In recent years, Dubai has successfully established itself as a leading global destination for world travel. This has been made possible due to the vision of His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai to make Dubai the most visited destination and the most sought-after city in the world to live and work in.
Incepted by Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Dubai College of Tourism (DCT) is on a mission to aid the development of the tourism sector, as well as groom the country’s next generation tourism workforce. DCT offers a unique, multi-disciplinary educational platform to Emiratis, expatriates, and students to opt for careers within the tourism industry.
DCT’s full time academic offering of certificate and diploma courses includes five disciplines viz. tourism, hospitality, retail business, events and culinary arts. Right from the beginning, offering quality education for all students has been a hallmark at DCT. Therefore, DCT’s fees structure is kept affordable and competitive for both its domestic as well as international students.
A while ago, DCT also created Medyaf, the Industry Nationalisation department that aims to attract and train Emiratis to work in Dubai’s tourism industry. The College is also responsible for delivering unique programmes specifically designed for those working within the tourism industry, such as; ‘Dubai Way’ (for tourist-facing staff in Dubai) and ‘Dubai Expert’ (an interactive online training tool for international travel agents).
Programs Catching Eyes of International Students
Currently, DCT has a diverse student population of 25 different nationalities. The most popular courses among international students are the tourism, hospitality and culinary arts. As part of the Department of Economy and Tourism, internships are also a crucial element of DCT’s courses and pave the way for students to work with the institution’s industry partners during major events within Dubai’s retail and events calendar. This includes Dubai Food Festival (DFF), Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC), and Arab Fashion Week amongst a host of others.
DCT is located in the heart of the city where its students get to experience a cosmopolitan, safe, and vibrant area that houses a mall, multiple restaurants, cafes and a vibrant social scene as well as being located close to a metro station and other public transport. In this way, pupils studying at DCT can strike a positive study/life balance and have the opportunity to explore the very best of Dubai. This makes learning more exciting and engaging.
Some of the international students shared their experiences of studying at DCT. Sophia Baeva, who is currently pursuing a certificate course in hospitality, said, “DCT gives you a high quality of education. You become a part of DCT’s family: you are involved in every process, from social media to the organization of events in the college. It’s hard to find your path in life, but I finally found mine.” Another student from the same programme, Ibon Arrieta opined, “This new experience is teaching me how to manage a new life in a new city full of new friends and to build a network that will enable me to have a successful future in the UAE.”
Educators Bringing Real-World Experience to the Classroom
Quality education and seasoned educators are the foundational pillars of learning. Students benefit the most when they receive an amalgamation of both. Along with an extensive education program, DCT has a pool of well-experienced educators who are renowned for their industry expertise within Dubai’s tourism sector. Unlike other institutions where the class size is big, DCT has an average class size of 16 students per class. This enables each student to receive in-depth personal feedback and obtain invaluable knowledge and advice from their teachers. Let’s meet some of DCT’s instructors.
Elham Bolooki, is Experiential Learning Manager and a Senior Instructor at DCT. Elham holds an MBA in International Hospitality from The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management and has worked with leading hospitality brands. To name a few: the Burj Al Arab, Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Jumeirah Port Soller in Mallorca, Spain.
Cristian Biesbrouck, the Lead Culinary Arts instructor at DCT comes with a long history in the kitchen of established hotels throughout the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. He has previously worked with Marriott International as an Executive Chef. He now inspires educates, and prepares students for a future career within the hospitality and culinary arts industries.
Sally Maddison, is a passionate events and marketing professional with an impressive track record for creating successful campaigns and events for the world’s most renowned consumer brands. With a qualification from the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s (CIM), Sally has worked on planning and promoting events for world famous brands such as Adidas, Atlantis Dubai, Levi’s, Volkswagen and the Dubai Marathon.
Going Global with Collaborative Partnerships
DCT has global accreditations for four programmes with the Institute of Hospitality, the world-renowned entity dedicated to the career development of tourism and hospitality professionals worldwide. The Institute of Hospitality has granted DCT with global accreditation for its following programmes: Certificate in Culinary Arts and Diploma in Culinary Arts, Certificate in Events and Diploma in Events Management, Certificate in Hospitality and Diploma in Hospitality Management, and Certificate in Tourism and Diploma in Tourism Management.
DCT also focuses on industry partnerships and holds memberships in various bodies including: AMFORHT (The World Association for Hospitality and Tourism Education and Training, the Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (CHRIE), and AEME (Association for Events Management Education), where DCT works together to support and raise the profile of the events discipline around the world through the sharing of education and best practices.
DCT is also a member of the WorldChefs Recognition of Quality Culinary Education (RQCE) programme, which recognizes educational companies, associations and institutions worldwide which offer culinary and pastry art that meet and exceed global standards for quality culinary education as established by the World Chefs Education Committee.
Overcoming Pandemic Challenges & Building Post Strategies
The coronavirus pandemic shook the world to its very core. With quick lockdowns imposed and domestic & international travelling banned, the tourism sector also had to bear its ramifications. Most of all, education and learning was disrupted. During such unprecedented times, Dubai’s effective citywide management of the pandemic enabled DCT to soon reopen its doors to students and give them the best learning experiences. Keeping the safety of students and uninterrupted learning in mind, DCT created an online platform that enabled students to continue building key industry skills and their knowledge base.
The College’s inspirational instructors have been able to minimize disruption to student development by following the same schedule as if they were in the classroom, with virtual interactive sessions that include a mix of practical demonstrations including the culinary arts practical kitchen sessions, live guest speakers, Q&As, group presentations, role-plays and assessments, which are then presented online. DCT’s focus continues to ensure that it stays up to date with industry trends and movements within the sector, and give its students all the support they require to succeed.
Currently, DCT is offering a hybrid method of both in-person and online learning and the college has also seen tremendous interest from international students since the beginning of the pandemic.
For the forthcoming year, DCT’s management reveals that they will continue to attract UAE nationals, local expatriates, and international students and focus their attention on offering some of the best opportunities for professionals in tourism and hospitality to build a career in one of the world’s most exciting, vibrant and dynamic cities.
For More Info: https://www.dct.ac.ae/
Essa Bin Hadher, General Manager, Dubai College of Tourism
In his role as General Manager, Essa Bin Hadher is responsible for running all facets of the operation and curriculum at Dubai College of Tourism, an educational institution that was established under Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), the principal authority responsible for strengthening Dubai’s positioning as a world-leading tourism destination and commercial hub.
Essa is focused on the development of quality training programmes that help educate and empower future leaders, entrepreneurs and employees of Dubai’s rapidly growing tourism industry. This has led to the launch of innovative initiatives such as ‘Medyaf’, a programme to help Emirati job seekers and to provide the tourism industry with local talent, as well as training tools for professionals within the tourism industry, including the ‘Dubai Way’ programme (for tourist-facing staff in Dubai) and ‘Dubai Expert’ (an interactive online training tool for international travel agents).
Essa has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Franklin University Switzerland, and obtained an MBA from Business School Lausanne in 1998.