Shaikha Ahmad Abdulrahman Al Bishri, Director of Business Excellence Department, Dubai Economy Image Credit: Supplied

In any journey it is essential to reflect as we move forward. As we mark 25 years of excellence we brim with a sense of joy and achievement. We also value the responsibility of always going a level up with our vision of achieving sustainable progress through competitiveness.

As much as we are proud of this milestone, we are also thankful to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for inspiring us to remain committed to our mission. We are honoured that Sheikh Mohammed considers the Business Excellence Awards as the first-generation awards. Under his patronage we have had 25 consistent years of performance and we want to go another 25 years and beyond to mark the golden jubilee. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our stakeholders for their trust and support. It is onwards and forward from here as we target global frontiers.

Looking back one of the main challenges we faced at the onset of the awards in 1994 was to make people understand the concept of quality. Being the first of its kind in the region we pushed through difficult questions to stand true to our drive for excellence. Backed by the vision and support of His Highness, the awards has made valuable contributions towards making Dubai a model of economic success locally, regionally and now internationally. Along with getting the right people on the team and building with those who fully understood the purpose of the awards, our intention and ever-growing goal were what led us to find our ground and build the foundation there on.

Today Dubai has completely changed; the skyline is different and so is the thought process. We are now quality-driven; we are service excellence-driven — the way we talk has changed completely owing to all the awards in the region, not just ours. We were the stepping stone and foundation to many other regional awards. From people not understanding quality at all, most of the organisations have transformed with the intent of maintaining international standards of service delivery and quality. Everyone within the ecosystem is driven to consistently aim higher with the awards through their structure and delivery internally and with respective stakeholders.

Over the years we have moved across specific sectors such as quality, human resources and service excellence to cater to a larger section of companies that wanted to apply in those sectors. This has led to growth within different ecosystems, benchmarking progress and sharing of best practices.

The journey for us and the winners does not end with the award and its glory. This is actually the first step of the next level. Emphasis is laid on feedback and implementation of action points within the report. Together we close the loop, learn and grow.

Moving forward we are looking to go global. There are plans to expand into the GCC region with Dubai Quality Award — Global and the government space with Dubai Service Excellence Scheme. We are seeking to go online with the three awards. We are also working towards getting into the SME space, encouraging them to apply under the Dubai Quality Appreciation Award.

We look forward to more organisations participating in the awards. Dubai’s journey to maintain quality and achieve excellence in the field of business can only be fruitful with the contribution of all sector organisations and their cadres. Once again I would like to thank the award assessors and members of the jury for their valuable effort and time to review and evaluate applications with full transparency and professionalism.