• Details of upcoming training programmes and other tourism-related initiatives shared with HR professionals from more than 100 Dubai hotels

Dubai College of Tourism (DCT), part of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), hosted the first HR Forum of the year at the Grand Hyatt Dubai on 13 February 2017. The event, attended by more than 150 people from over 100 hotels operating in the city, focused on DCT’s efforts to train and empower the emirate’s tourist-facing workforce, which is expected to grow to more than half a million by 2020. Ensuring a knowledgeable, well-rounded hospitality workforce that delivers exceptional service is a critical component of Dubai Tourism’s strategy towards meeting its Tourism Vision 2020 goals, which include welcoming 20 million visitors per year by the start of the next decade.

The event was an opportunity to introduce forthcoming DCT programmes, including Dubai Way, a detailed online training course designed to improve the knowledge of the tourist-facing workforce, as well as the Tourism Employee System, a unified platform created by Dubai Tourism and Dubai Police that maintains the industry’s employment records and is designed to improve administrative efficiency. Also on the agenda was Dubai Tourism’s new ‘Medyaf’ initiative that seeks to place UAE nationals in customer-facing roles within the tourism industry.

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, commented: “Dubai is already well known for its exceptional service and visitor experience, but as we work towards increasing the number of visitors to the city in line with our Tourism Vision 2020, it’s crucial that we not only maintain these levels, but also raise the bar even higher. To that end, Dubai Tourism and Dubai College of Tourism are committed to working closely with our public and private sector stakeholders and partners by offering world-class training programmes. This is to ensure the city’s tourism workforce can provide more in-depth and impactful interactions with tourists, resulting in more positive impressions of Dubai. We are delighted to host so many of the city’s hospitality professionals at the inaugural HR Forum, and to have the opportunity to share details of the various initiatives we and our partners are engaged in. With additional forums planned later in the year, we are confident that we can achieve industry buy-in and collaboration, deliver enhanced tourist services and, ultimately, achieve our ambitious tourism goals.”

DCT and Dubai Tourism also partnered with Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA), who took time to talk in detail about the eDNRD system for four- and five-star hotels, and answer questions from the audience of hotel HR professionals.

Major General Mohamad Ahmed Al Marri, GDRFA’s Director General, said: “GDRFA is committed to consistently delivering the highest standards of quality in all its services to align with the Tourism Vision 2020 launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohamad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The UAE has the necessary infrastructure to receive the targeted number of visitors, and we are pleased to participate in this event, which aims to enhance Dubai’s tourist-facing services to ensure visiting Dubai is a memorable experience. Obtaining a visa to Dubai is now a very simple online process that can also be accessed via a smartphone app. In addition, use of Dubai’s Smart Gate service offers travellers a faster and more convenient experience on arrival in the city, eliminating lengthy queues and making it easier for all.”

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