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( The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) conducted the graduation ceremony of the seventh batch of Maharat job-linked training programme at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel Conference Centre on Tuesday (July 10, 2007).

Mr. Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman of Emirates Nationals Development Programme (ENDP), Mr. Khalid A bin Sulayem, DTCM Director General, Feddah Abdullah Lootah, Acting Director General of National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (TANMIA) Mr. Ibrahim Yaqoot, DTCM Executive Director Human Resources and Training Solutions, Mr. Eyad Ali Abdul Rahman, DTCM Executive Director Media Relations, and Azzah Al Sharhan, Director of ENDP, graced the occasion.

A total of 22 UAE nationals, including eight females, received their certificates at the ceremony. The Maharat programme was launched in the year 2005 to draw Emirati job-seekers take up a variety of positions in five-star hotels in the emirate’s booming hospitality industry.

Addressing the gathering, Mr. Al Tayer said the Maharat programme plays a crucial role in finding suitable employment for the UAE nationals interested in hospitality careers. Describing tourism as a key component of the emirate’s economy, he said the Dubai Strategic Plan -2015 has emphasized on tourism being an area of focused growth in the years ahead.

Mr. bin Sulayem said the Maharat programme has been successful in attracting more UAE nationals towards the hotel industry. There are plenty of job opportunities in the hospitality industry which has been witnessing fast growth in Dubai and beyond.

Feddah Lootah said the TANMIA and DTCM have been working successful in attracting more UAE nationals to take up exciting jobs in the hospitality sector.

The number of Emiratis pursuing careers with Dubai ’s five-star hotels presently stands at 650, largely as the result of a job-linked training scheme.

Mr. bin Sulayem said the department has been receiving requests from several organizations within Dubai and other emirates expressing interest in the Maharat programme given its success within a short span of time.

Top-end Dubai hotels are participating in the programme which is also supported by the TANMIA, ENDP and Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management (EAHM). These properties are members of the DTCM’s Emiratisation Task Force for Tourism (ETFT).

Mr. Ibrahim Yaqoot, who is also the ETFT chairman, said the Maharat progrmame has not only been attracting young nationals for the hotel jobs but also helping clear misconceptions about the crucial tourism industry jobs.

The properties participating in the current programme are: Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort&Spa Dubai, Grand Hyatt Dubai, Park Hyatt Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, Kempinski Hotel Ajman, Shangri-La Hotel Dubai, Wafi/ MKM, Hilton Dubai Creek, Al Murooj Rotana Hotel&Suites and Dusit Dubai.

For further information, please contact: *Mohammed Abdul Mannan, Executive, Media Relations Email: Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing P.O. Box 594, Dubai - United Arab Emirates Tel: +9714 2230000 Fax: +9714 2230022

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