Acorn Award winner and the 2011 recipient of the Olive Barnett Award, Assia Riccio-Smith is to join Asian-based Dusit Thani Hotels & Resorts as learning and development manager of the United Arab Emirates.
Until three months ago, Riccio-Smith was guest services manager at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire, which she had joined as a receptionist in 2007. In October she joined her husband, Gary Smith, in Dubai where he is the restaurant manager of Wheeler's restaurant in Dubai's business district. Smith had also worked at Le Manoir for nearly six years, most recently as deputy restaurant manager.
The couple met in 2004 when they were both working at the Bath Priory hotel.
In her new role, Assio-Riccio will look after the training of staff for the opening of five new hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 2013. She will initially spend time in Bangkok and Cairo training.
"I knew I wanted a change and learning and development felt the right move at this stage," she explained. "I want to use my knowledge to help other people grow within the industry. And Dubai is a place where you can really make a difference. As long as you are determined to get to the top, the routes are endless."
Since arriving in Dubai, Riccio-Smith has been a guest speaker at the Best Employer Awards UAE Ceremony, organised by CatererGlobal, and is also working as an ambassador for the Jumeirah Academy.
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