Ras Al-Khaimah to host Mideast’s first ‘business Oscars’

The Stevie Awards has reached an agreement for a strategic partnership with Ras Al-Khaimah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RAK Chamber) for the first annual Middle East Stevie Awards to be held in Ras Al-Khaimah in February 2020.
Updated 16 September 2019

Ras Al-Khaimah to host Mideast’s first ‘business Oscars’

The Stevie Awards, known widely as the “business Oscars,” has reached an agreement for a strategic partnership with Ras Al-Khaimah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RAK Chamber) for the first annual Middle East Stevie Awards to be held in Ras Al-Khaimah in February 2020.
The Middle East Stevie Awards will recognize innovation in the workplace from across 17 MENA countries and the awards program and gala prize-giving ceremony will be held in Ras Al-Khaimah for the first three years and at least every other year thereafter. The announcement was accompanied by a call from Stevie Awards for entries for the inaugural edition.
“Hosting the inaugural edition of the Middle East Stevie Awards here in Ras Al-Khaimah is a significant accomplishment, and another noteworthy milestone to add to the emirate’s successful track record, continuing on the same path of progress that has been taking place across all sectors, in line with the directives of our wise leadership,” said Mohamed Ali Al-Nuaimi, chairman of RAK Chamber.
“I was extremely gratified when the RAK Chamber approached us about partnering with them on a new Stevie Awards program for the Middle East and North Africa,” said Michael Gallagher, founder and executive chairman of the Stevie Awards. “We have recognized the achievements of executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations across the region for many years in our other programs. The time is right for the region to have its own Stevie’s program. We are excited to launch the Middle East Stevie Awards, and look forward to the first gathering of Stevie Award winners in the program in Ras Al-Khaimah in February.”


New IHG office, leadership to drive growth in Saudi Arabia

Updated 26 January 2020

New IHG office, leadership to drive growth in Saudi Arabia

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), a global hotel company, has announced plans to open an office in Riyadh in March. The news comes as IHG continues to expand its portfolio in the Kingdom in response to Vision 2030 and the opportunities it presents to the tourism and hospitality sector. The new office will also drive the performance of IHG’s existing estate further in the country and simultaneously support the expanding portfolio, as well as the company’s ambition toward leading Saudization efforts in the industry, a statement said. 

To lead IHG’s business in Saudi Arabia, Bastien Blanc has been appointed as managing director, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, effective March 1. In his current role with IHG, Blanc is responsible for leading the operations across IHG’s portfolio of hotels in the Middle East and Africa, including Saudi Arabia. He will also be responsible for driving both growth and performance for IHG in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. With extensive experience of working in the Kingdom, Blanc has been deeply ingrained into the market. He has also been leading IHG’s Saudization efforts, which he will continue to drive further in his new role. Blanc will continue to report to Pascal Gauvin, managing director, IMEA, IHG. 

IHG has also appointed Saad Al-Ahmari as director of HR and government affairs, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Al-Ahmari joins IHG from Boeing, Saudi Arabia where he served as the head of human resources. As a senior HR practitioner and Saudi national, he is well versed with the transformation taking place in the Kingdom and has expertise in HR strategy, Saudization, change management, employee engagement, government relations, employment law, and talent management. 

HIGHLIGHT

The Riyadh office will be further supported by new roles, across functions including commercial, financial and procurement, learning and development and IT. 

Managing director Gauvin said: “Saudi Arabia is a key market for IHG in the Middle East. With Saudi Vision 2030 and the rapid socioeconomic transformation in the country, we believe the tourism and hospitality industry will continue to be presented with unparalleled opportunities. We are therefore, pleased to solidify our presence in the country with the opening of a new office in the capital city, and appoint a talented team led by Bastien, to drive our growth and performance in the market. We also have strong commitment and an ambition toward leading Saudization in the industry and the new structure will help us engage with and facilitate the development of Saudi talent.”

He added: “This is an important next step in our growth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is a truly significant move to solidify IHG’s position as one of the leading hospitality companies in the country.”