Abdul Rahim and Jitendra Kumar receiving their award. Abdul Rahim and Jitendra Kumar receiving their award.

Abdul Rahim and Jitendra Kumar took home the Unsung Hero of the Year honours at the annual Hotelier Express Awards held at the Grosvenor House on February 22, 2017.

“We are responsible for the cleanliness and upkeep of the heritage property and is over a century old,” the duo voiced after winning the award.

They said it’s a challenging task to maintain the property from maintaining the “natural Jordanian stone floors to the natural limestone walls”. They are also responsible for the rooms, public area, in-house laundry and the horticulture.

“We love our jobs and like the hospitality field, we like to do our work with zeal and passion. The management encourages us a lot and it’s not like other places. Our general manager as well is always pushing us forward,” said Kumar.

Rahim and Jitendra are termed the ‘two-man army’ by their colleagues at the property. “We plan our work efficiently and make sure all task has been completed. We take ownership of our tasks and don’t rely too much on supervision, doing things to the best of our abilities.”

Going beyond their call of duty, the duo were heavily involved in duties beyond their remit when the hotel hosted a wedding in 2016. All the rooms were occupied and the café was busy with the wedding preparation.

They started early in the morning, completed the public area including the terrace. They then started servicing the rooms and helping guest with their luggage during check in and check out. By 4pm they started helping the café team with the setup, making fresh juices for the events and making sure the pantry was ready for service.

They then changed uniform and joined the service team from 6pm to 11pm. Once the dinner was completed they started helping with the clearance and set up for breakfast. They were scheduled to work until 7pm. But instead of going home, they chose to help their colleagues.

Rahim said: “We are happy to move up the ladder because we can learn something new as well, and that is all down to our management and their efforts.”

Kumar has also learned to operate HK functions on the PMS. He is now posting mini-bar charges and manages inventory accordingly.

Kumar has completed his training in the pantry and can pass as a good as any server while Rahim is completed his breakfast cook training and can relive the breakfast cook if required.

Sial Middle East group marketing manager Rizwan Mustafa presented the award to Kumar and Rahim on the evening.

Gloria Hotels & Resorts Pathum Kanishka Karunarathna was adjudged highly commended on the evening.

The other nominees in the category were Ali Ahmed, front office manager, Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport and Muhammad Yasir Rafique, front office manager, Holiday Inn Express Dubai Safa Park.

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The inaugural Hotelier Express Awards was held at Grosvenor House Dubai on February 22, 2017, and was supported by: Platinum Sponsor, Caffe di artisan; Gold Sponsor, Oldenburger; Silver Sponsor, A. Ronai; Category Sponsors, SIAL Middle East, Sealed Air Diversey Care, Aramtec, Viking Gulf, Prologic, Dallmayr, Hoist Group; and Beverage Sponsor MMI.

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