BEA 2019
Business Excellence Awards 2019 was organised earlier this month Image Credit: Supplied

Along with honouring the winners of the 2018 cycle of Business Excellence Awards, the 25th edition was also a moment to look back at past milestones, gather inspiration from them and firmly resolve to move forward in the continued pursuit of excellence.

Instituted by Dubai Economy, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to consolidate the concepts of quality and excellence among businesses, the awards attracted 2,005 applications in the 2018 cycle. A 10 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of applicants showcased Dubai Economy’s success in promoting quality and excellence as drivers of sustainable economic growth.

Earlier this month, His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum honoured the winners of the awards, which include Dubai Quality Award (DQA), Dubai Human Development Award (DHDA) and Dubai Service Excellence Scheme (DSES). The 25th edition also brought on board the Emirates Business Rating Scheme (EBRS) for classification of services provided within commercial establishments, as well as the Dubai Quality Global Award (DQGA).

Unilever Gulf, Hewlett Packard Enterprises and VFS GCC were the first-, second- and third-placed winners respectively of DQGA.

Commitment to quality

VFS Global not only won DQGA but also achieved 5-star rating in EBRS. It is the first and only multinational company to achieve EBRS rating in the service sector in the UAE. “I am deeply humbled and honoured to receive these two prestigious awards on behalf of VFS Global from His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Her Excellency Ohood Bint Khalfan Al Roumi,” says Zubin Karkaria, CEO of VFS Global Group. “At VFS Global, we are focused on continually raising the bar on customer experience and business excellence. This dual recognition is a testament to our commitment to deliver seamless, secure and innovative customer-centric services, and to our general commitment to business excellence."

His Highness also honoured Transguard Group (services), Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (free zone), Dubai Financial Market (finance), Global Village – Dubai (leisure & entertainment), and Medcare Hospital (healthcare) for winning DQA.

Dubai Financial Market’s DQA in its first attempt follows a five-star Recognized for Excellence Award earlier this year from the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM).

“We are truly proud to receive this prestigious recognition during our first try, which clearly indicates that business excellence and quality are a deeply rooted culture within our market,” says Essa Kazim, Chairman of Dubai Financial Market (DFM). “Since its inception in 2000, DFM has been embracing excellence practices in line with Dubai’s status as a centre of excellence in the region and beyond. Bagging the DQA a few months after winning the EFQM award underlines DFM’s ability to build its corporate culture in line with market participants’ requirements, strategic objectives of Dubai and the UAE. Our business excellence culture is also in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, on quality of services.”

The Arab Bank for Investment and Foreign Trade, Medcare Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital and Aster Clinics from Aster DM Healthcare, India Palace Restaurant, Dubai Driving Centre and SKM Air Conditioning were announced winners of Dubai Quality Appreciation Awards (DQAA). The Emirates Green Building Council, Swiss Business Council Dubai & Northern Emirates, Emirates International Group, SmartLife, Food & Beverage Manufacturing Business Group were winners in the Representative Entities category of DQAA.

Improving potential

SmartLife is a NGO, licensed by the Community Development Authority (CDA), Dubai, which works closely with blue-collar workers to help them improve their potential and the quality of lives through its diverse projects. “Even as we embarked on this exercise, our objective was very clear. Winning was to be treated as a bonus, cherry atop the proverbial pie,” says Manjula Ramakrishnan, President of SmartLife. “Preparing for our submission helped us introspect and look at our work critically. We were convinced our final take home would be the report that our assessors would submit, to tell us what was good about our NGO, where we needed to adopt a corrective course.”

Dubai Municipality and Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority were honoured for winning DHDA.

“In line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to enhance Dubai’s profile as a global leader in business and commerce through boosting ease of doing business, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority works diligently to achieve performance excellence across all departments,” says Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA). “In addition to providing competitive business solutions and free zone benefits, our work in this area focuses on our number one asset — our people.

“In 2016, DSOA was the first government entity to implement a happiness ecosystem, which aims to create an enabling environment for innovation and empower our employees to realise their full potential. Today, we are proud to receive DHDA from the Department of Economic Development in Dubai in recognition of our long-term commitment to developing our human capital. This award is a testament to our successful initiatives, which we are determined to continue and expand on.”

Municipality & Town Planning Department — Ajman, RAK Properties, Amity University Dubai, and British Orchard Nursery’s Al Quoz DEWA and DWC branches bagged the Dubai Human Development Appreciation Award (DHDAA).

It was a fruitful year for British Orchard Nursery (BON). While two of its branches won DHDAA, its JBR branch bagged the Dubai Quality Appreciation Award. “We are elated to be part of this special 25th year of the awards and to have won three awards is truly a proud moment for our team,” says Dr Vandana Gandhi, Founder and CEO of British Orchard Nursery. “The all women’s team at BON has emerged winner once again. As an educational institute we have been at the helm of providing quality education, teacher training and inclusion of special children as per the UAE 2020 framework. Awards such as these are constantly helping UAE organisations raise the bar of performance and encourage companies to consistently upgrade their skills. The rigorous evaluation process itself creates benchmarks for success while raising awareness on the concepts of employee engagement, quality standards and performance.”

Excellent service

From more than 2,000 members in DSES, 11 outlets were chosen as the Best Service Performance Brands for their outstanding efforts and quality of services offered to customers during 2018. They include the Dubai Mall (shopping centres), Al Futtaim Jewellery (fashion retail), Skechers (fashion retail), Sharjah Islamic Bank (services), Al Jaber Optical (health & wellness), Aster Pharmacy Group (health & wellness), Global Village (hospitality & entertainment), The Bagel Bar Coffee House (hospitality & entertainment), aswaaq (hypermarkets), Samsonite (general retail), and Arabian Automobiles — Infiniti (Specialised retail).

Suha Abu Issa, Retail Director of Grand Stores, expressed her pride and pleasure in receiving the award. “We are honoured and humbled to have won the Best Performance Brand Award in recognition of the outstanding customer service standards at our Samsonite showrooms across the UAE. Driven by a customer-centric strategy and innovative culture, Grand Stores has always strived to offer the best quality products and most reliable service to meet the evolving requirements of today’s shoppers. This award is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our team, motivating us to benchmark and aspire for even greater heights of excellence in future.”

Grand Stores was also honoured with the Best Service Performance Outlet for the Grand Home showroom at Mall of the Emirates in Dubai under DSES for the 2018 cycle. “Being recognised twice for our service standards within the 2018 cycle is a testament to Grand Stores’ unwavering commitment to relentlessly raise the standards of customer experience through optimal business excellence practices.”

The top scorers in EBRS were also honoured by their excellencies Ohood Al Roumi, UAE Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing, and Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of Dubai Economy. The winners were the Dubai Mall (shopping centres), Dubai Opera, Ski Dubai, Dnata Travel, (all three from the hospitality and entertainment sector), VFS GCC and Valtrans (services).

During the event Al Qamzi reaffirmed Dubai Economy’s commitment to further expand the Business Excellence Awards in line with the vision and goals of Dubai and the UAE, including the Eight Principles unveiled by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the UAE Centennial Plan, to enhance productivity, happiness and prosperity for all citizens, residents and visitors alike.