The best players in the hospitality industry in the Middle East and Africa were honored at the Future Hospitality Summit Awards today in the presence of the Founding Chairman of the Arabian Hospitality Investment Conference (AHIC), His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Airline & Group.
The FHS Leadership Award, Lifetime Awards for Services to Industry and the Be the price of change the winners have been named Amit Nayak, Ranjan Nadarajah and Assia Riccio respectively, following nominations and selections by the FHS Advisory Board and key industry peers for their outstanding contributions and leadership.
Amit Nayak, Vice President of the Hospitality Asset Managers Association (HAMA) Middle East and Africa, received the Leadership Award in recognition of his career spanning over 20 years in asset management, private equity and operations in the region. Amit is a mentor at Intelak Dubai, sits on the board of the Cornell University Alumni Association for GCC and is a board member of the UAE Restaurants Group.
The Lifetime Awards for Services to Industry went to the end Ranjan Nadarajah in honor of his outstanding leadership and unparalleled service to the industry. The legendary Dubai hotelier, who sadly passed away in March this year after a decades-long career, was known as a “serious man, loved and respected by his peers, fellow hoteliers, industry leaders and associates “. Nadarajah was Senior Advisor to Wasl Hospitality and General Manager of Dubai International Hotel at Dubai International Airport. He was also the long-serving General Manager of Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, where he worked for over 35 years. The award was proudly accepted by his family.
Assia Riccio, Founder and CEO, Evolvin’ Women, won the Be the price of change in recognition of her work as a champion of change for the hospitality industry. A pioneer in supporting the development of unemployed women from disadvantaged backgrounds and farmers in developing countries, Assia is the former Head of Learning and Development at Jumeirah Restaurants Group, where she developed strategies for more of 1,000 employees in a portfolio of 42 restaurants. .
Commenting on receiving the award on stage today, Assia said: “Being recognized by the Future of Hospitality Summit, for the ‘Be The Change’ award is an incredibly significant milestone for us at Evolvin’ Women. Our strategic hospitality partners have been intrinsic to our success and the success of the incredible women who have come through our program and thrived.
We’re on a mission to empower more women and promote gender equality in our society, but we can’t do it alone, so we’re asking the hospitality industry to join us – because when we all come together, there is enormous potential to bring about more meaningful change and pave the way for an equitable, resilient and sustainable future.
Jonathan Worsley, President of The Bench, organizer of FHS, said, “We are honored and proud to celebrate our FHS award winners, whose outstanding contributions, achievements and leadership are essential to the region’s past, present and future hospitality industry. Our three winners are exemplary in their work, role models for rising stars in the industry and a shining example of leading the way to improve the region’s world-class and ever-growing hospitality industry.
FHS brought together nearly 1,000 delegates and featured 185 high-level speakers, with three days of high-level discussions, networking and events, all centered around the theme of Lead the Change.