And the Winner is….


Last month, we witnessed the prestigious MECHF Awards, which we all waited for after the COVID-19 break in 2020


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May 30, 2021
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And the Winner is….

The awards took place at the Armani Pavilion, an outdoor venue, overlooking the dancing fountains on one side and the Burj Khalifa right behind you with the spectacular light settings.

It truly was an evening to remember with great entertainment, a well-spoken MC and delicious food - just right to celebrate the achievements of all the nominees and winners of this hard working industry. I have been fortunate to be on the judge’s panel for the past few years. Every year, it seems to excite me even more to find out who sent their nomination and what they have done to deserve to win.

It is certainly not an easy task to evaluate the candidates. There is a lot of reading involved, making notes, counting achievements, and weighing the impacts of their implementations of best practices.

Arriving at the venue in the evening, you can tell on the faces of the nominees how tense they are. Questions like “will I be winning tonight?” are swirling around their mind.

It’s been a great evening and hats off to the organizers, Clean Middle East & CM Today magazines – published by Media Fusion LLC - and their sponsors for doing such a fantastic job!

The Best Housekeeper Award is certainly very close to my heart, and so I decided to interview the nominees post celebrations. This is what they had to say:


John Manohar, Cluster Housekeeping Manager, J5 Hotels


  • Please describe your journey, which led to your nomination for the MECHF awards

I am a 37 plus years experienced housekeeping professional. It has always been my dream to prove and exhibit to the industry my achievements pre and post pandemic. I have been very lucky that my employer nominated me as the Hygiene

Officer of my hotel along with the routine role of a Cluster Executive Housekeeper. On hearing about the MECHF Awards, I approached my management to nominate me in the category of ‘The Best Hotel Housekeeper - UAE’. I have always wanted to be amongst the top rated housekeeping professionals in the country. I utilized this opportunity to prove my achievements and thank all the jury members and my mates who supported me to reach the top 4 nominees. I can confidently say it is my hardwork, perseverance, and teamwork that put me in the limelight. 

  •  Who supported you?

The support came from my family members, my functional team members, senior management team of J5 Group of Hotels, suppliers who support our activities in the housekeeping function, Clean Middle East professionals, housekeeping peers in the local association, industry colleagues and international associations. 

  • How did you feel when you learnt that you have been nominated?           

After the MECHF Awards team contacted me, I felt extremely happy and immediately forwarded the message to my boss and the HR team. I then called up my family in Sri Lanka to share the happiest moment of my life. The nomination itself is so inspiring. It’s a great recognition of the work we do as a housekeeper in the hotel industry. We are very proud and we are grateful to the MECHF Awards team for recognizing the amazing work that our team does.

It is a great recognition! There is a lot of hard work, hours and time away from family, which are needed to deliver the types of jobs, projects and service that we do. It is a great recognition for our staff and J5 hotels group. We can take this back to the industry and tell everyone about it. Being nominated alongside such wonderful professionals and real friends of mine is a privilege and an absolute honor.  

  • What does this award mean to you?

This is truly an exceptional award in my entire career of housekeeping. I started my career as the lowest category in the hierarchy of housekeeping and rose up to the Cluster Executive Housekeeper in my 37 years of varied international experience. Though this award has now come to me at the far end of my professional career, it is a lifetime recognition for me and will stay fresh in my hearts and minds always. This will also allow me to excel further in my career and motivate my team members to do the best in terms of satisfying the guests.  

  •  What does this award mean to your company?

This meant a lot to the group company of J5 Hotels and every individual in the organization is fully energized and motivated to carry the brand image. We are a proud hospitality company now, and this addition of a feather has increased our market presence. The marketing team is able to use this as a promotional tool to bring in more guests to experience our clean and hygienic rooms and public areas in the properties we manage. 

  •  What advice can you give to your fellow colleagues to assist them in achieving such an accolade?

I would want my colleagues in other functions of the hotel, and my own team members to provide support to each other and prove to the world that the tourism and travel industry will come back to normal very soon. We, the housekeeping professionals, are the true frontline warriors in managing and maintaining the hotels for successful operation. Make teamwork a priority by making it part of the performance management system; celebrate and reward great teamwork.


Kishore Kumar, Executive Housekeeper, Double Tree by Hilton Dubai M Square Hotel & Residences

  •  Please describe your journey which led to your nomination for the MECHF awards.

The hotel industry is going through the most challenging time of the decade. Together we all stood out to ensure safety for our fellow team members and guests. Surviving and achieving results under the extreme challenging conditions is critical, which lead to nomination for the MECHF


  • Who supported you?

I would say that this began with self support and of course, without the support of my management, this would not have been possible.  

  •  What does this award mean to you?

Being shortlisted as one of UAE’s best housekeepers means a lot to me more than winning. It is also a proud moment for the company - Doubletree by Hilton Hotels & Residences.

  •  What advice can you give to your fellow colleagues to assist them in achieving such an accolade?
    I would summarize in three points:
  1. Quickly adapt to standards in compliance with local bodies by staying focused and having continuous learning.
  2. Think out of the box to run daily operations to balance cost and quality.
  3. Be ambitious and walk the talk.



Beena Vijayakumar, Beena Vijayakumar, Bab Al Qasr Hotel & Residences

  • Please describe your journey which lead to your nomination for the MECHF


It started with the pandemic, when additional efforts towards cleaning were been identified to be necessary. This was followed up with innovative ideas to make the process more

efficient and safe in the current challenging scenario. All these initiatives are important and impactful as they reduce waste, are more environmentally friendly, encourage recycling and embrace the new COVID regulations. In a moment where training was not permitted, and we had to be as precise and detailed oriented as possible to ensure the best standards and services towards our guests, we had to become more technological and think outside the box.

  • Who supported you?

I would not have been able to do it without the great assistance and initiative of our L&D manager, Asela De Silva, and with the support of our Operations Director, Mostafa Tantawi, and the encouragement of our General Manager, Nemo Acimovic. In addition, the team was proactive and embraced all the ideas, and only with them I managed to implement our vision.

  • How did you feel when you learned that you have been nominated?

It was such a great feeling, filled up with excitement. I felt recognized, a great

satisfaction indeed. Made me feel motivated wanting to do more and grateful towards

my team.

  •  What does this award mean to you?

It means a lot! It is something to tell my family, my acquaintances, something to

remember definitely. This achievement will always be remembered with great satisfaction. Means a lot personally and professionally.

  • What does this award mean to your company?

It is a great achievement for the hotel to be awarded in such a professional well-known scenario and organization, where limited hotels have been recognized. It’s a step ahead

in front of other hotels, especially nowadays when cleaning is occupying such an

important role in any company.

  • What advice can you give to your fellow colleagues to assist them in achieving

such an accolade?

Hard work and dedication always will be rewarded. Always do your best, try to compete  with yourself instead of with others. Do it out of passion and with great dedication and consistency.


Trishna Hundal, Cluster Executive Housekeeper, Certified Hygiene Hero 3Wyndham / Super 8 by Wyndham Dubai Deira

  • Please describe your journey which lead to your nomination for the MECHF


I am extremely thrilled to have won the trophy for BEST HOTEL HOUSEKEEPER-UAE at the MECHF Awards Function on April 7, 2021 held at the Armani Hotel in Dubai. It is every housekeeper’s dream to be recognized for the accomplishments, hard work and long hours put in. I still ask myself did I really get this? My General Manager, Mr. Thierry Perrot and colleagues at Wyndham were happier than I was, and we had a huge celebration the next morning.

This award means a lot to me and on learning that I was nominated, I was extremely happy and

proud. Seeing nominations of three colleagues who were also shortlisted, I knew that the competition was tough as they are all very deserving.


  • Who supported you?

Having worked in many international chains, when I look back today it is many fond memories that fill my heart with gratitude towards people who played a vital role in my success. Most importantly, I owe this to my parents. Without their encouragement, I would not have continued as a hotelier. Getting up at 5 am to catch a bus for the 7.30 am shift in winters in New Delhi was a real effort. However, passion kept me strong despite many odds. I want to thank my father, up there, who always pushed me to do well, celebrated, and appreciated every little success that I attained. He was the strongest pillar of my life. My mother is the best mother, daily waiting to make fresh food for me at 11 pm when I used to come back after 14-15 hours of work. I

felt so relaxed with the care and moral support they gave. My siblings were always so proud of me. My children learnt to grow up with me being away most of the time. Their unconditional love for me and their innocent smile keeps me going. This award is for my parents and my children Samara and Ayyan.


I thank all the people I have worked with - my mentors, bosses, and colleagues - not to forget the team members who played a vital role in my satisfying journey. I am so thankful to each one of them for helping me do my job well. I have truly lived my passion.


A special thanks to the MECHF team for being such a brilliant host. Despite the pandemic that we are in, they gave a reason to many to celebrate and be happy. It was a truly memorable evening. Most importantly, sincere thanks to the jury members who thought I deserved this award.


  • What advice can you give to your fellow colleagues to assist them in achieving such an accolade? 

A message to my colleagues in housekeeping is – always look at failures as opportunities, do your best in whatever you do. I am looking forward to next year’s awards.


Hope many more professionals will be nominated in 2022!



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