24 - 26 MAY 2022



AICR UAE crown the 2020 Receptionist of the Year after Tough Competition



Once again 28 candidates from 4 and 5 Star hotels around UAE competed for the title of Receptionist of the Year 2020. The competition being held through mid October and just concluding November 8th is organized by the AICR UAE on an annual basis.

Organized by the UAE section of the Amicale Internationale des Sous Directeurs et Chefs de Réception des Grand Hôtels or AICR The International Association for Deputy Managers and Front Office Managers of Luxury Hotels. The AICR was founded on the Cote d’Azur in France in 1964, and over the past 50 years has developed into an international fellowship with 17 sections in 16 countries. The UAE section of the AICR was founded in 2005, and has grown to become an exciting, active network for all Rooms Division Executives working and living in this buzzing and ever evolving country. Throughout the year, AICR organizes events for their members that are offering a wide range of opportunities to network, exchange views, share experiences, and best practices.

The competition winner will go on to represent the UAE at the World’s Best Receptionist Competition, which seeks to find the best receptionist in the world to be awarded with the “David Campbell Trophy.” The late David Campbell became Chef de Reception at The Ritz Hotel, Paris, after gaining a wealth of International experience. In memory of David and in acknowledgement of his dedication and passion to the industry, the World’s Best Receptionist Competition was formed, with a Trophy designed and sponsored by the Paris AICR section, to be presented each year. It meets its objective as a training tool for the younger generation and the future of AICR within the hospitality industry, with the emphasis on “Amicale.”

This year’s competition was held in two rounds testing candidates on their guest service skills. Held at Media One hotel, the first round of the competition saw 28 candidates subjected to a series of questions designed to select 10 receptionists to move on to the final round at the Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites.

The candidates were asked an additional series of questions and to take part in a role play, depicting a real life scenario at a reception desk. Having made it through the 1st preliminary round the finalists’ high caliber performances made it a tough selection for the panel of 6 judges made up of:

  • Darin Davies Hotel –Manager at Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites
  • Jeff Strachan – Business Development Director, Dubai College of Tourism
  • Devina Divecha – Writer, Editor & Media Consultant
  • Anastassiya Kim – AICR UAE Receptionist of the Year Winner 2019
  • Nabil Ejaz – Senior Manager Learning and Development Pre-Opening and Transitions at Marriott International
  • Yomi Egbeleye – President of AICR UAE

The AICR UAE, Receptionist of the Year 2020 Awards were then held on Sunday November 8th at the newly opened Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk. The finalist and their managers attended this Winner Announcement event to find out who the Receptionist of the Year 2020 would be. This person would go on to represent the UAE in the World’s Best Receptionist of the Year Competition.

Despite a close decision by the panel of judges the results from the competition were well received by all members:

First and second runner up


2nd Runner up
Chloé Caron – Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk

1st Runner up
Basma Kraytem – Four Seasons Jumeirah Beach Dubai


Winner Marie Therese Olaguer


AICR UAE Receptionist of the Year Winner 2020
Marie Therese Olaguer – Mandarin Oriental Jumeira Dubai

Competing is however not over yet for Marie, who will now travel to Geneva, Switzerland in April of 2021 courtesy of AICR UAE, and represent the UAE in the World’s Best Receptionist competition. We wish her the best as she begins preparation for the competition in Switzerland.

Not only did the winners stand in the spot light of the evening, all 28 candidates were recognized for being the best of their respective hotels. The AICR UAE committee is eagerly working on growing the association and any interested parties are welcome to contact Yomi Egbeleye at [email protected]


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