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Attracting Nationals to work in the hotel sector

September 30, 2011

The DTCM and The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management revealed how they have joined forces to help UAE hotels, and hoteliers, embrace the concept of Emiratisation.

The issue of the ongoing challenges of Emiratisation was tackled head on at The Great GM Debate by John Mowatt, director of Emiratisation projects at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management Centre for Emiratisation Research and Development.

GMs were hard pressed not to be convinced by Mowatt’s dedication to the cause, which he believes is something that needs to be prioritised now.

He revealed that an employment database will go live, as well as a candidate recruitment service in order to assist GMs in advertising roles to Nationals.

“This strategy aims to help management transfer skills and knowledge to UAE Nationals. It is part of what we call a human development capital initiative,” Mowatt said.

He was supported by Ghanim Al Marri, corporate human resources Emiratisation director for Jebel Ali International Hotels LLC, who said that developing an authentic UAE experience in hotels would boost business.

“It will deliver value and better business,” he said. “At present, it is a difficult industry for the Emirati.”

The workshop heard that many Emiratis left jobs in the industry because of pay structures and problems with managers.

“It is very difficult for Arab culture to accept environments with alcohol. There is a social stigma in the culture that comes with that,” explained Al Marri.

He acknowledged that hospitality was “a difficult industry” for an Emirati, but said that gradually the trend was changing — himself an example of the progress made.

The key outcomes of the workshop were that a policy of Emiratisation in the hospitality industry would add to the sustainability of the industry and create an authentic UAE tourist product.

Mowatt appealed to GMs to embrace the Emiratisation concept.

“There are some outstanding Emiratis, and I say that to GMs who want to develop their outlets.” Ron Hilvert, managing director of the Emirates Academy, said that he fully supported the strategy. The Academy is designing workshops to teach F&B managers the skills needed to coach Emiratis.


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