The first Hotelier Middle East Awards of the night was Fitness/Spa Person of the Year, and was awarded to Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates spa & recreation manager Danielle Hammond.

Hammond was recognised by the judges for turning a new product around in a short period of time, while not only investing in her team but also working towards the betterment of the spa & recreation industry – something which the judges appreciated.

She joined the team at Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates Hotel in 2016, and increased spa and fitness revenues, exceeding all targets by mid-year, and launched a spa recognition programme in Dubai with 16 participating spas to provide incentives to staff members and conduct treatment audits.

Unfortunately, Hammond was unavailable on the night, and her award was collected by Hospitality group sales director Stephen Price, and presented by Pulsar Foodstuff general manager Stephen Bennett and brand manager Ross Hassard.

After a long debate during the judging meeting, the highly commended nominee was named: Maher Al Riyami, the mountain guru from the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort. 

The winner and highly commended had to fight off tough competition from the other shortlisted nominees: Eden II Coliflores Arceo, gym instructor, Crowne Plaza Jeddah; Hazel Rynjah, spa therapist, The Oberoi Dubai; Nadia Bartolomeo, director of spa, Palazzo Versace Dubai; and Rovino Miranda, fitness trainer, JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai.

The Hotelier Middle East Awards 2017 took place at The Ritz-Carlton Dubai, and supported by a range of industry partners including: 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.

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