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Middlesex Dubai’s Quality Manager received recognition for contribution to the 2013 Dubai Human Development Award


Business Excellence Department at the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) hosts a ceremony for celebrating the end of a successful 2013 awards cycle

It was a festive atmosphere at glamorous Godolphin Ballroom at Emirates Towers Hotel on 26th June 2014when the Business Excellence Department (BED) at the Dubai Department of Economic Development invited allteams of assessors for the Dubai Human Development Awards and the Dubai Quality Awards to acknowledge their contributions. Mr. Mohammad Ali Meraj, Quality Manager at Middlesex University Dubai was among the assessors recognised by BED at the event. Mr Merajalong with his team won the award for best feedback report and placed 3rd overall in the top team rankings.

 The Dubai Human Development Award (DHDA) is one of the highest accolades any organisation in Dubai can achieve for its HR practices. It was launched by His HighnessSheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in 2002. The award is aimed at recognising and rewarding the HR initiatives taken by individual business organisations towards achieving Dubai Human Development goal, which does not merely involve providing work opportunities, but aims to develop the abilities of all employees, irrespective of which nationality they belong to, and emphasises their role in the future of the UAE through intensive training and guidance.

 In explaining the DHDA assessment cycle,Mr Merajsaid, “each year the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) invites a selective group of highly skilled assessors to volunteer their time in assisting theBED with the awards application process. To be eligible,assessors must have formal training in the latest version of the EFQM Excellence Model. They spend a considerable amount of time during the award cycle reviewing and assessing award applications from a variety of organisations, scoring the organisation using EFQM’s RADAR methodology and writing a feedback report that helps the organisation to consider meaningful improvements.”

 “The process can be quite intensive beginning with individual assessment of the award application, a desk-based exercise which could take up to 20-25 hours.  This is followed by a phase where assessors achieve team consensus on areas of strengths and issuestoconsider during a site-visit as well asplanning for the actual site visit. It is not uncommon for the site visit itself to span several days especially if the applicant has large and complex operations with employees working at multiple sites in several Emirates.  After a demanding schedule of meetings and documentation review during the site visit, there is often the need for more evening work to consolidate findings and preliminary scoring – and this can be quite difficult.”

 “The feedback report, for which our team has won an award this year, is the cornerstone of the assessment process. It has to clearly and concisely convey the findings to the organisation that has undergone the assessment task, along with a score. While the report is not like a consultant’s list of recommendations, if it is not accurate, strategic and contextually relevant, it would rarely encourage the organisation to make improvements. Effective communication lies at the heart of the assessment process.”

 Mr Meraj expressed this gratitude to the BED team for running one of the most prestigious and successful business excellence awards schemes in the region and the outstanding support provided to the volunteering assessors. “As an assessor you get firsthandexperience of the best practices in HR adopted by organisations in Dubai in really innovative ways. Asprofessionals, this activity allows assessors to explore deeper understanding of the EFQM model and its applications.”

 He also thanked Middlesex University Dubai for facilitating his participation as an external assessor as part of his community outreach initiatives. “Without the commitment and understanding of our Director, Dr Lois Smith, I would not have been able to dedicate the time and energy required through the process. It takes foresight for an organisation to offer the services of its employees as assessors for the DHDA award. The institution benefits from recognition within the business community and staff are able to learn from best practices in other institutions.”

 Earlier Gulf News had reported that (see weblink:  “the 20th Business Excellence Awards ceremony was held in Dubai on 2nd June 2014, where 35 companies and entities were recognised for their outstanding performance last year.

The ceremony was attended by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Also in attendance were His Highness Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and His Highness Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.The Dubai Human Development Award went to DP World and the Commercial Bank of Dubai, while the Dubai Human Development Appreciation Award was presented to Emirates Identity Authority, Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc), Emirates Transport, Union National Bank, UAE Exchange Centre, Lulu Hypermarket, Intercoil International and British Orchard Nursery.”

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