The Hotelier Middle East award for Housekeeper of the Year went to Nithya Mehrotra from Rose Rayhaan by Rotana, Dubai.

"I have been working in housekeeping for 18 years, and having started my career in India I quickly learned that there was a vast difference between the sector in the two countries. I started my career with Kempinski and moved to Rotana 12 years ago, which has been a great platform for me," she said at the 14th annual Hotelier Middle East awards held at Le Meridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre.

The judges felt that even with limited manpower, Mehrotra was able to overcome all difficulties and maintained a very high cleaning standard & colleague engagement. She set high standards and has made a measurable impact on the sustainability measures taken in the hotel. With proper control, she was able to help the hotel divert 95 tons of waste from going into landfills. She has also taken personal interest in coaching and mentoring and has helped nine of her colleagues to move up the rung to various positions.

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"I worked in a tower hotel (third tallest in the world) which are always challeneging, and this one in particular had 462 rooms which is a very busy property as well and housekeeping played an important role in that hotel but I have a great team which helped us achieve that," she added. 

Highly commended in this category was Lea Ruhimbaccus from Fairmont Dubai whom judges felt has done a lot to create a highly motivated and empowered work atmosphere and positively impact the housekeeping operations.

The other nominees in the category were: 

  • Anil Kumar Katru, Director of Housekeeping, Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai
  • Christopher Delas Eras Padua, Assistant Housekeeper, InterContinental Hotel Jeddah
  • Harsh Gaur, Executive Housekeeper, Taj Dubai
  • Mounia Dine, Housekeeping Manager, Jumeirah Mina A'Salam
  • Mohamed Hassan, Executive Housekeeper, TRYP by Wyndham
  • Tahera Sultana, Executive Housekeeper, Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Bur Dubai

The award was presented by Sherif Fahmy, country director, Diversey.