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Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF), the Dubai government entity responsible for the care of Emirati children who have lost one or both parents, marked an impactful participation at a unique career seminar that took place for the first time as part of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2016 (AHIC) in Dubai.

Aiming to encourage a greater number of Emiratis to join the hospitality industry, the seminar provided details on the wide variety of career choices available within the industry. Information was also shared on specific career training programs and scholarships available for Emirati students to study abroad.

Supported by AMAF, the seminar was jointly organized by the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference, Ahmed Ramdan, founder of Ròya International, the Glion Institute of Higher Education (GIHE), and Les Roches International School of Hotel Management (LRB).

Today, the UAE’s world-renowned tourism and hospitality industry accounts for 8.7 percent of the country’s GDP, with that number set to grow to 13.1 percent in 2016. Yet, despite the massive impact of the industry on the UAE’s economy, the number of Emiratis employed within the sector remains low. The seminar presented an opportunity for many young people under the care of AMAF to learn about the range of career options available within the hospitality industry and understand how they might be able to contribute to the sector. It also offered insight on how prospective hotel management students could enhance their skills and development through the ‘study abroad’ programs and scholarships available to them.

The Switzerland-based Glion Institute of Higher Education offers one such program for Emiratis seeking to develop their skills in the sector and is eager to support the cause of Emiratization within the hospitality industry. The program provided two attending students with full scholarships and travel to its European summer programs.

Speaking at the event, His Excellency Tayeb Al Rais, Secretary General of the Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, said: “We deeply appreciate AHIC and Ahmed Ramadan for spearheading this initiative. Ramadan’s own vision and journey within the hospitality industry is certain to inspire AMAF’s young minors to explore the exciting and varied career choices available in the hospitality industry today and contribute positively to the UAE’s tourism and hospitality sector.  Hospitality today is a wide ranging professional field very different from the old idea of simply greeting people or a career in food and beverage.”  He added: “By 2023, the number of international tourists entering the UAE is forecast to reach 26 million and this seminar presented the right opportunity for our young people to consider this career choice.”

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