Dubai: As more than 18,000 Emiratis flooded the Careers UAE 2015 recruitment exhibition in Dubai this week on the hunt for the next big step in their careers, four Emirati youths have already decided that they will chase their dream job in the country’s tourism sector.
The four young people Gulf News spoke with said that Dubai’s growing position as a tourist destination made them want to invest their future in what seems by all accounts to be a bright future in the region.
Mariam Al Maeeni, Director of Human Resources at Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said that involving young Emiratis in the city’s tourism journey is crucial to sustain the growth across the industry.
“One of our key strategies at DTCM has been recruiting Emiratis from various educational backgrounds, and presenting great opportunities for fresh graduates,” she said.
Placing Emiratis at the core of its business, DTCM is looking to add more local talent, said Mariam.
I pursued my bachelor’s degree at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management that only offers degrees in the two majors of hospitality and tourism. After graduation I spent four years in restaurant marketing and then searched for my next career venture. One vision of my future that surfaced more than others was representing Dubai in countries around the world, and showing those who don’t know much about our dynamic city, the magic of Dubai. Having worked at Dubai Tourism for less than a year, I have been involved in several notable projects. Three months of countless hours of hard work paid off when I stood at a grandstand at a stadium and looked out at an audience of 40,000 people cheering at the top of their lungs for football legends Real Madrid and AC Milan, playing right here in Dubai for the first time ever. I closed my eyes and felt the tangible energy at this event that our team had organised with a certainty that this was a moment I would never forget.
If I could tell the world something about Dubai, I would say that I’ve never lived outside of it. However I’ve watched over 20 Grammy Award winners perform 20 minutes from my home, took a selfie with Cristiano Ronaldo across the street and hugged a penguin in the desert. This is where it all happens.
Mariam Ali Juma
I call 2014 my year of achievements. It was then when I first went for my internship interview and started my journey at DTCM. I remember being nervous and excited at the same time, I was finally here looking at my dream job that stated: “official ambassador of Dubai”. My internship days gave me an insight into my own city, the city that I presumed no one knew better than me, but I was wrong, my journey of rediscovering and experiencing Dubai started and I was a member of the team shaping it. Two months of hard work and dedication paid off when I received an offer to be an official employee within DCTCM. And that is when my ultimate goal became Dubai’s; positioning the city as the world’s leading destination and commercial hub.
Mariam believes that Dubai’s continuous attempts to break world records and its ‘Dubain culture,’ which embraces people from 200 nationalities and different religious backgrounds, is one of the factors that can make it the world’s leading destination.
Mohammad Al Ahbabi
As a passionate person I was raised to love volunteering. I realised I was not alone, there are many young Emirati boys and girls who are willing to give back to their society. I was determined to prove that Dubai is not only a city, it is an energy source that vibrates with positivity and has a promising future for youth and all its citizens. I finally joined the tourism sector and feel it is an opportunity to be a part of showcasing Dubai as the best destination for tourism, business, and settling down and starting a family. One thing I would tell the world about Dubai is that we are climbing the ladder of success and innovation with a firm step every day, and we have not reached our limit yet. As a matter of fact we have not defined a limit, so there are no limits to where we will reach with our hard work, dedication, and most importantly all of our commitment.
Al Ahbabi believes that Dubai’s cultural diversity, its series of achievements and new attractions, and its leader’s optimistic vision to achieve what is best for its people is what makes the city eligible to become the world’s leading destination.
Hoor Al Khaja
I never thought I would work in the tourism industry. I graduated with a degree in finance and economics from the American University of Sharjah, and I went on to pursue a career in public policy and strategy development/consultation. But life has its very own way of unfolding its own plans beyond what we dream or foresee. Shortly after the announcement of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai’s 2020 Vision for Dubai, which is to reach 20 million tourists by the 2020, I was presented with an opportunity to join the team that was working on developing the strategy linked to this vision. I accepted the role and took on the challenge. It was only when I actually joined Dubai Tourism that I realised the sheer scale of the strategy we were taking on. Tourism currently makes up more than 20 per cent of Dubai’s GDP. After six months, I was presented with the opportunity to move on to another department within Dubai Tourism and further expand my horizons — the overseas offices. Here, I was able to take Dubai to the world. From India to China to South Africa — I had the opportunity to do what every Emirati dreams of: Take up a platform and clarify all the misconceptions carried throughout the years about our city, and describe it for how it really is.