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A total of 27.4 million passengers passed through Dubai’s land, sea and air ports during the first half of 2019, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) said on Monday. Dubai International Airport’s 122 smart gates were used by 5.7 million travelers this year, while the GDRFA processed 9.5 million entry and residence permits between January 1 and June 30. COURTESY GDRFA

DUBAI: The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (DGRFA Dubai) has launched the “Languages of Dubai” programme, a first-of-its-kind smart learning platform in the UAE. The programme aims to train and develop English and other language proficiencies of frontline employees in Dubai ports so as to enable them to effectively communicate with different travelers and deal with different situations across the ports.

The programme will focus on typical dialogues expected with passengers during entry and exit from Dubai airports, as Dubai International Airport is the world’s busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic.

It will cover five languages: French, Chinese, English, Russian and Spanish.

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA Dubai, said, “The department works under the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to achieve happiness and satisfaction of the people and ensure a better future for them so that the UAE will be among the happiest countries in the world by 2021.

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of the GDRFA Dubai-1575363227606

“The Languages of Dubai programme is part of the national agenda which aims for the UAE to be among the best in the world in the Human Development Index and to be the happiest. GDRFA Dubai is keen to prepare human resources to keep pace with development and upgrade their skills, knowledge and languages to deal with people of different nationalities in the country.”

He pointed out that learning other languages is key to understanding the cultures of the world.

Al Marri explained that the programme is also aligned with the preparations for the world’s Greatest Show Expo 2020 Dubai, where staff at the airports and ports receive tens of millions of multinational and multilingual visitors. He said the department is ready to receive visitors from all over the world in a manner that suits the status of the UAE.

Al Marri also stressed the need to achieve excellence in the skills of passport control officers and frontline employees at all ports, and their key role in leaving the first and last impression of the UAE in general, and Dubai in particular.

What the smart learning covers

Brigadier Awad Al Awaim, Assistant Director General of Human Resources and Finance Sector, GDRFA Dubai, said the Languages of Dubai programme is an addition to the “Ithraa Learning Platform”, which offers an opportunity for automatic self-training for employees throughout the year. The training programme facilitates self-learning opportunities at any time and from any place.

Al Awaim pointed out that the programme will adopt smart ways to teach the principles of foreign languages and ensure quick resposes to queries by travellers. This will cover activation, listening, vocabulary, resource bank and grammar.

Lt Col Yasser Rashed Al Khanbouli, Director of Training and Performance Development in GDRFA Dubai, said the department seeks to provide the best smart services through the adoption of training programmes in learning and acquiring international languages to understand the cultures of people from different parts of the world.