Destinations

Dubai to Open Hospitality College in Bid to Become Most Visited City in the World

May 11, 2014 11:00 am

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If Dubai is to achieve its goal of becoming the most visited city in the world by 2020, it is going to have to ramp up its training of tourism professionals to support that goal. That’s what the new hospitality college is all about.

— Dennis Schaal

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People celebrate after Dubai won the right to host the 2020 World Expo, in front of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai November 27, 2013. Mohammed Omar / Reuters


Dubai will be home to a new college of hospitality by the end of 2017 in what tourism chiefs hope will boost local employment in the sector.

Yousuf Ahmad Lootah, executive director Tourism Development and Investments at Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), confirmed to Arabian Business that it had signed a partnership with a top global vocational education provider to develop the Dubai College of Hospitality Training (DCHT).

Speaking at Arabian Travel Market, he said it would provide certification across a variety of hospitality-based jobs from event management to taxi driving etiquette and equestrian training.

Sitting between in-house training and a full Bachelor’s degree at Emirates Academy of Hospitality, Lootah said it would fill a much-needed gap in a city which had a booming tourism industry. The location, while yet to be revealed, would be close to transport and in a “major artery of Dubai”, he said.

“Whatever touch point there is between the tourists and the industry DCHT will cover,” he told Arabian Business.

“Previously in the market there was only the Emirates academy, which offered a four-year degree, and it has been a quality degree and it has done dramatically well to serve the national segment. However, to reach a wider audience at a budget level the proposition of DCHT is important.”

Lootah said while it would be open for overseas students, it would be aimed increasing local employment levels in the sector as part of wider Emiratisation targets.

“We have received fantastic support from industry – the whole value chain – and we hope to see it open its doors as a campus that is fully developed by the end of 2017,” he said.

“It will be of a sufficient size to cater to a lot of students on a day-to-day basis.

Dubai hotels welcomed more than 11 million guests in 2013. Under the current development pipeline for 2014-2016 there will be an additional 141 hotel establishments added to the market, including 99 hotels and 48 hotel apartments bringing the total to 751 hotel establishments and just under 114,000 rooms.

On Sunday, tourism chiefs in Dubai revealed their new target – to make the emirate the most visited city in the world.

One year into the delivery of Dubai’s Tourism Vision for 2020, significant first steps have been taken to achieve the target of attracting 20 million annual visitors by 2020, leading the tourism authority to set the new ambition.

Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said that if a growth rate similar to that achieved in 2013 is maintained – a 10.6 percent year-on-year increase equating to 11 million hotel guests – Dubai will overtake London, which currently attracts 16 million tourists annually.

In addition, Issam Kazim, CEO of the newly formed Dubai Corporation of Tourism and Commerce and Marketing, said Dubai would embark on a new marketing approach as a place that “must-be-experienced”.

This includes a website, app and social media platforms which have been designed to attract and inform visitors and help them plan their trip and experience the city during their visit.

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