Dubai College of Tourism ups Emiratisation efforts

Newly launched vocational training programme created to boost Emiratisation in the tourism sector; 600 applications received on the initiative's first Career Day from UAE nationals

H.E. Helal Saeed Almarri and H.E. Dr. Abdullah Al Karam.
H.E. Helal Saeed Almarri and H.E. Dr. Abdullah Al Karam.

The Dubai College of Tourism has announced the launch of the ‘Industry Nationalisation initiative’, a new Emiratisation initiative, as part of its ongoing efforts to encourage young UAE nationals to become part of Dubai’s growing tourism industry.

The recruitment, training and industry on-boarding programmes aims to increase the number of Emiratis in tourist-facing roles by 2020.

Tasked with attracting, training and hiring 500 Emiratis, the Industry Nationalisation initiative targets various groups including high school graduates, university students, as well as job seekers in the UAE.

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While increasing awareness of Dubai’s tourism sector amongst Emiratis, the initiative also offers strong career options in different interests across the sector.

In addition the program will also help create an indigenous experience for tourists, in turn enhancing the city’s tourism offering.

Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) director general His Excellency, Helal Saeed Almarri said: “We are committed to nurturing the next generation of UAE nationals, developing them into ambassadors for our city, who symbolise Dubai’s role as a connector of cultures.

He added: “This latest endeavour by the Dubai College of Tourism enables us to not only coach those with potential but also create more opportunities for qualified Emirati nationals in the tourism industry. In line with Dubai Tourism’s Vision of attracting 20 million visitors by 2020, there is an even greater demand for talented Emirati youth, and we aim to use this initiative as a platform to build future leaders, adding to the sustainability and growth of our industry.”

Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) chairman of the board of directors and director general His Excellency Dr. Abdulla Al Karam said: “We welcome this partnership with Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). It will offer aspiring Emirati job seekers with increased career opportunities in the hospitality sector. The partnership comes as part of our continued effort to achieve goals outlined in UAE national agenda, with a focus on increasing participation of UAE nationals in the private sector."

He added: “More than 14,000 UAE nationals have been employed as part of the Emirates National Development Programme. As we get closer to Expo 2020, this initiative will play an important role towards creating a happier future for all.”

The initiative currently comprises four steps, starting with 'Talent Acquisition' through a variety of sourcing tools including social media and outreach to schools and universities, followed by a series of 'Career Days' to conduct interviews and assess potential candidates. The second phase 'Talent Development' involves a two- to four-month training programme tailored to high school and university graduates, with 75 participants per batch, to be held over the course of 12-14 months.

On completion of the training, candidates will move to the next phase 'Graduation and Onboarding' which allows them to immerse themselves into their new role.

This will be followed by 'Ongoing Follow-up and Assessment' – the fourth and final phase. Candidates will also enjoy added benefits such as enrolment in corporate development programmes.

The new initiative enforces the vision for 2017 as the “Year of Giving” as set forth by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. It aims to create an ecosystem that empowers Emiratis to embrace UAE’s rich traditions of hospitality, contribute to the evolution of the tourism sector and make a tangible impact in the growth of Dubai as a global hub with strong local roots.

Dubai College of Tourism director, industry nationalization Mariam Al Maeeni said: “The initiative has already demonstrated success with the first Career Day taking place on 27 December, 2016 at The Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai. Attracting more than 600 applications ahead of the day, the event saw over 245 candidates interview with representatives from 13 hotels across the city. The 75 best applications will now be selected for the first batch of training sessions this month, with successive batches to follow.”

Following the success of the initial Career Day, the Industry Nationalisation initiative’s second Career Day will be held in February 2017.

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