Monday, August 19, 2019 3:49 PM

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Dubai hotel plans to hire Emiratis as it prepares to employs thousands of hoteliers

Millennium Hotels and Resorts plans to train and hire hundreds of UAE national graduates and train them to become seasoned hotel professionals as the hospitality chain plans to open nine more hotels in Dubai that will see the company hire thousands of hotel professionals in the next few years.


Dubai has more than 600 hotels and service apartment complexes with a collective inventory base of 120,000 rooms and apartments. However, Emiratisation in the UAE’s vibrant tourism sector has been very low.


Dubai leads in total number of hotel keys per resident at 29.9 per 1,000 people when benchmarked against international hub cities. Paris is the next highest with 17.6 keys per 1,000 people, according to global consultancy Knight Frank.


According to data from Dubai Tourism, the emirate is home to 104 five star-hotels. Overall, Dubai hotel room supply is set to reach 132,000 by the end of 2019, Dubai Tourism said as it forecast that the hospitality sector to experience strong, sustained growth over the coming years, with occupied room nights set to reach 35.5 million annually in 2019, representing a 10.2 per cent compound annual growth rate over the next 24 months.


According to statistics released by STR Global – a tourism industry advisory –  Dubai has 53 five-star hotels in planning or construction with opening dates before 2020. All these point out to one important aspect – the industry needs more local talents to help the industry grow.


UAE nationals have historically been shying away from the country’s booming hospitality sector due to long working hours in shifts and working requirements over the weekends, officials said at a press conference organised to announce a UAE national talent hunt for the hospitality sector by Millennium Hotels and Resorts Middle East and Africa (MEA).


“In order to promote the regional talent and leadership development in the hospitality and the private sector, Millennium Hotels and Resorts Middle East and Africa (MEA), announces the launch of TooMooH Internship Development Programme (TIDP), that will help the fix the employment gap of the GCC nationals in the hospitality industry and boost the presence of Gulf nationals in the job market,” the company said in a statement.


According to STR statistics, the GCC is expecting an additional 58,000 keys entering into the market in 2019 with Dubai, Makkah and Riyadh facing the highest increases in supply. These additional hotels will require a large hospitality professional talent pool. However, without the engagement and employment of local talents, hoteliers would find it difficult to manage such a large industry with just foreign professionals.


The level of the UAE national employment in the country’s large tourism and hospitality sectors are quite low and therefore hold great employment opportunity for the young Emiratis looking for career options. The scenario is almost identical in the entire Middle East region, where unemployment remains a challenge.


“The Arabs are globally known for their warm hospitality tradition. However, the hospitality industry in the Arab world is dominated by expatriates,” said Mr. Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi, President of Millennium Hotel & Resorts (MEA). “With proper training, grooming and mentoring of the local talents, we could change the landscape and help create more jobs for the UAE nationals who could one day dominate the tourism industry and lead by example. It is precisely with this objective, Millennium Hotels and Resorts launched this great initiative that we believe, will boost Emiratisation in the UAE’s booming hospitality and tourism industry.”


“The launch of TooMooh and TIDP reflects our long-term commitment to the tourism industries and the economies of the GCC countries. This is part of our Corporate Social Responsibility and aimed at developing local talents and leadership to lead this important industry.”


TIDP, part of the recently launched TooMooh initiative by the Millennium Hotels and Resorts, is aimed at increasing local employment in the hospitality industry and the overall private sector, is designed for the national undergraduate students to get work exposure. The duration of the TIDP internship could range from three to six months.


As part of the initiatives, Millennium Hotels and Resorts will partner with local colleges and universities to provide national students with a comprehensive programme to support their enhancement of knowledge and skills, thus contributing to the hospitality industry and the country.


Under the TIDP, all trainees will receive comprehensive hands-on training in different aspects of the hospitality business so that they could join the industry, build up a career and take up leadership role upon completion of their formal education.


TooMooH is a comprehensive, four tier, national career development programme focusing on the advancement of fresh graduates, executives and leaders. TooMooH will, integrate UAE Nationals in the private sector and offer increased opportunities in the hospitality industry. Under the TIDP, the students will receive training at three levels – internship, management trainee and school trainees.


Although, Millennium Hotels and Resorts initially planned TooMooh and TIDP to help support the growing needs of local talents for its own expansion, the programme will eventually benefit the entire hospitality and tourism industry of the UAE and the Arab World.


Millennium Hotels and Resorts is one of the fastest growing hotel chains in the Middle East and Africa region. It currently operates 35 hotels, has 11 hotels due to open within the next year and 40 hotels in the pipeline across the region.


On track to have 100 hotels across the Middle East by 2020, the TIDP programme reflects Millennium Hotels and Resorts (MEA), vision to have an active role in the advancement of GCC National involvement in the region’s burgeoning travel industry. 


“It is an excellent opportunity to give back to the community where we are present; therefore, through this programme, we are looking forward to contributing to the vision of GCC countries,” Mr Ali said.