Abu Dhabi: A total of 67 UAE nationals emerged as the first batch of 2010 Abu Dhabi Ambassadors at a graduation ceremony conducted by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition (Adnec) yesterday

"This programme is important because it gives [the participants] an essential understanding of the emirate's tourism potential and capabilities. The emirate is known for extending its hospitality to travellers and highlighting our heritage. What better way for these to be conveyed than by Emiratis? The result will be a much enhanced visitor experience that will prove to be invaluable for all," Shaikh Sultan Bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman, ADTA, said.

The Ambassador's programme was initially launched three years ago to assist the tourism and communications students of Zayed University. At first, it was limited to one course per year, but it has been expanded to twice-yearly and now accepts participants from different sectors following an instruction by General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

"My organisation was approached to nominate someone for this programme and I am so glad that I was able to be a part of this experience. I can't wait to go out and represent not only the city of Abu Dhabi but also the entire Emirate and who knows, maybe one day the entire UAE as well," Shaikha Al Braiki, 26, Abu Dhabi Executive Council, said.

The participants included students from Zayed University, members of Abu Dhabi Customs, Abu Dhabi's Tourism Police and the Office of the Brand. They not only completed theoretical modules but also visited several renowned locations.

ADTA Graduation Ceremony for Abu Dhabi Ambassador Programme