‘Moments’ photo contest announces shortlist

A shortlisted entry for the ‘Moments’ photo contest. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 30 October 2018
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‘Moments’ photo contest announces shortlist

National Geographic Abu Dhabi, in partnership with Abu Dhabi Media and Almarai, has announced the short-listed photographs for the 8th edition of its “Moments” photography competition. It is one of the largest photography contests in the region, established to nurture the talent of aspiring photographers from around the Arab world. 

“Moments” is held in partnership with Almarai, which has been a strategic supporter of this platform for the last five years as part of its CSR program and shared vision of nurturing young talent from the Middle East. 

Sixty-four photographs have been shortlisted for this year’s edition by the judging panel comprising Tasneem Sultan, a Saudi award-winning National Geographic photographer, and Hussam R. Abdulqader, chief marketing officer of Almarai.

The 2018 competition received a record 40,000 entries from Algeria all the way to Saudi Arabia. There was a marked increase of entries from the GCC this year, with several short-listed photographs from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman. The competition’s final winner will be announced next month at an event in Dubai. 

Abdulrahman Awadh Al-Harthi, acting executive director of television and executive director of Abu Dhabi Radio Network at Abu Dhabi Media, said: “The ‘Moments’ photography competition has become a unique platform for young artists to express their talent. The success of the competition is evident in the growing number of entries and quality of images. 

“At Abu Dhabi Media, we are committed and proud to support this competition, reflecting our support for all segments of society, especially youth, offering them platforms such as this one to express their creativity and ideas.” 

Abdulqader of Almarai said: “Year on year, we are seeing photographs with increasingly powerful storytelling. Many of this year’s photographs are living portraits of the stories of the region, historical, cultural and social stories, but above all human stories. Making a decision on the winning photograph will be very difficult, as there is a lot of talent that deserves to win.”

Sanjay Raina, general manager and senior vice president of Fox Networks Groups (FNG), said: “At National Geographic Abu Dhabi, our mission is not only to share across our platforms stories of exploration, adventure, travel and life through the lens of our photographers and cinematographers, but we want to encourage everyone to go out and be the explorers, the adventurers and the travelers who uncover these moments and bring their stories to the region and to the world.”

The grand prize winner will receive a 10-day all-expenses-paid National Geographic photography expedition trip to Italy, courtesy of Almarai, photography equipment and complimentary travel to the Moments Awards Ceremony in Dubai. 


Ascott spearheads Saudi recruitment drive

Updated 18 June 2019
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Ascott spearheads Saudi recruitment drive

The Ascott Limited is developing its training program across the group’s properties in Jeddah, whereby high-achieving Saudi nationals are trained in the array of skills needed to succeed in top managerial positions within the Kingdom’s burgeoning hospitality sector. 

To be eligible to join Ascott’s Saudi Graduate Program, Saudi graduates must have at least a bachelor’s degree with honors and be willing to learn and develop their career within an international group. The program comprises theory and practical training across all departments and is followed by overseas training in one of Ascott’s properties.

“We’re in the midst of an exciting period of growth in Saudi Arabia,” said Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s regional GM for the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India. “The Kingdom’s tourism industry is growing at an exponential rate and is creating many new jobs within the hospitality sector. We launched Ascott’s Saudi Graduate Program in line with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage to promote, nurture and develop this valuable homegrown pool of young talent and offer successful individuals a dynamic career path within the Ascott group.

“In just a short amount of time the program has made a significant impact. Our turnover ratio of Saudi colleagues has fallen from 58 percent in 2016 to less than 15 percent to date in 2019; staff loyalty has been positively affected and guest satisfaction levels have increased. What’s more, Ascott Sari Jeddah was recently named as Saudi Arabia’s Leading Serviced Apartments 2019 for the second consecutive year in the annual World Travel Awards.

“We are also proud to announce that one of our current trainees who will shortly take on the running of a property, is female. A key element of Saudi Vision 2030 is job diversification and women’s access to the employment market, and at Ascott we are committed to playing an active role in making this a reality,” added Miccolis.

From on-the-job training in housekeeping, handling reservations, checking-in and checking-out procedures and managing VIP guests, Ascott’s graduates must master the day-to-day facets of how to run an international-standard serviced residence, in addition to behind-the-scenes essentials such as HR, sales and marketing, finance and procurement. 

While the Saudi Graduate Program is currently available only within Ascott’s Jeddah cluster of properties, plans are in the pipeline to roll out the scheme to all of the group’s residences in the Kingdom, including Riyadh, Alkhobar and Abha.

Ascott’s Jeddah properties include Ascott Tahlia Jeddah, Ascott Sari Jeddah, Citadines Al-Salamah Jeddah and Spectrums Residence Jeddah.

The Ascott Limited is a Singapore company that has grown to be one of the leading international lodging owner-operators. It has more than 58,000 operating units in key cities of the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as over 42,000 units, which are under development, making a total of more than 100,000 units in over 660 properties.