UAE nationals are increasingly turning to Abu Dhabi’s burgeoning travel and tourism industry as potential career paths, according to feedback from tourism industry partners, public and private sector companies, education institutes and Emirati job seekers at the recent Abu Dhabi Career Fair.
Organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and staged in partnership with Tawteen Programme, an initiative of the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Career Fair was held at the emirate’s latest leisure offering Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.
“I believe the students are now excited about this emirate’s tourism industry and the role it is playing in our economic diversification, said Nasser Al Reyami, Tourism Standards Director, ADTA.
“I hope that many of them will choose to be future employees and leaders of what is proving to be a highly rewarding career path.”
“Our aim is to help find permanent solutions for Emirati youth employment and develop their potential. Tourism industry is one of the core industries in Abu Dhabi’s long term strategic vision and we are all working hard on preparing future generations of Emiratis to enter this industry and have successful careers,” said Mohamed Al Neaimi the Emirates Foundation Tawteen Programme Director.
Twenty industry stakeholders joined ADTA for the event in which over 150 pre-screened Emiratis were considered for available posts.
“The career fair was held by invitation only and candidates from Zayed University, Abu Dhabi Vocational Education & Training Institute (ADVETI), the Higher Colleges of Technology Al Ain and Abu Dhabi in addition to individual job seekers from different backgrounds were pre-selected to ensure productive meetings with stakeholders,” said Paul Ram Prakash, Industry Professional Development Manager, ADTA.
Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH) says it is seeing more UAE nationals willing to work in the industry and promote the UAE capital to visitors and guests.
“Our self-introduced target of 3% nationalisation has proven to be a success, we find that there is no one better to promote Abu Dhabi to visitors than UAE nationals,” said Ahmed Lasheen, Director of Human Resources at ADNH.
Participating education institutes also noted a rise in demand for tourism specialisation among young Emiratis in the past few years with more students choosing to enroll in travel and tourism courses.
“We have seen increased demand from them on our degrees with 20 to 30% of our students graduating in this year, said Saood Al Harethi, Marketing Officer , ADVETI.
“Upon graduation, candidates can easily find work in companies such as Tourism Development & Investment Company,” added Al Harethi.
Consisting mostly of private sector companies, the career fair saw a change of perceptions when it comes to young Emiratis’ career choices.
“We have seen a lot of interest from potential candidates today showing an encouraging shift in UAE Nationals’ career choice, which is no longer restricted to jobs in the government sector”, said Rita Abou Diwane, Human Resources Manager at Al Masaood Travel & Services: “Candidates seem to be interested in exploring new destinations as well as promoting Abu Dhabi to visitors from different backgrounds,” added Abou Diwane.
Shamma Al Muhairi, an ADVETI student visited the fair hoping to land a job in tourism and was particularly impressed by Tourism Development & Investment Company’s training programme: “I met many interesting companies and applied for different jobs in tourism, but my favourite so far is TDIC, I hope to be able to join its one-year training programme and work on its fascinating developments,” said Shamma.
Fair exhibitors included Rotana Management Group, Fairmont Hotel, Yas Marina Circuit, ADVETI, Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara, Anantara, Qasr Al Sarab Resort & Spa, ADNH, Al Ghazal Travel, Crowne Plaza Yas Island, Staybridge Suites Yas Island, Millenniuim Hotel Abu Dhabi, The Rocco Forte Collection, TDIC, Al Masaood Travel & Services, Tilal Liwa Hotel, Etihad Airways, British Council, European International College, Emirates Foundation For Philanthropy and Zayed University.