employee engagement awards

Employee Engagement Awards Dubai launched


Dubai – 12th January 2021. The X-Factor for employee engagement is coming to Dubai.

Herculean Alliance MEA launches the Employee Engagement Awards in Dubai. After the first successful edition in Belgium during the COVID-19 crisis, Herculean Alliance MEA will roll out this fresh and energising TV format in Dubai. The aim of the Employee Engagement Awards is to give companies, regardless of their size, the opportunity to put their engaged employees in the spotlight. This brand-new initiative will be overseen by two sets of juries: twelve International Experts led by Aysha Al Awadhi, and twelve young, highly driven professionals, headed by Noura Itani.  

The Awards are launched in January and allow participating companies to follow an engagement journey during several months, in order to allow them to measure, learn and improve their engagement along the way. The actual Awards event will take place in October this year. The UAE are the first country outside of Belgium for the Employee Engagement Awards to take place. In the years to come, other cities across the globe will follow.

The concept: 12 Expert jurors, 12 NextGen jurors, 5 coaches, 2 facilitators, 12 weeks of fulfilling and rewarding journey with several challenges, 1 TV show and a unique award event, in order to help small, medium and large organisations improve their employee engagement, focus on people’s happiness  and be inspired by each other. It’s like the X Factor for companies. Being part of the process and registering and participating is already a victory for every participating company.


Because employee engagement is the number one challenge for every leader in the region, especially after a complex 2020. Employee Engagement drives Customer Delight and we want to help business leaders, HR executives and engagement specialists to up their game. We believe Dubai is the best place for global expansion of the employee engagement awards, because of the vision of the country and because of the experience we have in the market.” says Inge Van Belle, co-Founder of Herculean Alliance.


Herculean Alliance MEA is building a global ecosystem of employee engagement experts and formats, connected by our Microsoft SaaS platform. Because we believe that only ecosystems can solve this complex problem in a phygital world.” says Yves Vekemans, co-Founder of Herculean Alliance.

Inge Van Belle adds: “We have identified 12 focus areas (leadership, CSR, wellbeing etc.) that require specific expertise from specific Alliance partners. Together with our managing partner Klaus Lommatzsch I have written a book about the topic: “Employee Engagement, What Else?” We plan to update the book regularly with new insights as we gain experience and learn from experts and participants.”

The Employee Engagement Awards are a catalyst for our ecosystem, where experts, nextgenners, coaches and candidates share insights, learn from each other, connect and get inspired. It’s the cherry on the HR cake. Through the awards we collect data to fuel our global index, understand the challenges better and find the best solutions.


It is always about bringing the right people together around one purpose. Victoria Alcober will be the local Awards energiser, coordinating the different parts. Noura Itani is the regional president of the NextGen jury. Aysha Alawadhi will be regional president of the Expert Jury. On top of the jurors, several coaches will help the participating companies reach new heights, challenging and supporting them.

Victoria Alcober: “This is the most ground-breaking, fun and inclusive concept on Employee Engagement I have come across after 15 years in the field. It combines every piece that not only shows, but also encourages engagement and leaves no stone unturned. It’s going to take Dubai to the center-stage!”

Expert Jury members:

  • Lucy Chow: One-of-a-kind investor who is an active supporter and advocate of entrepreneurship, the advancement of women, and connector of people!
  • Sammer Saman: Chief Human Resources Officer of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
  • Kate Barker: Futurist – Global Future of Work Expert – Keynote Speaker – Board Member – Executive Coach
  • Heba Makram: Transformation Advisor I Future of Work Expert I Keynote Speaker I Researcher 
  • Katey Howard: Leads the Talent Management agenda for PepsiCo AMESA (Africa, Middle East and South Asia).
  • Rohit Manucha: Chief HR Officer of Aujan Group. Ellected “Best HR Director of the year” in 2019. His motto is “Build Awareness, challenge yourself & change the norm, Live to Learn.
  • Flo Akinbiyi: Communication Coach and Expert – Communication and Presentation Coach | Winning Communication I Virtual Moderator I Speaker
  • Carine Bouery: Helping businesses & executives stand out in the most positive light, externally and internally | B2B Marketer & Communications Expert | Science of Happiness Consultant & Coach | Speaker & Actor
  • Nic Woodthorpe: Managing Director at WWA Corporate Coaching
  • Kristina Vaneva: Employee Engagement | Internal Communications expert. Inspiring & promoting happiness-I got it from my grandma.

Aysha Alawadhi: “Bringing the Engagement Awards to the UAE means bringing happiness to people and excellence to organizations. I just couldn’t say no to that.”

NextGen jury members

They will be announced on Thursday January 14th.

The coaches

Jérémy Denisty (Scopernia), Wendy Vermoesen (Yambla), Johan Driessens (Branded.Careers), Olaf Hermans (R-Intervention), Marc Cirera (Companies for Good).

The partners

Social Seeder, MMBSY, WWA Corporate Coaching, Towel, Envie.

How to register?

Companies can register for the awards as from today until the end of Q1 2021. The Employee Engagement facilitators will first organise an intake conversation to explain the concept to evaluate the candidates before they register. There are early bird rates until mid-February. The competition starts in Q2, judging in Q3 and the online TV show will be aired in Q4 with an Awards Event.

Why Dubai at the center?

Herculean Alliance has been active in the UAE for 10 years – through Hercules Trophy, Pink Ladies Games and Hercules Projects – with thousands of happy fans from large and small companies.  Since the start,  the founders of Herculean Alliance felt inspired by the UAE Vision 2021 that was launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the closing of a Cabinet meeting in 2010. The Vision aims to make the UAE among the best countries in the world by the Golden Jubilee of the Union.

In the next months and years, we plan to roll-out the Employee Engagement Awards all over the world from Dubai. We are considering local investors to help us achieve that dream and solve this global problem.” Yves Vekemans

Who is Herculean Alliance?

Employee Engagement Specialists. Crafting powerful workforces since 1999. Building a global ecosystem of experts and formats connected by a SaaS platform with offices in Dubai and Belgium and operations in 10 countries. Focusing on 4 domains: Aura (programs), Fabrica (teambuilding & company events), Machina (platform) and Arena (mass events like Hercules Trophy and Pink Ladies Games. Co-Founded by Inge Van Belle, Kris Talboom and Yves Vekemans, with hundreds of people in the ecosystem backed by several investors like Duval Union, business angels and equity crowdfunders.

Contact details:

Yves Vekemans
co-Founder Herculean Alliance
Mobile: +971 (0)58.5937468