Dubai – MENA Herald: Dubai Parks and Resorts has announced the first ten Emirati graduates who will receive a full scholarship to the University of Central Florida in Orlando, USA to study Theme Park Management as a part of its innovative education initiative, ‘Helmi Programme’.
The Helmi Programme, launched in September, 2015, is part of Dubai Parks and Resorts’ Emiratisation programme, which is set to hire more than 1,000 UAE nationals in the next 12 months to compliment the Dubai Plan 2021 and the 7-Year National Agenda to promote Emiratisation and empower national talent. The company has signed an agreement with the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida, recognised as experts in theme park related education, to offer an exclusive certified programme for Emiratis.
Helmi is one of three programmes launched by Dubai Parks and Resorts as part of its commitment to empower nationals and grow a new generation of talent for the theme park industry, one of the UAE’s most exciting growth sectors. The programme aims to train professionals through a six month intensive study in order to play a central role in driving the operations of the company’s three theme parks, water park, hotel and retail and dining district in Dubai that are set to open in October 2016. In addition to the ten Emiratis who will study in Florida, a later stage of the project will involve a further 40 UAE nationals participating in the same course with a visiting faculty in Dubai.
Raed Al Nuaimi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Parks and Resorts, said: “Dubai Parks and Resorts is committed to developing the fast growing theme park and leisure industry from a long term sustainability perspective, which includes everything from infrastructure to talent cultivation. Through its extensive Emiratisation programme and innovative education programme we aim to cultivate experts in the industry and develop a new generation of Emirati talent.”
The ten chosen Emirati graduates will be putting theory into practice during their course, which will include study as well as practical on the job learning at several theme parks in Orlando. The graduates – Hind Galadari, Shaikha Ali Al Badi, Salem Abdulla Saif Essa Al Ali, Khalid Essa Abdul Fattah Kazim Al Mulla, Shamma Bin Masoud, Fatima AlShamsi, Asma Al-Hosani, Amna Abdulwahed Al Sayyah, Alia Ahmed Ghanim Almarri and Aisha Asim Al Abbasi – will make their journey to Orlando on 31st October to begin their six month training on the 4th of November, this year.
The ten participants expressed their excitement at being chosen. Asma Al-Hosani said: “It was like a dream come true when I found out about being accepted. I am really excited to be a part of this growing industry in Dubai and to be involved from the beginning is really great.” Salem Abdulla Saif Essa Al Ali added: “This is UAE’s attempt to cement its position as a tourism hub and compete at a global level. It is the opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of the chosen team that is going to make that happen.”
Hind Galadari shared the same sentiment: “This really is an incredible opportunity to study the theme park industry in the home of theme parks and then come back to my home city and work in the sector.” Shaikha Ali Al Badi added: “The UAE has given us so much and I feel privileged to be able to give back to the country and help it develop a whole new industry.”
Dubai Parks and Resorts will become the regions largest integrated family entertainment and theme park destination. The resort will feature motiongate™ Dubai – a unique theme park showcasing some of Hollywood’s most beloved characters from DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Studios and Lionsgate as well as the region’s first LEGOLAND® Park, along with a LEGOLAND® Water Park,. Committed to bringing together the best of the East and West, Dubai Parks and Resorts will also feature Bollywood Parks™ Dubai, the first ever theme park based on the sights and sounds of Bollywood. The entire destination will be connected by Riverland™ Dubai – a retail, dining and entertainment walkway and guests can stay at the Lapita™ Hotel, a Polynesian-themed hotel catering to families.