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Keep it in the family

With the number of expatriate workers in the private sector exceeding the indigenous working population, the Gulf States are gradually attempting to bridge the gap. Dubai’s tourism authority is the latest to announce a comprehensive localisation plan.

Young Emiratis are to be offered an opportunity to get a glimpse of the hospitality sector this summer, after Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTM) announced today (June 09) the launch of the second Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Industry Career Development Summer Programme (CDSP).

The project, which will run for women between June 14-July 09 and for men between July 12- August 05, aims to make the younger UAE population aware of career development and job opportunities within the travel industry as well as encouraging the younger generation to enter the private sector.

The service sector currently provides 70,000 jobs in the UAE, comprising 4% of the entire UAE workforce and 8% of the private sector, however almost all employees are expatriates.

“We are eager to attract more young UAE nationals into the tourism and hospitality industry by providing them with career guidance, skills and knowledge,” said Awadh al Seghayer, manager of heritage sites and events, DCTM.

According to John Mowatt, CDSP’s project leader, this initiative is the first of its kind in the UAE, attracting 200 applicants for 42 places. He added that in 2002, twelve students entered the hospitality industry as a result of the CSDP and that drop out rates were very small due to mentoring and a wide range of activities to keep students interested.

This project follows an announcement by the UAE government that it is considering levying Dhs8.50 a month on UAE expatriate residents to help fund a scheme for a national human resource development.

“The underlying objective behind such laws and restrictions is to create a favourable work environment in the private sector for UAE national employees, that will positively affect their productivity and improve their attitude towards working in these [private and public] sectors,” said Matar Humaid Al Tayer, UAE minister of Labour and Social Affairs.

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