More Arab nationals needed in hospitality

Jumeirah Group’s Gerald Lawless argues that hoteliers need to encourage more nationals from the region to be mobile in jobseeking

Operators, Emirati, Emiratisation, Emiratization, Hotel

Employing Arab nationals is a key factor for the tourism industry to take into account for its success in the region, according to Jumeirah Group’s Gerald Lawless.

The hospitality company’s president and group CEO reflected on the current state of the region’s tourism during a UNWTO Ministers Forum session on intra-regional travel, which took place at Arabian Travel Market.

Lawless noted that the company had seen great success from its efforts in employing nationals and was continuing its efforts.

“Here in the UAE as the Jumeirah Group we have been working very hard to attract Emiratis, young Emiratis school and college leavers, to come and join us in the huge industry that is very much a pillar in the industry, not just in the UAE but across the region.

“We are now going outside of the UAE to look for employees in Oman or Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. You just need to encourage them to be a bit more mobile in their jobseeker within the region.”

He added that it was not only important for the industry but proved to enhance a travellers experience when travelling to the region.

Commenting on challenges currently being faced, Lawless said: “We talk in the UAE about sending our guests to the beautiful coastline of Oman, still it is a challenge. Yes it is better than it was, and it is getting better, but it needs to get really fluid.

"When a guest comes in here and gets a visa for the United Arab Emirates on the arrival, it should be like the Schengen area. We have been talking about it for a long time, but we do not seem to be making a huge progress on it.”


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