The sixth in the annual Tourism Youth Summer Camp organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) has got underway with 77 Emirati students all aged between 15-17.
And, for the first time in its history, boys outnumbered girls in the enrolment with 40 young men signing up for the two-week workshop and field trip programme.
“We had an excellent turn out for a pre-event parents briefing and have received a particularly enthusiastic response from boys this year and it appears that the Camp has now built a ground swell of support from the local community,” said Fatima Al Melhi, Industry & Tourist Guide Training Unit Head, TCA Abu Dhabi.
Beginning with a briefing on this year’s ‘Wonderland Abu Dhabi’ camp programme at the Yas Rotana Hotel, the course, which is held in conjunction with the European International College will now see the students head off to various sites across the emirate to discover more about its tourism offering and the business of tourism.
“There are a number of objectives for the programme one of which is to raise awareness among Emirati Youth about the tourism and hospitality industry to stimulate them to consider a career in this field,” added Al Melhi. “Each year we re-engineer the curriculum to reflect the development of the destination and this year’s includes a cultural field trip to Al Ain, a workshop by five Emirati pilots from Etihad Airways, a behind-the-scenes tour of Abu Dhabi International Airport and a workshop on cruise tourism delivered by Abu Dhabi Ports Company,” she concluded.
And the course is being eagerly anticipated by the enrolled students. Sixteen-year-old Ahmed Hosani from Glenelg School in Khalifa City said he’s most looking forward to the back-of-house airport tour.
“I had free time and decided to use it to take this course because I want more information about the tourism industry before I decide on my major,” he explained.
For fellow camp member, 15-year-old Suhail Saif Al Marzouqi of HAHS School in Mohammed Bin Zayed City, the attraction was the chance to discover more of Emirati culture.
“I’m most looking forward to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque tour and the trip to Al Ain because I want to know more about the culture of the UAE. My parents found out about the course and encouraged me to sign up for it. I actually want to be an engineer but it’s good to know of other options out there,” he added.
Seventeen-year-old Mosa Ahmed Al Kaabi of ADNOC Technical Institute has enrolled for the course for a second time.
“I would recommend it to anyone,” he said. “It’s a whole lot of fun and you learn a lot at the same time – the workshop leaders are great. I’m particularly looking forward to the trip to Al Ain because I want to learn all about its history as it’s the birthplace of the Father of our Nation Sheikh Zayed. I will encourage my younger brothers to take part when they are older,” he added.