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ENDP to promote Emiratization in the hospitality and tourism industry

The pace of Emiratization in the hospitality industry set to increase dramatically from 2006 onwards

Dubai-United Arab Emirates, 18 April, 2006: The Emirates National Development Programme (ENDP) has announced new initiatives that will groom the UAE National candidates for the booming tourism and hospitality sector. ENDP aims to help young national job seekers by training them to develop knowledge and skills specific to hospitality and tourism industry.

Azzah Al Sharhan the Director of ENDP said, “The UAE needs to ensure that there will be an adequate supply of knowledgeable and skilled UAE nationals entering the tourism and hospitality industry over the coming decades. This will meet the growing demand of overseas tourists and add to the experience of authentic UAE culture and hospitality.”

“Emiratization is a win-win situation for all - the industry, its customers, UAE nationals, and the UAE economy. The programme facilitates a smooth entrance for UAE Nationals to enter fields barely ever entered into before, “ added Al Sharhan.

The pace of the Emiratization in the hospitality industry is set to increase dramatically from 2006 onwards. This is a result of the previous groundwork by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) Emiratization Task Force for Tourism (ETFT) in partnership with The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management (EAHM) since 2002. A further boost has occurred as the result of the establishment of the Emirates Nationals Development Programme (ENDP) in November 2005 which joined forces with the existing initiators to further promote the programme.

The Task Force has so far trained over 300 UAE nationals. With the outcome being that the number of UAE nationals working in the hospitality industry in Dubai has risen from 15 at the start of 2002 to 205 at the end of 2005 as a result of Task Force initiatives such as training programmes for UAE nationals Career Development Summer Programme (CDSP) and the newly launched Hospitality MAHARAT programme; hospitality industry career awareness campaigns targeted at UAE nationals; and best practice Emiratisation workshops and consultancy.

The Hospitality MAHARAT programme runs throughout the year and offers UAE nationals the opportunity to experience as well as learn more about the careers available to them in the hospitality (hotel) industry. The programme runs for 9 weeks with a mixture of both theoretical and practical knowledge and experience. The programme produces qualified UAE national hoteliers who can become pioneers in the field of hospitality.

Al Sharhan said, “In 2005 the number of five star hotel companies actively involved in Emiratization was six. Now at the start of 2006 the number is over twenty. The ENDP is looking at a recruitment figure of over 500 UAE nationals across all hotel companies in Dubai for 2006. Furthermore the ENDP has now formed a close partnership with the DTCM ETFT and the EAHM to work towards realizing these targets and providing consultancy services to the hospitality industry.”

“Around 300 out of the overall 650 target for 2006 will be accommodated within the four Hospitality Industry MAHARAT nine-week training programme set to be run throughout 2006. In 2007 and beyond, the MAHARAT programme will continue, in addition to further initiatives being introduced targeting UAE national job seekers and hospitality companies,” Al Sharhan added.

The purpose of ENDP is to facilitate and support the integration of UAE Nationals into the private sector. As per His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai instructions, this programme was designed to introduce young willing UAE Nationals to the world of hospitality and equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills for this sector.