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Future Workplace Awards 2018 (formerly known as Middle East HR Excellence Awards) recognise the outstanding achievements of individuals, departments, teams or an organisation that have contributed to the growth and development of the Middle East HR Industry. The awards showcase the best HR talent in the Middle East and honour HR professionals in government and the private sector for their outstanding contributions in creating a high performing workforce for the future. As the industry grows, so does the need to reward industry leaders and innovators in a variety of industry categories.

Important Dates

23 September
Entry Deadline
28 October
Shortlist Announced
13 November
Award Ceremony and Gala Dinner

Future Workplace Awards 2018 Categories

Category 1: Best Employee Engagement Strategy

A new award to recognise the importance of employee engagement in today’s businesses. The Awarded initiative is
one where engagement levels are improved as results of an HR initiative. 

Category 2: Best Employee Wellness and Wellbeing Programme (NEW)

Recognising employers which place employee well-being centre stage within the organisation and have embedded a strong culture of health and wellness. This award will go to the organisation that provides the most compelling evidence that their employee wellness programme not only works, but that has also created a clear and measurable return on investments in this area. 

Category 3: Best Diversity & Inclusion Strategy (NEW)

This will be awarded to an organisation that are dedicated to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. Recognising an employer that has a culture that promotes trust, collaboration, fairness and growth through a D&I environment. 

Category 4: 2018 HR / L&D Technology and Digital Champion (NEW)

With ever increasing adoption and investment in HR technologies and digital learning, this award recognises the employer that has successfully embraced digital disruption to move HR and/or L&D forward. It could be by evolving workplace environment to use innovative technology; cloudbased work-sharing solutions; cutting-edge HR and analytic technologies or digital learning opportunities for staff, etc. 

Category 5: HR Technology Provider of the Year (Vendor) (NEW)

This award looks for innovative service providers that create, implement and integrate HR technology solutions for clients on a specific people-related project. This could relate to payroll software solutions, digital HR platforms, data management systems, online recruitment programmes, etc.

Category 6: Best Recruitment & Onboarding Strategy (NEW)

The awarded organisation will have demonstrated excellence and innovation in attracting, recruiting and onboarding employees. The panel will be looking for the employer who has excelled in creating an effective recruitment and onboarding atmosphere that is conductive to employees’
smooth introduction to the company.

Category 7: Best Graduate Recruitment Programme (NEW)

This award recognises the efforts of the organisation in attracting high calibre talent from top-notch universities. The
winning employer has to show:

Category 8: Best Learning and Organisational Development Strategy

The award will recognise an organisation that has implemented an innovative and successful L&D and OD strategy. The winning organisation needs to highlight organisational benefits by directly linking the learning needs of people to the business needs of the organisation. The winning entry demonstrates that:

Category 9: Best Talent Development Strategy (NEW)

This award honours the organisation which has developed a very well integrated strategy to recruit, manage, develop and retain talent with the aim of improving business value and ability to measure the success of implementation and outcome. 

Category 10: Best Executive and Leadership Development Strategy

Rewarding the implementation and planning of a coaching, training and executive development strategy to promote and develop leaders. 

Category 11: L&D Training Provider of the Year (Vendor) (NEW)

The Training Provider of the Year Award recognises a provider that creates and delivers a broad range of employee training programmes and products for clients. This could relate to e-learning platforms, training programs, classroom trainings, professional development learning and qualifications or vocational education. 

Category 12: Best HR Transformation and Change Management Strategy (NEW)

This award recognises employers that have successfully delivered a major HR business transformation project. Applicants need to make demonstrable contributions to organisational performance and effective change management programmes. 

Category 13: HR / L&D Director of the Year

A senior HR executive / director who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and business best-practice in developing effective HR strategies which have significantly benefited their business throughout the last 12 months.

Category 14: HR Team of the Year

A new award to recognise the collective effort of HR teams within the business. The team should be able to demonstrate
their impact on the HR function as well as the business overall. 

Category 15: HR’s Future Leader

An emerging talent in the field of HR who shows high potential for future achievement in the profession. Nominees should be less than 30 years of age and should have a minimum of 3 but no more than 8 years of HR experience.

Category 16: Best Women Development and Leadership Programme (NEW)

The award will recognise an organisation that has developed and implemented a women development and women leadership programme. The winning organisation needs to highlight how the programme supports behaviour change, creates lasting impact, builds an inclusive culture and influences employee retention.

Category 17: Employer of the Year (Public Sector)

This award honours the leading public sector employer that can demonstrate superior people development strategies resulting in a productive, engaged and motivated workforce becoming an employer of choice. Nominations can be submitted by government organisations, public and semi government companies. 

Category 18: Employer of the Year (Private Sector)

This award honours the leading private sector employer that can demonstrate superior people development strategies resulting in a productive, engaged and motivated workforce becoming an employer of choice. Nominations can be submitted by private sector companies and state owned private sector organisations.

What's New?


We’ve rebranded from HR Excellence Awards to the Future Workplace Awards to reflect the strong wave of transformation
happening in the industry towards a more engaged, diversified and progressive workplace.


We’ve introduced 10 new categories to represent every operation and function under the HR department; from D&I to women
development programmes.


To simplify the submission process for the applicant, we’ve segmented categories in different groups – 5 Segments in total.
Each segment represents one or a group of main function(s) / operation(s) under HR.


Everything you need to know about Future Workplace Awards 2018

The entry pack will give you details on categories, deadlines, steps to enter

2017 Winners

Nationalisation Initiative of the Year

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank - WINNER

National Bank of Fujairah - MARK OF EXCELLENCE

Daman Health Insurance

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Innovation in Learning and Development

Kuwait Aviation Fuelling Company - WINNER

Abeer Medical Group - MARK OF EXCELLENCE


Engage ME

SIG Combibloc Obeikan

Saudi Electricity Company

Innovation in Recruitment Strategy

Smart Dubai Government Establishment (SDG) - WINNER


Havas People for Dubai Airports

Oman LNG

Abu Dhabi Polymers Co. (Borouge)

Innovation in HR Tech Utilisation



Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA)

Flabuless FZ LLC

Kuwait Aviation Fuelling Company

HR Professional of the Year

Ali Khaled Alhashmi - Union National Bank - WINNER

Sriram Rajan - SIG Combibloc Obeikan - MARK OF EXCELLENCE

Santhosh Gopinathan - Millennium Hotel And Convention Centre Kuwait

Dr Ghalib Al Hosni - Oman Telecommunication Company (Omantel)

Yaser Obaid - Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

Haidar Ali - Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority

HR Team of the Year


National Bank of Fujairah - MARK OF EXCELLENCE

Transguard Group LLC


KEF Holdings

HR's Rising Star

Aakash Mehta - Mastercard - WINNER

Presley Rosario Rebello - Computerworld W.L.L - MARK OF EXCELLENCE

Mathew Kizhakkethil John - Mehtab Vegetables & Fruits L.L.C.

Rohit Manucha - Dunia

Innovation in Employee Engagement

Etisalat - WINNER


National Bank of Fujairah

Union National Bank

Al Barakah Holding LTD.


Innovation in Executive and Leadership Development

SIG Combibloc Obeikan - WINNER

Kuwait Aviation Fuelling Company - MARK OF EXCELLENCE

Propel International (joined submission with Alinma Bank)

Al Jazeera International Catering LLC

Saudi Aramco

Best CSR Strategy or Initiative (NEW)

Saudi Aramco - WINNER

Khalifa Empowerment Program for Students (Aqdar) - MARK OF EXCELLENCE

Evolvin' Women

Employer of the Year

Dubai Statistics Center - WINNER


Virgin Megastore MENA


RSA Logistics DWC LLC

National Bank of Fujairah