DUBAI: Over the past decade, Dubai has established itself as one of the top tourist destinations in the world. With an average of 16 million international visitors, Dubai ranks as the world’s 4th most visited city.
For this city-state, whose economy relies heavily on its ever-growing tourism sector, there is a constant need to have a continuous flow of qualified human resources who have the level of expertise and training required to deliver on its promise. of a vacation destination for a variety of travelers.
Hence the need for the Dubai College of Tourism (DCT). The DCT is an initiative of the Government of Dubai under the umbrella of the Department of Economy and Tourism as part of a strategy developed in 2013 which recognized that there is a need for a professional institution to fill the gaps in the tourism industry.
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In 2016, DCT was established and its first admission was in 2018. The college awards Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Hospitality, Event Management, Retail, Culinary Arts and in alignment with qualification national of the United Arab Emirates.
Interestingly, the DCT is located within the premises of the Department allowing constant and beneficial interaction for students with industry professionals.
Addressed exclusively to company registrarEssa Bin Hadher, Managing Director of DTC, said: “One of the main advantages of DCT is that it is housed within the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism.
“While this limits the number of students to a maximum of 125, the interaction and experience students gain from being part of one of Dubai’s leading departments that neglects a large chunk of GDP greatly adds to the value of their qualification.”
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According to Hadher, for this young city, the unbridled growth of tourism over the past twenty years has put a strain on the human resources available.
Traditionally, most of the labor required came from the region, but the country now has enough internal population between UAE nationals and expatriate communities who can be trained for roles in the sector. tourism.
“Our focus is on residents of the UAE and especially residents of Dubai because of the college’s proximity to them and the proximity of potential jobs to them. Dubai has the most rooms in the area, the most attractions in the area, and the most events and activities throughout the year. So there is a huge need for human resources to fulfill the promise of a wonderful visit to Dubai,” he says.
Talking about training students to handle a variety of tourists, he said DCT students are lucky that most of them were born here or grew up here. They are therefore already exposed to Dubai’s cosmopolitan lifestyle as well as its tradition and culture of inclusion towards different nationalities, cultural backgrounds, religions, etc.
“We in Dubai have always taken this into account, whether in schools, businesses, attractions, events, exhibitions and conferences. We saw the biggest and best example of this at Expo 2020,” he added.
The DCT program is the product of a long initial journey that has identified, through research and collaboration, what specific skills are required by industry. An advisory council within the industry, representing all the different faculties, has been established and the curriculum developed with the advice of this advisory council keeping in mind what is needed in the next 5-10 years and also what is missing now and needs to be addressed immediately.
It is a flexible program, revised every year, to meet the needs of the future, that is, short-term and long-term requirements.
Hadher says DCT has already seen this student-digested content really having a positive impact in the workplace.
“It really helps the students in their new roles and the employers are also happy to have workers with the required skills. Sometimes employers are also members of the advisory board. So it all works hand in hand and comes full circle with a qualified person for the skill shortage that the industry is struggling with.
DCT says it is proud that 85-87% of its students upon graduation are immediately absorbed into Dubai’s tourism industry. In fact, most of them receive job offers during their internships.
DCT, says Hadher, also owes it to its industry partners who help and help expose their students, during their training, through travel and tours, to opportunities that broaden their horizons through hands-on learning.
“By the time they get to their stage, they’re really ready, and they’re not walking in a vacuum, and I think that’s what makes us successful.”
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022