Thursday, November 30
02:27 PM

Congratulations to Oman’s Hospitality Champions 2020

26 Sep 2020

On behalf of Apex Media and the National Hospitality Institute (NHI) I am proud to introduce the final presentation of the highly deserving winners across 25 different job categories and also those nominees who were highly commended. 

‘Hospitality Champions 2020’ was the brainchild of Robert MacLean (Principal, NHI) and his team and HH Sayyid Tarik bin Shabib bin Taimur al Said, Chairman, NHI. Apex Media are very proud to partner with NHI to manage and present this inaugural event. 

(The format for completion of the event and presenting the awards was quickly adapted earlier in the year to ensure the safety of all concerned and we wish to thank everyone for their co-operation and understanding.)

The Key Objectives of ‘Hospitality Champions 2020’ 

1) To raise the overall profile of the hospitality sector in Oman and in so doing, attract young Omanis to undertake training for a successful career. 

2) Retain them in the sector once they have graduated and been employed. 

3) Provide a highly trained workforce in a critical sector that subsequently supports the government’s economic vision for the Sultanate.

The judging process for this event was particularly rigorous and further to submitted written nominations, the NHI ‘Interviewing’ team visited every nominee to assess their claim for the award. The results were fed back to the judges, who in turn spent many hours individually considering the candidates prior to a final full day judging session that was spent reaching agreement on the very worthy winners we proudly present here. 

Our sincere thanks go to all the people across Oman’s hospitality sector that took part in this year’s awards and their employers for sponsoring their nominations. Congratulations to all our Hospitality Champions and we look forward to recognizing Omani talent once again in 2021.”

Mark Rix 
CEO, Apex Media


The Judges:

Robert who hails from Scotland, started his career in the Hospitality industry at 12 years old. He went on to study his Diploma in Hotel Management followed by his professional qualification of the HCIMA at Robert Gordon’s College of Technology in Aberdeen. 

After several years in the hospitality industry Robert qualified as a teacher and took up his first post in Wales. He then joined the National Hospitality Institute, Oman in 1995 as a trainer and then Principal.

 Robert has seen many young Omanis go through training at NHI and is always delighted to come across so many of them working in the industry. It was this that inspired Hospitality Champions. Seeing the success he felt they needed a public platform to showcase their success.

Robert MacLean


Abdul Aziz is an award-winning customer experience & digital specialist with over 17 years of experience in the Middle East and Far East Asia. He is passionate about customer experience and technology where he also leads multiple innovation platforms for the youth with a track record of building successful incubators to producing workable prototypes. 

An alumnus of London Business School & Middlesex University London. He was featured on Oman Economic Review as one of Oman’s young business role models in addition to being big on sports he is also an Ironman race finisher.’

Aziz Al Abdul Salam


Recognising Omani talent in the hospitality industry is crucial in underlining the rewarding career opportunities that exist and by so doing, attracting new talent for the future workforce of this rapidly expanding economic sector.” 

Mark has been CEO of Apex Media for two years and prior to that worked for 10 years in the United Arab Emirates as CEO of 7DAYS Media, owned by the UK Daily Mail Group PLC. He was previously the Managing Director of MEN Media Ltd, publisher of 25 regional newspapers and the UK flagship daily title, The Manchester Evening News. 

Mark has an MBA form Salford University Business School, UK. He is a qualified business school lecturer (CABS) and holds a diploma in Social Media Marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute, UK.

Mark Rix


Richard Weetch is a First Class graduate of the Scottish Hotel School at the University of Strathclyde who started his career in the hotel industry with a particular interest in Food & Beverage. He then spent 15 years as a Fine Wine Buyer before becoming an international headhunter. 

Based in Oman since 2006, Richard helps both Government and private sector companies ensure that they can access the very best talent, both Omani and expatriate to help the Sultanate’s continued development. 

A former judge in the Oman Hospitality Awards he is hugely proud to have contributed to the Oman Hospitality Champions 2020 and is a strong advocate for development of Omanis in the hospitality sector.

Richard Weetch


Presenting… the inaugural winners of Hospitality Champions 2020:




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