TCL general manager, GCC, Asia & Russia Galal Ghaly presented the award to Farag. TCL general manager, GCC, Asia & Russia Galal Ghaly presented the award to Farag.

Crowne Plaza Doha – The Business Park director of finance and business support Mohammed Farag won the highly contested Finance Person of the Year Award.

Farag’s crowning glory was his success in shifting the hotel building registration, which resulted in savings of millions in utility bills.

“Last year, the authorities had decided to increase the tariffs for electricity and water. The announcement came after we submitted our budgets and the impact was about 7% (increase on our budgets). Then I decided to dig deep into the matter, and realised that our hotel building was registered as office spaces, for which the tariffs are a lot higher,” Farag said explaining how he was then asked to prove by the authorities that the building was indeed a hotel with large-scale operations.

“It was not clear in the registration where we could catch it, and I worked for about five months, going back and forth to the authorities,” an elated Farag told Hotelier Middle East. “Finally, we got the re-registration done with assistance from the QTA and the authorities in January 2016.”

A sound succession planning strategy has been high on Farag’s agenda as he has worked on developing his associates below him as well.

RELATED: See who else was nomiated for the award.

Farag also managed to set all the strategies and expense management action plans that supported the hotel management to achieve a positive GOP of 9% and Target GOP (the efficiency of managing the expenses according to the revenue) by 2% in 2015.

“We have implemented an initiative called 'Buy Better'. Under this, we look at how we can buy things smarter, with better contracts, prices etc. We are always on the lookout for better deals. Just because a contract is signed, it does not mean it is the end of the world. We can always terminate them, if the service is not up to the mark,” he divulged.

On the debate of price versus quality, Farag opined: “The quality is the sole responsibility of the department heads and in charges; we never compromise on that. We choose products based on quality, there is no doubt about that. But, we look for room to improvise.”

Michael Tietz from Jumeirah Zabeel Saray was high commended by the judges for this category.

TCL general manager, GCC, Asia & Russia Galal Ghaly presented the award to Farag.

The 2016 Hotelier Awards took place last night (October 26) at the Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre with an old Hollywood glamour theme and recognised the industry's finest professionals.

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