A job hiring and training programme is aiming to boost the number of young Emiratis working in the country’s growing tourism and entertainment sector, with 150 Emiratis hired in the 18 months since the initiative was launched.
Organised by Miral, the project aims to capitalise on the success of popular theme parks such as Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, and the upcoming Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, providing Emiratis with a promising career path.
“The whole idea of the Ambassador Programme is to create something that can bring Emiratis into the tourism and entertainment sector and to have Emiratis working at theme parks. It’s something new and different which is what makes this exciting — a lot of Emiratis have not been exposed to such a role,” said Mariam Al Musharrakh, associate director of human resources at Miral.
“Successful applicants to the programme are put through an intensive three-month training programme where they do actual work at places like Ferrari World in things like guest services, retail, merchandise, rides and attractions. Once they finish the training, they can move ahead and get a full-time job depending on their performance. All candidates who complete the training are also provided with a certificate,” she said.
Al Musharrakh said the programme was open to all Emiratis irrespective of their educational and skills background.
“There are no specific experience or educational backgrounds required to join the programme — it’s open for both skilled and non-skilled Emiratis. Our goal is to give opportunities to everyone.
“We have had people who literally spoke no English when they joined the programme, and that was fine because we didn’t have a language requirement either, but as the training went on they picked up the language in just a few months and could start speaking English and that’s something we are very proud of,” she added.
Al Musharrakh pointed to the number of Emiratis hired since the programme was launched as a testament to its success and the enthusiasm shown by young Emiratis.
“The feedback and results have been great: in 18 months, we have hired 100 Emiratis and for us that’s a huge success. We’re not just stopping with 100, we currently have another 50 Emiratis training with the programme now, and we want to raise the number of hired Emiratis to 200.”
Hussain Mohammad Al Hassni, a 22-year-old Emirati who successfully landed a job thanks to the programme, said he came with a background in electrical engineering before deciding to try his hand in the entertainment sector.
“I was studying electrical engineering when I heard about the programme and I decided to go ahead and join. The training taught me a lot when it came to things like interacting with people of so many different nationalities and being able to handle what they need as guests. I felt a lot of personal development during the training phase and I knew this was a career path that I wanted to pursue.
“I was successful after my training and got a full-time job offer to work at Yas Waterworld. I started as a guest service associate, so my job was to sell tickets to visitors and to welcome them. After seven months, I was then promoted to assistant manager, so I feel very proud to see how far I have come,” he added.
Al Hassni said that having more Emiratis involved in the day-to-day leisure activities in the country was positive as it gave tourists the chance to interact and meet with Emiratis.
“You’re like a representative of your country in this job, each one of us is an ambassador because we’re meeting and greeting people from all around the world, and so you have to make a positive impression on them.”
Jawaher Mohammad Al Hassni, a 20-year-old Emirati who also successfully found a job through the programme, said she never saw herself working in the entertainment industry until she joined.
“I didn’t see myself having a career in this sector, but as soon as I joined the programme, I really enjoyed the experience and saw that I was gaining a lot of new skills and self-confidence. Before I joined, I was shy, but after the training, my communication skills got so much better because I was meeting with visitors from so many different countries everyday.
“After completing my training, I got the job and worked for over a year until I was promoted to assistant manager, so I’m really happy with how it’s all turned out. This is something that I definitely see myself doing long term,” she said.
“I want to keep improving my skills, I’m currently taking a course at university to learn Chinese, and I have also learnt basic words in Russian. My goal is to improve the interactions with visitors,” she said.
Jawaher also said she was happy to show that young Emiratis were capable of working and being successful in the country’s entertainment sector.
“Sometimes when my friends ask me where I work and I tell them Ferrari World, for example, they feel a little strange about it. I’m a local and working in such a place, but for me this industry is a really good one to join and when they learn more about my job and what I’m doing, they too become interested to join as well.”
Source: Gulf News