- Individuals employed in tourist-facing jobs to benefit from new online training initiative
The Dubai College of Tourism (DCT), an institution established by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), has announced the first graduates of its interactive training programme, ‘Dubai Way’ designed for government and private sector staff engaged in tourist-facing roles in various service sectors.
The ‘Dubai Way’ initiative was launched earlier this year by DCT for tourism professionals who interact with visitors day-to-day, such as staff at hotels, airlines, airports, malls, transportation systems, theme parks, tourism attractions, and even exchange houses. The training programme is designed to give them the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the emirate and its tourism industry as well as improving their guest relations and service skills.
The first three ‘Dubai Way’ champions are all from hotels under InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) – Irfan Yaqoob from Crowne Plaza Dubai – Deira, Hassan Hamada from InterContinental Dubai Festival City and Karena Regro from Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City.
Essa Bin Hadher, General Manager, DCT awarded certificates to the three graduates at separate events held on 5 June and 11 June.
Essa Bin Hadher, General Manager, DCT, said: “The response we’ve so far had to the ‘Dubai Way’ initiative has been extremely encouraging. The programme forms part of our overall efforts to continue to raise the bar in excellence in all aspects of Dubai’s tourism industry. ‘Dubai Way’ is designed to empower all those in tourist facing jobs with the relevant information and knowledge so they can use it to create a memorable experience for visitors to Dubai. As our tourism industry grows, ‘Dubai Way’ offers standardised information and instructions when it comes to guest services and relations, enabling us to deliver world-class services whilst still retaining Dubai’s culture of hospitality.”
The online programme, which can also be accessed on all smart mobile devices, is delivered through practical video lessons that offer students the opportunity to learn basic but important information that they can rely on during their regular interaction with tourists. The video toolkit features online activities and assessments and gives students an excellent knowledge of Dubai’s history and heritage, its future developments, attractions, world-class infrastructure and how to offer the highest level of customer service.
The three new ‘Dubai Way’ champions have completed Level 2 of the ‘Dubai Way’ programme, which includes 31 training videos, 15 activities and 9 mini-assessments, followed by the final Dubai Way assessment. The topics covered during the programme include – Introducing Dubai; Life in Dubai; Getting Around and Basic Services; A Tour of Dubai’s districts; Dubai Way of Customer Service; and Communicating with Travellers.
Dubai Way champions An elated Irfan Yaqoob, a Pakistani national employed as a Concierge at Crowne Plaza Dubai – Deira, said: “Things develop so fast in Dubai that you have to keep updating your tourism knowledge, and the Dubai Way programme is a useful way for people like us in the hotel sector to achieve this. I am really happy, and thankful to my hotel management for having encouraged me to participate in this programme. The Dubai Way programme has helped me get a better understanding of Dubai’s history, heritage and attractions. Now I am sure my daily interaction with guests will become even more interesting.”
Karena Regro, from the Philippines, and a Guest Experience Specialist at Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City, said: “This is the first time I have done a programme like this. I feel so honoured to participate and do well. I have been in Dubai for about 4 years and yet do not know everything about Dubai. But the Dubai Way programme is very interesting and I did learn so much about Dubai. As someone who is a part of the front office section, I regularly have to deal with guests who ask for different options, like places to visit, where one can have a meal. Thanks to Dubai Way, I have become more knowledgeable about Dubai and confident in dealing with guests.”
Huge benefits to hospitality sector Key executives of hotels under InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), hailed the Dubai Way initiative and saw it as a platform for their employees to contribute towards the success of Dubai’s tourism industry and in the process further enhance their individual careers.
George Koumendakos Area General Manager, Crowne Plaza Dubai – Deira, said: “We are focused on developing our people on the job and developing them in terms of their knowledge so they are able to advance in their careers. Dubai Way helps promote Dubai as a great tourism destination, and the more our employees know about Dubai, they will be more informed about their role in helping tourists enjoy their stay in the emirate. The success of our employees in the Dubai Way programme will certainly be an inspiration to other staff in tourist-facing roles in the emirate.”
Sharon Kovoor, Learning & Development Manager, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, said:
“The Dubai Way programme is an incredible and welcome learning tool that provides us with an integration of prior knowledge with new ones, to incur a rich structure of knowledge on Dubai’s culture, heritage, history and the vast tourism opportunities. The learning and information received through the course are insightful, interesting and very well organized. This can certainly add volumes of confidence in our guest facing colleagues, in terms of the knowledge they have of the city, transforming them into Ambassadors of Dubai and enhancing the hotel’s guest experience.”
Georges Khawam, Director of Learning & Development, InterContinental Dubai Festival City, said: “Dubai Way was a really successful activity for our front office staff who followed the programme. The feedback I got was that they liked it a lot. They appreciate the fact that the content is not boring and theoretical, and they could learn about Dubai in one place in an organized way. We are certain that Dubai Way will be of great benefit to our front office staff, both newcomers and existing employees.”