x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Waiters race for coveted title

Friendly waiter race brings together waiters from some of the best known hotels in the Emirates.

Waiters and waitresses from across Abu Dhabi showed a friendly rivalry as they went head-to-head at Khalifa Park.
Waiters and waitresses from across Abu Dhabi showed a friendly rivalry as they went head-to-head at Khalifa Park.

ABU DHABI // A friendly waiter race brought together some of the most well-known hotels in the Emirates as each sought the coveted "best waiter" title.

For four hours, teams of eight from The Yas Hotel, Emirates Palace, Rotana Beach Hotel, Shangri-La, Hilton and 12 others competed and cheered on their team members as they took part in various races at Khalifa Park yesterday for a chance to win airline tickets, hotel stays and shopping vouchers - as well as bragging rights for the "best waiter".

With a tray sitting firmly on the palm of one hand, carrying a 500ml water bottle and two glasses filled with water, waiters and waitresses said they had to keep one eye on their tray and another on their competition.

The winner of the first race said he only had 24 hours to hone his skills. "I broke two glasses when I was practising," said Sherief Jaffar, of the Crowne Plaza. "I won, I won against the other hotels!"

His colleague, Rolly Paghubasan, practised for much longer. "Twice a week for the past month, and I didn't break any glasses," he said, blaming his loss on the change of environment and setting.

Moritz Klein, of the Beach Rotana Hotel, the event's organiser, said that after stumbling across a similar event 25 years ago in Germany, he was determined to bring it to the UAE.

"We were thinking of something to do in Abu Dhabi and thought, 'Why don't we do a waiter race?'" he said. "We compete every day, but rarely get a chance to have a friendly competition."

osalem@thenational.ae