The celebration of the eighteenth anniversary of the inauguration of Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award (SKEA) is an acknowledgement of a decade of implanting the first cornerstone of comprehensive quality infrastructure and excellence in Abu Dhabi in 1999 by Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI).

The Award is a complete development approach built on the latest human knowledge to provide the private sector with practical and scientific roadmap towards adopting the principles of comprehensive quality and implementing them in the businesses of the Emirate. The scientific standards and framework of the Award were adopted from the best technical and administrational practices in organizational development of the most successful international corporations.

SKEA reflects the essence of quality and excellence which can be used by the participating corporations to highlight their true capabilities, so they appreciate what they see in themselves from strength points that go in line with the best practices in quality and excellence. Besides, those corporations can find when taking part in SKEA some technical and administrational weaknesses so that they can address them and work to fill gaps, thereby starting their race towards excellence. In the Excellence Race (a name we chose for the magazine of the Award) there is no finish-line; thus, the participating corporations in SKEA since ten years ago remained and will remain in constant hard work towards organizational excellence.

The excellence of nations and societies around us is possible with the excellence of their individuals, men and women. An excellent corporation is build upon a number of excelled people, and the excellent corporations in economic, social, and political sectors can build an excellent country. Therefore, the strategic plans of realizing the sustainable economic and social development cannot be achieved but through distinguished corporations that are built on distinguished individuals with technical and administrational capabilities.

From here comes the strategic targets of SKEA which are based on the main axes of achieving sustainable economic and social development, and announcing an active participation in achieving excellence excellence as follows:

• Active participation in formulating an excelled individuals
• Active participation in realizing excellent corporation performance
• Achieving excellence work outcomes

The excelled individual is the strong and honest man. The strong one is in his knowledge and skills, and honest in his behavior and hard work in realizing an excellent services for the entire society.

Excellent corporation performance is the most efficient one (to do things right from the first time and every time) while efficiently managing financial and human resources. The most effective one is in which the approach becomes a steering wheel towards realizing the strategic targets, and the hard work in founding compliance between the employees and the work policies in one hand, and in balancing the needs of all the related parties in the other, and then working towards answering these needs in the present and the future.

Finally, the outcomes of excellent work are those elicited from the comprehensive vision of our wise leadership which is being translated in the Abu Dhabi Economic vision 2030. This Vision is to be implemented by the private sector and the public one in a strategic partnership and sharing a vision that was expressed thoroughly in the enlightening directional words of his highness the sponsor of the event. His words headed the books of Abu Dhabi Award for Excellence in Government Performance which were formed according to international models that were adopted by SKEA for the past ten years. His Excellency pointed to the need for the development process of Abu Dhabi to move forward based on two solid grounds which are the public sector and the private one. I would like to note to the need for adopting the enlightening standards of organizational excellence in the performance of the public sector to achieve the same great results SKEA achieved in the private sector.

The ten editions of SKEA witnessed an increase in its programmes over the past ten years which resulted in a considerable growth in the number of participants and assessors. The number of corporations and companies that took part in SKEA over the past ten years reached 5,000 companies in different sectors and fields.

Training assessors, whom we like to term “excellence ambassadors” as they were learned the culture of excellence through us for them to spread it home, are messengers of quality and excellence. More than 120 assessors trained this year whom can be added to an overall 500 assessors that trained over the years of SKEA; 200 UAE citizens among them.

Assessment and evaluation procedures this year witnessed significant development represented in comprehending the latest developments in the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM). Thus, SKEA was the first to adopt such modern approaches in corporation evaluation. The members of the European Training Institute (ETI) joined in for the first time in the region to supervise the finest phases of the evaluation process. These phases are the matching evaluation and the field visits which included all the participating corporations.

SKEA Higher Committee members included representatives of European institutions and the best local and regional expertise. The Committee approved the results after a comprehensive review by all individuals, matching assessments and field visits in addition to ensuring the authenticity of all the performance reports which are the real prize the Award offers for all participants including the winners. All participants are winners by merely receiving this added value report. Again, there are no losers amongst the participants.

The widening international acknowledgement and growing credibility in the Award over the past ten years led to accreditation of SKEA programme by the International Quality Congress Middle East last year as one of the most important national initiatives in the Middle East in performance enhancement. Besides, the Award certificate came signed by the finest and biggest scientists including the presidents of the International Academy for quality (IAQ), the American Society for Quality (ASQ), the European Foundation for Quality management (EFQM), and the Asia Pacific Quality Management Organization.

I am honored to convey my utmost appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s President, for his continuous and unlimited support to SKEA since its inauguration, and to His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for his continuous support for SKEA and its organizers. May Allah bless them for this country and its people.