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This project deals with the implementation of the Dubai Quality Award. The report covers various aspects of the Dubai Quality Award and the journey of ENOC towards winning the award. The method used to collect data for this project was mainly a review of secondary data.

The best source of relevant information was the Dubai Quality Award website. In addition, data gathered from reports and books on quality management proved sufficient for attaining the objectives of the project. The three key findings made in the project were the following. First, it is clear that excellence awards give organisations the opportunity to increase the visibility of their brands.

Secondly, excellence awards give participating organisations the opportunity to identify areas where they need to improve their performance. Thirdly, it is apparent that the management of a quality award can influence its reputation. It is extremely important to find ways of ensuring that no questions arise regarding the processes used to identify winners of excellence awards.

The Dubai Quality Award: Case Study of ENOC

This project relates to the Dubai Quality Award. The Department of Economic Development manages the Dubai Quality Award based on a model that is similar to EFQM. The objectives of the project are to derive lessons from the Dubai Quality Award regarding the management of Excellence awards as well as to identify the challenges and benefits.

The case study used in this project involves the Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC). The Dubai Government wholly owns ENOC. The choice of ENOC arose from its recent participation in Dubai Quality Award. The company won the Dubai Quality Award. It is now considered one of the best-managed companies in Dubai.

Company Background

EMGAS is a subsidiary of ENOC. ENOC has vast interests in the economy of Dubai that ranges from exploration of oil to the marketing and distribution of oil products. The government of Dubai is the sole owner of the ENOC group. This means that the government of Dubai is also the sole owner of EMGAS.

The core business of EMGAS is the distribution of natural gas. The company sells gas locally in the UAE and regionally to the neighbouring countries. The company is the largest gas distributor in the region. It has the largest gas distribution network in the country. It also has the largest fleet of gas tankers in the region. Its infrastructure makes it the dominant player in the natural gas industry in the UAE.

Apart from the sale and distribution of gas, EMGAS also plays a significant role in the development and marketing of specialised gas products such as propellants, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). The company also produces gas used in welding. Its product portfolio is on the rise in response to market demand and environmental conservation imperatives.

EMGAS also offers several services to its clients in line with its business activities. The services include consultancy of its clients and other players in the natural gas sector. The company offers consultancy services to those companies that seek to develop LPG bulk storage facilities.

EMGAS also gives expert advice to clients to ensure that all the bulk storage facilities in the UAE meet the strict safety standards required for LPG. In addition, EMGAS is the only organisation in the UAE tasked with the inspection of LPG tankers. The company gives annual inspection certificates to LPG tankers for use in the renewal of LPG transport licenses.

Business Excellence Model

EMGAS won the Dubai Quality Award for its excellence in business. This annual quality award receives support from the Department of Economic Development. Its purpose is to promote excellence in business by recognizing companies that have the best business systems in the country. The main aspects of the Dubai Quality Award model are the following.

First, it is important to note that the Dubai Quality Award model is fully aligned to EFQM. EFQM looks at quality management from the perspective of “enablers” and “results” as shown in table 1 below.

The five enablers under this model include leadership, people, strategy, partnerships and resources, and products, processes and services. The four result oriented areas under EFQM are people results, customer results, society results and business results.

The EFQM model.

Figure 1: The EFQM model

EFQM makes it possible for a business to relate its excellence initiatives to the results it obtains. It helps organisations know the vital components of business excellence and it helps the businesses know how to measure results.

The Dubai Quality Award model adapts the EFQM model to create a criterion for evaluating Dubai based business. The Dubai Quality Award model appears in figure 2 below.

The Dubai Quality Award model (Dubai Quality Award, 2011).

Fig 2: The Dubai Quality Award model

The Dubai Quality Award model maintains the two major aspects of EFQM, but it introduces a weighted system for giving scores to the specific aspects of business operations. Each of these aspects constitutes a criterion for the evaluation of a business that applies to compete for the Dubai Quality Award.

Reasons for the Selection of the Dubai Quality Award model

The main reasons that influenced the selection of the Dubai Quality Award model for this project were the following. First, the Dubai Quality Award Model is very easy to understand. The model is very simple to conceptualize. This makes the model simple to be applied to any organisation.

The simplicity of the model removes the complexities associated with the use of more sophisticated models. In this regard, the model is easy to deploy regardless of the size of an organisation, and the age of the company.

The second reason underlying the choice of the Dubai Quality Award model is that it is applicable over a wide range of organisations. The model uses a set of indicators that exist in all types of organisations and can fit in any environment. The model relies on fundamental elements of excellence that exist in any type of organisation.

The third reason that leads to the choice of the model for this exercise is that the model produces results even for organisations that do not win the award. Any organisation that uses this model to address its quality concerns is able to identify areas of weakness for improvement. Since the model is simple, any consultant can help the organisation to apply the model in its systems in order to find out its level of business excellence.

The fourth reason that leads to the choice of the Dubai Quality Award is the ease of replication of the model in various organisations. The model makes it possible for an assessor or a business manager to compare the performance of several organisations to learn from them.

In this regard, a company can tell whether it is exploiting its competitive advantages by looking at the comparative assessment of its business or not.

Application of the Dubai Quality Award Model

The application of the Dubai Quality Award model involves several activities. In the case of EMGAS, the company first engaged consultants to assess their operations in reference to the award. This exercise helped the company develop a benchmark and identify the short-term and the long-term goals needed to achieve the excellence award.

The consultants then developed a seven-month plan for the company to help it satisfy the criteria for attaining the Dubai Quality Award. After seven months, the consultants assessed the company once again and they were happy with the progress achieved. The company then applied for assessment as a participant in the Dubai Quality Award.

The process used to identify whether organisations fit to receive the Dubai Quality Award is the following. First, interested companies fill entry forms in the way of a self-assessment exercise. The forms are the first basis for evaluation by assessors. The assessors send feedback to all applicants telling them their strengths.

The assessors send this type of feedback regardless of whether a company has been shortlisted for the award or not. The assessors then make site visits to all the shortlisted companies and analyze their quality management systems. Thereafter, the assessors develop a final list of potential nominees.

The assessors forward this list of nominees to the Dubai Quality Award Supreme Council. This council constitutes senior government officials and influential businesspersons in Dubai. The Supreme Council reviews the list of nominees and makes the final decision on which company qualifies to receive the Dubai Quality Award. The Dubai Quality Award has several categories.

This makes it possible to recognize companies that have achieved excellence in some aspects of their operations, but still need to improve on other aspects.

Challenges of the Dubai Quality Award

All excellence awards have limitations of various kinds. The Dubai Quality Award model is no exception. The main limitations associated with the Dubai Quality Award are the following.

The first challenge associated with quality awards is their dependence on scoring techniques. Assessors usually evaluate the documents sent by quality award applicants and visit the organisations to appraise whether their quality management initiatives deserve recognition or not.

The challenge with this process is that some of the scores given by assessors are subjective. This means that some elements of quality awards do not rely on rational processes, but on subjective scores given by assessors.

The second challenge unique to the Dubai Quality Award is the final choice of winners. After the assessors shortlist potential winners and nominate award recipients, the Supreme Council takes over the process and picks the actual winners. The challenge associated with this stage is that the decisions made by the Supreme Council can be controversial.

In other words, the final decisions on who receives the Dubai Quality Award can seem political. The process of awarding winners is a very sensitive component of competitive quality awards. Failure to meet the expectations of all the stakeholders can result in the collapse of the project.

The third challenge associated with the implementation of the Dubai Quality Award is that applicants can take a technical approach to quality management. This means that a company can decide to devote an inordinate amount of resources to win the award.

Such companies can use the evaluation criteria as their resource allocation guide. The result is that other aspects of the business not covered by the assessment criteria can suffer neglect.

Critical Analysis of the Dubai Quality Award

The Dubai Quality Award is a viable means of promoting excellence in business. The alignment of this model with the EFQM model makes it easily recognizable across the world. This is very good for businesses and other organisations in Dubai that attain the award. The Dubai Quality Award is also a useful tool for organisations aspiring to achieve excellence in their operations.

Participating in the excellence award gives the company the benefit of identifying areas it needs to improve on. This means that the company stands to benefit by participating in the awards regardless of whether it wins it or not.

The weak link in the excellence award is the role of the Supreme Council in picking the finalists for the Award. Their role can seem political to some participants. This can tarnish the reputation of the award in international quality award circles.

The Dubai Quality Award can improve its outcomes in the following three ways. Firstly, the final decision regarding who should be left to the assessors. This will eliminate the risk of the award losing its reputation in the international arena. Secondly, the Award needs to put more emphasis on its alignment with EFQM. The benefit of this approach is that it will increase the international visibility of the Dubai Quality Award.

In addition, it will make the award a prestigious recognition within Dubai. The net effect of this process will be the general increase in business excellence in Dubai. Thirdly, the Dubai Quality Award should aim at offering consultancy services for organisations that want to participate in the award.

This can be done in association with existing consultants. The Dubai Quality Award should certify consultant to help organisations prepare for participation in the excellence awards. This will help in the elimination of technical entries for the award because the consultants will help the businesses attain balance between making sound business decisions, and committing resources to participate in the award.


This study revealed several things about the application of excellence awards at a company level. First, the study has shown that an excellence award is desirable for a company. There are two main benefits associated with participation in excellence awards. The brand reputation of companies that win excellence awards improves dramatically.

This means that the companies achieve higher profitability in their operations. On the other hand, companies that participate in the process but do not win the excellence awards still get insights into what they should do to improve their performance in the market place.

The study also has shown that the management of the process leading to the awarding of the excellence awards must be above reproach. The process must give assessors power over the decision to choose the final winners because the use of a different body can lead to disquiet among participating companies. In other words, the management of a quality award must demonstrate the same values sought from participating companies.


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