Dubai may well become the worlds most-visited city by 2020. Dubai may well become the worlds most-visited city by 2020.

Dubai is gearing up to welcome 20 million visitors to the emirate by 2020 and is putting in a series of programmes in place to ensure that the service the emirate will offer to incoming tourists is top notch.

The Dubai Way initiative is designed to provide knowledge and improve resourcefulness of hotel employees who work directly with tourists. It is a multi-platform educational training course, which includes videos, interactive activities and online assessments. It is the first of many courses that the Dubai College of Tourism (DCT) plans to provide across the tourism, hospitality and retail industries.

Currently, the programme includes 30 courses which covers topics such as history, culture, key attractions, safety and security, adventure tourism, transportation, F&B and customer service. The self-paced programme is available online in multiple languages including English, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and Mandarin.

According to Dubai College of Tourism general manager Essa Bin Hadher, one of the reasons why this programme was implemented was that by delivering exceptional visitor experiences, Dubai will be better placed to become the most visited city in the world and welcome 20 million visitors by 2020.

“It’s been an outcome of strategies defined a couple of years ago. As Dubai is different from its competitors, with a higher number of annual visits, one of the solutions that can contribute directly to the number of visits is education at a vocational level for people in the tourism industry,” noted
Bin Hadher.

He added that it is the responsibility of people working in the hospitality and tourism industry to stay informed and knowledgeable about Dubai, and everything that a visitor to Dubai can experience.

“The more each of us know our city, the better our interaction with tourists will be,” he said to Hotelier on the sidelines of Arabian Travel Market 2018.

According to Bin Hadher, this is both a long-term and a short-term solution to the problem Dubai faces, in terms of front-facing hotel staff who may not be resourceful or know enough about the city.

As 2020 approaches, the goal is to educate 500,000 people through the Dubai Way programme. So far, the Dubai Way programme has been well received by hoteliers in the city.

Commenting on the new programme, Emaar Hospitality Group chief operating officer Olivier Harnisch said that he, along with his leadership team, took part in completing the online training. Harnisch also added that all associates at Emaar will also complete the course by the end of June 2018.

Fairmont Dubai learning and development manager Anuja Ghosh said: “DTCM and Dubai College of Tourism have come up with this fantastic online training and engagement platform, which is mandatory for everyone interacting with tourists. Not only for those in hospitality industry, but also for employees in retail, public transportation, and on many other fields.”

According to Ghosh, Dubai Way gives her colleagues the right know-how to promote Dubai as a great destination; it helps boost Dubai’s economy and consequently supports the hotel to reach its targets. “And most importantly, colleagues are able to give better answers and be more confident in front of guests,” she added.

Bin Hadher added that the Dubai Way is a perfect training and engagement platform for anyone in Dubai who interacts with tourists as part of their job.

“Having the correct knowledge and information about Dubai is a critical part of being able to provide outstanding customer service. With outstanding customer service, you will be better informed to improve the tourism visitor experience.”

The Dubai Way training is completely online. Throughout the Dubai Way programme, there are periodic checkpoints along the way to ensure that hoteliers are learning from the videos and have information that will provide better service to visitors to Dubai.

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