Design and vera Strasser is the new regional office coordinator. There’s been a lot of changes at Radisson Blu Hotel in Kuwait, Mirza Mohammed Kaiser Baig has been appointed as Laundry Manager, wassim Mahdi is the new Director of Sales and Marketing, Rajan George has been promoted to position of Executive Assistant Manager including Finance and Administration, odile De Groot, has been promoted to position of Director of F&B Services and Events Catering and finally jose joseph has been promoted to position of F&B Manager. And finally, at the Park Inn by Radisson in Muscat, Chef Ajay Dhoundiyal has been appointed as the hotel’s new Executive Chef.


Events World Tourism Day Hotels across the world took part in World Tourism day that happens annually on September the 27th. In Sharjah, the Radisson Blu Resort hosted over 70 delegates who came to listen to speakers across the industry on the subject of sustainable energy. General Manager, Talal Basel and Regional Senior Director, Technical Development, Ivo Ulman presented Think Planet to our industry peers. In Egypt the Ministry of Tourism promoted the event on the theme of ‘Tourism and sustainable energy’’ with an event at our Radisson Blu Hotel in Cairo, Heliopolis with over 80 delegates attending from all over the world.


The Radisson Royal Climb- Indoor Summit 2012 In July over 60 staff participated in the Radisson Royal Hotel’s indoor summit which involved people climbing 51 floors to see who could reach the top the fastest. The event started at 7am with some light stretching and exercises. The race then started, the health club team were on hand throughout to make sure runners were safe whilst handing out energy drinks and water. The award ceremony took place at the ICHO Restaurant, with healthy refreshments and snacks served. The deserving champions and runners-up got a trophy, medal, and a dinner voucher for two.

In the next Middle East Update we will be celebrating all of our successes throughout 2012. We’ll also have a round-up of the annual GM’s conference, a behind the scenes look at the IstanBlu Radio 2 trip plus a ‘best of’ 2012 gallery. As always we’re looking for stories on awards and achievements, responsible business, events and appointments. If you would like to nominate someone for the Home is Where The Heart Is or the Yes I Can Star! page, or if you have any great, interesting or fun ideas for stories please get in touch with klara.

Middle East Update Q3 - 2012

Middle East Update Q3 - 2012  

The third instalment of the Middle East Update, Q3 with various initiatives and programmes launched.

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