Dr Achim Schmitt, Dean of EHL Hospitality Business School

The Swiss-based EHL Hospitality Business School (EHL), established 130 years ago, holds the distinguished title of the world's best hospitality management school. The institution boasts a storied legacy of fruitful partnerships with hospitality education organisations in the Middle East (ME) region. Three decades past already, EHL forged mutually beneficial collaborations with the Emirates Academy in the UAE and a university in Saudi Arabia.

“Our mission has always been to shape, build, and contribute to the worldwide hospitality industry and we were involved in the initial stages of hospitality projects in countries of the ME. We also advised some of the existing institutions to build hospitality programmes,” says Dr Achim Schmitt, Dean of EHL Hospitality Business School.

Continuing its role as an advisor and consultant, EHL also certifies institutions, advising them on crafting academic content and curriculum to align with the changing landscape of the hospitality industry. This collaboration enables EHL to engage with businesses across various sectors in the region, to elevate their service standards. Presently, EHL is actively serving as an academic advisor and partner in several forthcoming hospitality and tourism initiatives supported by both private and government entities in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other Middle Eastern countries.

EHL has offices in China and India and a campus in Singapore. “EHL is present in all key markets of the world and the Middle East region has been and remains important to us. We value our long-term ties and traditional relationship with institutions here especially because we see keen interest to develop the hospitality industry, about which we are passionate. We find similar interest in China, India, the Asia Pacific region, South Africa and North America,” explains Dr Schmitt.

EHL proudly welcomes over 129 nationalities including ME on its campuses in Singapore and Switzerland, showcasing a strong dedication to fostering a diverse student community. With accreditation from Swiss authorities and renowned global bodies (i.e. EHL is the only hospitality business school accredited by AACSB), EHL adheres to rigorous admission criteria, fuelling a growing interest in its programmes. EHL graduates enjoy thriving careers worldwide with Dubai and Riyadh being alumni hubs holding events for former students.

Signifying EHL’s commitment to the ME is its participation in the prestigious Arabian Travel Market (ATM) conference. Two speakers from EHL will talk about new aspects of tourism and travel. Dr Inès Blal, former Dean will be speaking on Innovations Shaping the Future of Accessible and Inclusive Travel and Dr Meng-Mei Maggie Chen, Professor of Marketing at EHL, will talk about Experience, Culture and Communities: Creating Better Propositions for Experiential Travellers.

“Our long-term goal for the ME is to augment the attractiveness of the hospitality industry, which facilitates human connections in a digitalised world. Hospitality is a cure to loneliness, because it provides spaces and places for human interaction and promotes well-being. We would like to work with like-minded institutions here who would be able to fuel growth in a sustainable way,” concludes Dr Schmitt.