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Safe to say, Mahdi Juma Alwail Alsuwaidi wins at Hotelier Awards 2017

Devina Divecha, October 26th, 2017

Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates Dubai director of security Mahdi Juma Alwail Alsuwaidi has nabbed the crown of Safety & Security Person of the Year at the 2017 edition of the Hotelier Middle East Awards.

Alsuwaidi fought off tough competition; the shortlisted finalists included: AbdelazizLbouir from Fairmont Ajman; Adnan Abu Kaff from InterContinental Jordan; Jack Weideman from Sofitel The Palm, Dubai; Mohamed Ali from Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana; and Sinam Hijazeen from InterContinental Aqaba Resort.

Highly Commended by the judges was InterContinental Jordan’s Abu Kaff.

The judges felt Alsuwaidi had gone over and beyond the job description and contributed towards the hotel’s revenue and cost savings while still doing his job. His great relationship with local authorities was noted, and Alsuwaidi told Hotelier right after winning the award: "As a security director, you need to have a good relation with Dubai Police. To secure your hotel, it’s important to know them, and to have guide you and warn you [when necessary]."

A retired Colonel, Alsuwaidi served in the UAE Military for 23 years before embarking on a new career in the hotel industry, and has been working at Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates for 12 years. Alsuwaidi added that he is "very happy" having worked with the hotel for more than a decade.

Recently, he achieved his Master’s in Military Science from the University of King Abdulaziz in Riyadh. People investment is important to him: over the past 18 months seven colleagues have been promoted into managerial roles within the security team, either at Kempinski Mall of the Emirates or in sister hotels. Alsuwaidi commented: "Education is very important. With the new security systems, every year there is more training and technology [to learn]."

The award was presented to Alsuwaidi by Joanne Cook, the managing director of SIAL Middle East.

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.