Dubai, UAE: The Middle East’s first automotive aftermarket industry awards took place yesterday (December 15) at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) – as winners of the Automechanika Dubai Awards were announced across a number of select categories including sustainability, safety, service, training and diversity across the regional sector’s products, personnel, and entities.
The awards followed a lengthy evaluation by an eight-strong judging panel, with some 161 total nominations, and 49 entries being shortlisted across 19 award categories including one devoted to ‘Women in the Automotive Aftermarket.’
The judging panel comprised public and private sector experts and included: Martin Roberts, Momentum Logistics; Graham Threlfall of AkzoNobel; Alan Whaley from AMENA Professional; Abdulla Almheiri and Nasir Alseeri of Dubai Government Workshop; Dr Nima Mehrdadi of Hella Middle East; Dr. Alexander Sabbah of ZF Middle East.
Dr. Majida Al Azazi, Chairman of M Glory Holding, was honoured with the Women in Automotive Aftermarket award. Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Al Azazi said; “I am very honoured to have been presented with the Women in Automotive Aftermarket award at Automechanika Dubai this year.
“As a woman in the industry, I believe success comes from the drive and passion you have for your career, not the gender, and my ambition and true dedication for my craft is what has led me to this moment.
“I would like to dedicate this award to the UAE and extend this acknowledgement to my country, as this is a stepping stone for us to be recognised as a leading automotive business destination. I have been attending Automechanika Dubai since 2013 and have also travelled to attend the global editions of the event. Automechanika is a key exhibition within the industry as it brings together a global audience of clients, producers, consumers, which is why we are always keen to attend.”
“These awards celebrate excellence and innovation in the automotive aftermarket industry which is undergoing immense technological disruption and innovation and embracing greater personnel diversity,” commented Mahmut Gazi Bilikozen, Show Director of Automechanika Dubai.
“The introduction of these awards in Automechanika Dubai’s 18th edition demonstrates a maturing of the industry and our judging panel, which comprised representing over 200 years of sector expertise, had a tough task in evaluating the high level of contenders. The awards, which will now be an annual industry benchmark, will be a tracker to the regional sector’s development.”
Taking home the Innovation Award was AkzoNobel for their sustainable Lesonal UV Filler; “Winning the Innovation Award makes me proud to be part of AkzoNobel,” said Saad Rathore, Regional Sales Support Manager at AkzoNobel. “For Automechanika Dubai to recognize the effort and time the team has invested into innovative and sustainable solutions truly encourages us to continue transforming the market.
“Compared to conventional products, we have been able to develop something that is beneficial not only for the end-user but the body shop as well. With its high filling power, UV Filler cuts material consumption by up to 50% per repair – compared to standard fillers in the market.
Maturing of the regional industry is evident across the eight DWTC halls given over this week to Automechanika Dubai, where 562 exhibitors from 47 countries are rolling out sector innovations aimed at living up to new ‘green’ regulations and intensified customer expectations.
“The regional industry is the throes of change brought about by intensified online and e-commerce purchases,” explained Bilikozen.
“Providers are having to adapt business models to major changes in the overall customer journey which is increasingly focused on contactless services, e-commerce, growing demand for convenience services at home or work with on-demand and on-call maintenance services being trialled throughout the region.
“Change and opportunity are now hallmarks of the regional industry and the Automechanika Dubai awards will constantly reflect this as will the annual show. Automechanika Dubai will remain in the vanguard of new opportunities, presenting a unique platform for all industry stakeholders to start discussions, plan ahead, and ultimately lay the foundations for long-term sustainable success,” added Bilikozen.
For the full list of winners, please click here.