As many as 50 Emirati students from colleges across the Abu Dhabi emirate got their first taste of what it takes to work in the tourism and hospitality industry here, as they started the tourism summer camp run by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA).
Now in its seventh year, the programme aims to identify and inspire the next generation of tourism professionals for Abu Dhabi. The group of 50 students, made up of both boys and girls aged between 18 and 21years old, was selected by TCA based on their applications for the summer camp.
"We are keen to introduce the students to the world-class offerings that Abu Dhabi has for its visitors to the emirate, in effect showing them the tools they would be using, and the knowledge they would need should they choose a career in the tourism industry in Abu Dhabi," said Nasser Al Reyami, director of Standards Regulations and Licensing department at TCA.
Over the years, the programme, which includes both field trips and workshops, has grown in popularity and, for the first time this summer TCA increased it from two to three weeks to allow students to get work placement at one of Abu Dhabi's hotels or tourism attraction.
Running from August 2 till August 20, the camp began with an introductory presentation, followed by workshops at the Anantara Eastern Mangroves hotel, covering a range of topics from culture, hospitality and attractions to events, sport tourism, entertainment and entrepreneurship.
During the week, the group boarded the Big Bus for a visit to Sheikh Zayed Mosque, learning the basic rules for guiding tours.
Another of the week's highlights was a visit to Saadiyat island, particularly Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi's only professional art gallery. Here they were introduced to the business of running museums and art galleries, also visiting the current sculpture exhibition, the "Immortal Figures", on display until August 30, which will be part of the permanent collection of Louvre Abu Dhabi museum, expected to open in December this year.
The students also attended talks on various tourism related topics by experts from Flash Entertainment and Yas Marina Circuit.
According to Al Reyami, all these talks, workshops and filed visits are meant to show students the vast possibilities that the tourism sector has to offer, especially since Abu Dhabi is in the process of diversifying its economy, and tourism is one of the key developments in the emirate.
The summer programme also includes a heritage field trip to Al Ain and specialised workshops on airlines, tour operations and the cruise industry, ending on August 20 with a graduation ceremony.
Source: Khaleej Times