By Rafiq Vayani
DUBAI: Egyptian national Mahmoud El Rawey, from JA Ocean View, beat off stiff competition for the second year in succession to win the third annual TIME Hotels Dubai Waiters’ Race, which took place on 17 November 2017.
And there was even more cause for celebration for Mahmoud as he and his team-mates also scooped first prize in the relay race.
Co-ordinated by TIME Oak Hotel & Suites in Barsha Heights, which also acted as the starting point for the hotly contested race, waiters had to negotiate the course through the Byblos Hotel and the Auris Metro Central, before sprinting back to the start line – a circuit of 720m.
Runners faced a unique challenge as they were required to complete the run carrying a loaded tray containing full glasses and a bottle of water. Speed, agility and balance were challenged at every turn as they raced through the streets of Barsha Heights. The racing waiters were judged on the amount of water lost, standards of waitering (posture, grooming, smile) and timing.
“The Waiters’ Race is now firmly fixed on the hotel sector’s calendar as one of the most keenly contested competitions in the city, with participants eager to show off their speed and waitering skills. This year was no different with a record entry of top talent. It also coincided nicely with the conclusion of Dubai’s Fitness Challenge,” said Mohamed Awadalla, CEO, TIME Hotels.
Sponsored by NRTC, Masafi, Rich Printing and Fit Fresh, the 8am start last Friday, didn’t deter entrants with a total of ten competing hotels, each fielding a waiters-only team of five runners.
Participating hotels this year included TIME Hotels, JA Ocean View, Atana, TRYP by Wyndham, Gloria Hotel, Sofitel The Palm Hotel & Resort, Somewhere Hotel, Grand Millennium and First Central.
Commenting on his win, Mahmoud said: “This win makes it two-in-a-row for as far as winning the individual race goes so I’m naturally very happy about the result. More importantly though, we also won the team race.
“We’ve got a great team here, we all work hard, and we’ve obviously been training every day. We’ve had a great time competing with our peers and look forward to coming back again next year. Who knows, maybe I can get the hat-trick!”
In the individual race, Okyere Ebenezer from Sofitel The Palm finished in second place, and Akbar Ali, from First Central Hotel came in third. The Relay Race was also won by JA Ocean View, followed by TIME Hotels, with First Central Hotel in third place.