Abu Dhabi: "The tourism and hospitality industry in Abu Dhabi has a great future. To achieve this future, we must work with determination to identify challenges, promote growth and development and encourage cooperation at all levels," said Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and President of Zayed University.

A Masters of Arts in Tourism Communication course will now be offered to Emirati graduates for the first time in the UAE, it was announced at a conference held at Zayed University (ZU) on Sunday.

The conference titled ‘Tourism: A promising Future,' under the patronage of Shaikh Nahyan, highlighted the importance of preparing tourism professionals to become leaders who can effectively respond to the dynamic and changing tourism industry at the local and international level.

"The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority issued a study that shows that in the next five years there will be close to three million tourists visiting Abu Dhabi. It seemed to make sense to move academically towards the tourism line," said Dr Kenneth Starck, Dean of Communication and Media Science, ZU.

The 12 Master of Arts course takes two years to finalise, said Starck. Courses are blended, with evening and/or weekend classes through face-to-face and online formats to give employed students a chance to cope with both work and study. The course will emphasize on theory, principals and the research.

Graduate students must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in course work as a requirement to enter the graduate degree. Those dropping below the minimum grade-point average for two consecutive semesters are eligible for academic dismissal from the programme for failure to make satisfactory academic progress.

According to Michelle Sabti, Head of the Tourism Training Section, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, the UAE is ranked 38 out of 174 countries in the tourism sector; tourism in the UAE is expected to double in the next ten years.

According to Sabti, the tourism sector has diverse career choices in five key sectors; namely the Tourism Organisations, Accommodation and Food Services, Transport, Retail Travel and Attractions.

"The number one resource in tourism in the UAE is its people. It's not the buildings, nor the chairs that make tourism in the UAE stand out, it's about the inter-connection and excellence in hospitality in the UAE that lasts a lifetime in the minds of tourists," said Sabti.

Learning Outcomes

The masters programme in Tourism Communication will equip participants to be future leaders in the tourism industry.
Participants in the programme will:
- Attain a global and regional understanding of current trends and directions in the tourism industries.
- Develop critical, analytical and research competence in the study of communication and media as they relate to tourism, including measuring and understanding consumer trends.
- Understand the role played by new information technologies in the tourism industries.
- Learn strategies for developing integrated marketing communication campaigns that serve organizational and/or corporate objectives.
- Understand linkages between tourism communications and local culture and heritage, especially in the UAE context.
- Develop best professional and leadership practices that enhance the success and effectiveness of the organisation and its staff.

Programme Costs

Tuition of Dh128,000 covers the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Tourism Communication introductory workshops, 12 Master of Arts (M.A) in Tourism Communication courses, textbooks, laptop configuration, access to faculty and on-site meals and refreshments. Upon acceptance, a down payment is required to hold the students position in the cohort. A non-refundable fee of Dh400 must accompany the application.

Contact Information
Graduate Studies
Zayed University
P.O. Box 4783
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Tel : +971-2-4079-641
Fax : +971-2-4079-516
Email : gradadmin@zu.ac.ae
Web: www.zu.ac.ae