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Dubai Quality Award

Dubai Quality Award

Dubai Quality Award is not yet another initiative an organisation can embrace; it is a framework that ensures that all different initiatives are pulling in the desired direction. The methodology and main criteria of the award are encapsulated in a model outlined in this document. This model provides organisations with a tool to benchmark performance and document existing gaps.

The Dubai Quality Award, initiated in 1994, is based on the Excellence Model used by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM). The latter has been successfully applied in European private and public sector organisations since 1992.

This model provides a holistic framework for organisational excellence. All nine criteria work as one complete system, such that any deficiency in one area will affect the score in other areas. The model does not deny that the system has parts, but it focuses on the whole, where the whole is larger than the sum of its parts. The model was designed to be non-prescriptive, to acknowledge the fact that there may be more than one approach for achieving excellence. To help you implement our Model, we provide training, assessment tools and recognition.



Applicants of the Dubai Quality Award must demonstrate sustained continual improvement. They should focus on the improvement process and not only on winning the award trophy. That is because the journey for excellence and the improvement activities will be much more valuable for organisations than winning a trophy.

 For more information please contact the Business Excellence Center by calling +971 4 4455833 or through email 

There are three different categories of the Dubai Quality Award:

  • The Dubai Quality Gold  Award (DQG)
    This award is reserved for past winners of the Dubai Quality Award (DQA), after demonstrating further tangible sustained improvement over their last performance. Winners may reapply, subject to meeting the DQA requirements.
  • The Dubai Quality Award (DQA)
    This award is presented to organizations from different sectors of the economy, such as manufacturing, service, tourism, construction, finance, professional, healthcare, higher education and trade. Winners may apply for the Gold category three years after winning the DQA.
  • The Dubai Quality Appreciation Award (DQAA)
    A trophy of appreciation is presented to winners in this category in appreciation of their effort and in acknowledging their work on their journey for excellence. The appreciation program is open to organizations from all sectors of the economy and many organizations use it as a stepping stone before applying for the DQA Category.

  • Construction
  •  Education
  • Health
  • Finance
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional
  • Trading
  • Services
  • Tourism
  • Government
  • Retail
  • Free zones
  • Transportation
  • Logistics

In addition to the above, there are also 3 Specialised Award Categories under the Dubai Quality Award:

  1. Dubai Quality Award for Representative Entities (specifically for business councils and associations)
  2. Dubai SMART Industry Award (specifically for industries focused on Digitalisation)
  3. Dubai Quality Global Award (specifically for Multinationals in UAE or Globally)

The EFQM Excellence Model represented in the diagram above is a non-prescriptive framework based on nine criteria. Five of these are 'Enablers' and four are 'Results'. The 'Enabler' criteria covers what an organisation does and how it does it. The 'Results' criteria covers what an organisation achieves. 'Results' are caused by 'Enablers' and 'Enablers' are improved using feedback from 'Results.'

The arrows emphasise the dynamic nature of Model, showing learning, creativity and innovation helping to improve the Enablers that in turn lead to improved Results.

Each of the nine criteria has a definition, which explains the high level meaning of that criterion.

To develop the high level meaning further, each criterion is supported by a number of criterion parts. Criterion parts are statements that describe in further examples of what, typically, can be seen in excellent organizations and should be considered in the course of an assessment.

Finally, below each criterion part are guidance points. Many of these guidance points are directly linked to the Fundamental Concepts mentioned earlier. Use of these guidance points is not mandatory. They are intended to give examples to aid interpretation of the criterion part.



The RADAR Assessment and Management tool is the evaluation method used to score organisations applying for the EFQM Excellence Award and most national Excellence awards in Europe as well as the Dubai Quality Award in UAE. It can also be used by organisations carrying out Self-Assessment and wishing to use a score for benchmarking or other purposes.

The underlying principle for scoring using the RADAR is that when an organisation's performance improves over time, their score against the Model will increase. 50% of the points available are allocated to the Enablers and 50% are allocated to the results. This is to ensure the organisation has the capability to sustain this performance into the future.

When an organisation is scored using the RADAR matrix, weights are given to each of the nine criteria to calculate the number of points awarded. These weights were established in 1991 as the result of a wide consultation exercise across Europe. They have been periodically reviewed by EFQM and the diagram above illustrates the current weightings.

  • Scope: Organization (private or government sector) located in the UAE, with over 50 employees
  • Have a current trade license in the UAE.
  • Have a minimum of 3 years continuous operating history in the UAE.
  • Have at least half of the applicant's employees or asset base must be located and examinable in the UAE.
  • If a subsidiary or business unit of a larger entity, be considered as a "stand alone" business with clear boundaries and financial autonomy, managing their own accounts.

General Application Rules

  • The number of submissions accepted annually for the DQA is limited by the number of assessors available annually to conduct the assessments. Therefore, companies intending to apply for the DQA must declare their intention to participate to the Award Secretariat as early as possible, allowing a minimum of 6-9 months notice, but preferably more than one year. This will help the Award Office to organize training workshops for applicants on how to conduct self-assessment and how to prepare the submission document, thus utilizing the application process to their maximum advantage.
  • The Award Office reserves the right to decline any application that does not reflect a genuine journey for excellence or if this journey was not genuinely supported by the highest authority and the senior management of the organization.
  • Winners of the DQA are obliged to participate and share their Best Practices with others, after the Award Ceremony, along with any related marketing campaigns.
  • Large organizations must apply for the DQA category, while small organizations must first apply for the DQAA.

Rules for the GOLD Category Applicants

  • Applicants in this category must be from past DQA or GOLD Category winners (with a minimum of 3 years since their last win).
    While GOLD category winners may reapply for a 2nd GOLD, 3rd GOLD, etc…, 3-4 years after their last win, the Award Office reserves the right to extend this period or decline late or unexpected submissions.
  • Applicants in this category must focus on sustained improvement activities since the last win, and should not aim at reproducing an augmented version of the old submission document.
  • Strong evidence of innovative, improved and/or newly introduced approaches is required.
  • The results must cover all relevant areas stretching over at least 5 years plus in most cases, showing comparisons with national and international benchmarks and best in class as applicable.
  • Non-winners in this category may reapply in 2 years time.

    Rules for DQA Applicants


  • Companies may either apply for this category directly or as past DQAP winners.
  • Applicants in this category must focus on showing results that are caused by approaches and favorable trends that extend for at least 3 years plus, with benchmarks against national competitors and/or industry standards as applicable.
  • Non-winners in this category may reapply in 2 years time.

    Rules for DQAA Applicants
  • Companies may directly apply for this category (provided that they have not been past winners of this category before);
  • Applicants in this category usually demonstrate stronger performance in the enablers parts than in the results. Nonetheless, their focus must be on showing results that are caused by approaches and favorable trends that extend at least 2 years plus.
  •  Non-winners in this category may reapply after 2 years.

Every year, the DQA Secretariat selects an additional group of assessors to bring fresh skills and experiences to the assessment process. Award assessors are normally senior and operational managers drawn from private companies and the public sector in the UAE. They will be invited to apply to become potential assessors, and if accepted will undertake training, which includes pre-course work and an intensive 3-day training course. Only if they successfully complete the training, will they qualify to act as Award assessors. Over the past 14 years, we have trained in excess of 1000 executives from leading organizations throughout the UAE to become assessors of the Award. The assessors play a pivotal role because, apart from the task of assessing applicant companies, they also serve as implementers of the Award model in their respective organizations.


If you think you have the qualifications, credentials and time to be part of this unique journey of learning and self development and wish to apply as an Assessor of the DQA, please complete the attached application form and forward it to us with copies of your main qualification certificates, preferably by email.


To qualify as an assessor, you need to fit the following criteria:

  • Have adequate experience in either quality management, information technology, finance, human resources or general management, in a managerial or supervisory capacity with not less than 8 years of work experience. A graduate (with a BSc degree as minimum).
  • Strong Command of the English Language in Reading, Writing and Spoken English, (as they have to read and understand a 35 - 75 page document to discuss with colleagues and conduct a site visit).
  • They enjoy learning for learning and understanding's sake (not for the sake of collecting qualification certificates).
  • They are likely to contribute to the DQA over more than one cycle, (2-3 consecutive cycles as possible).
  • They have sufficient time after work to spare, for the assessment process.
  • If their employer is not prepared to free them during November - February the following year, for training, consensus meetings and/or site visits; they will be prepared to sacrifice some of their personal annual holidays to cover for it. Approximately half a day for briefing in Sep, 3 days for training in Nov,  1 day pre site visit meeting in Dec, 2 days for consensus meetings in Jan and 1-2 days for site visits in Feb, the following year. All assessors will undergo a free 3-day intensive training. They will also receive due recognition at the end of their assessment process.
  • In addition to the above, integrity, professionalism and the ability to complete the assessment process in a timely and confidential manner are essential qualities.
  • We will also give preference to candidates that represent companies which are likely to implement the Award criteria in their own organizations.
  • Special preference will be given to UAE Nationals, EFQM Certified Assessors as well as bilingual assessors.


Confidentiality and Propriety


It is vital that the reputation and integrity of the Dubai Quality Award is sustained. Assessors and Jury members are required to sign undertakings of confidentiality, and must maintain high standards of integrity, so that there can be no suspicion of bias or favoritism, and so that applicants' commercially sensitive information is never disclosed outside the Award process. Those who apply to become assessors or senior assessors must agree to adhere to the Award procedures, to maintain complete impartiality when dealing with submissions and making recommendations, and to notify any potential conflict of interest to the Dubai Quality Award Secretariat as soon as they become aware of it.

 Jury Panel


The Jury will consist of government representatives, business leaders with practical experience of quality management systems, and the international expert advisor. It acts on behalf of the DQA Secretariat to oversee the operation of the Award process. The Jury members meet at the end of the award cycle to decide on the winners. It is specifically responsible for:

  • Reviewing final scores and feedback reports from all site-visited Award applicants, and deciding which should be recommended for an Award or recognition certificate
  • Ensuring that common standards of assessment are applied to Award applicants and to the feedback that they receive
  • Resolving any issues which, in the view of the Award Office, require independent arbitration
  • Exceptionally, carrying out further site visits if the information received from assessors is insufficient to decide whether an Award recommendation should be made
  • Contributing to the review process at the end of the Award cycle


Cost of Dubai Quality Award Application:

  • Dubai Quality Appreciation Award (DQAA) – AED 1000
  • Dubai Quality Award (DQA) – AED 2000
  • DQA Quality GOLD Award – AED 3000
There is a 5% VAT on the above fee
  • Completing the DQA Application form does not bind the applicant to make a submission, however, a serious attempt at preparing the final entry document is expected.
  •  A final entry document should be submitted before the date specified by the Award Office (usually September 30th).
  • This document must reflect your organization as it currently stands against the DQA model criteria and not how it will be in the future.
  • It is recommended to demonstrate your commitment by announcing your decision to apply for the award to key members of staff and to nominate a senior person in your organization to act as a project manager to facilitate the co-ordination and the information compilation process.
  • Start as early as possible. Do not underestimate the time it takes to produce a good submission document.
  • Keep the Award Office informed of your progress to date.
  • Upon receipt of this registration form by the DQA office, you will be entitled for further updates about the Award together with any other booklets, seminars, events and workshops organized by the Dubai Quality Award Secretariat at the Business Excellence Department.
  • All winning organizations will be required to sponsor and participate in the Share Best Practice Conference and Exhibition organized by the Award office, sharing their best practices with the business community at large.
  • All Assessors sign a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement before they are allowed to receive a copy of your submission. They will then assess your organization based on the DQA Criteria, their results are also verified by the award office and the jury. The Jury's decision will be final and cannot be contested.
  • Assessors may not accept presents, job offers, work of any nature (including consultancies) from their assessed companies, for a period of not less than 12 months from the date of the site visits.
    Gifts or bribes of any kind will not be accepted by either assessors/award office.
  • The Award Office reserves the right to disqualify assessors or applicants engaged in fraudulent activities both before and after the Award cycle.


Rules for applicants: 

 DQAA Applicants must focus on showing results that are caused by approaches and favorable trends that extend for at least 2-3 years, DQA Applicants must focus on showing results for at least 3 years plus, with benchmarks against national competitors and/or industry standards as applicable and for DQA Gold Applicants Results must be for 5 years and cover all relevant areas extending beyond the 3 years expected for DQA.

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