DUBAI – The Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and the organiser of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), has announced that the 9th edition of the DSS Apprenticeship Program has widened its scope to include three new markets this year including Libya, Yemen and Tunisia.
The globally award-winning destination marketing program – one of the most sought-after internships in the region – invited more than 100 universities from 17 markets across the Middle East and North Africa to nominate their six brightest students for this year’s edition.
Top universities from the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria and first-time participants Libya, Yemen and Tunisia, each nominated six senior students from their marketing, business administration, travel and tourism, event management and finance programs to apply for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Winners will each receive an all-expense-paid trip to Dubai including return flights and a two-week stay at The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management (EAHM), strategic partners of the Program for the last three years. EAHM is one of the world’s leading hospitality business management schools and part of Jumeirah Group, a luxury hotel company and a member of Dubai Holding.
“The growth journey of the DSS Apprenticeship Program continues to be a remarkable one – unearthing the calibre of several top students from around the region. From innovative destination marketing plans to the creation of a unique pool of novel ideas and concepts, the outcomes of the program are truly impressive and showcase the vast potential of the region’s future leaders,” said H. E. Laila M Suhail, Chief Executive Officer, DFRE.
“As a strategic partner of the DSS Apprenticeship Program for the last three years, we are looking forward to supporting the prestigious internship once again and to continue investing in the all-round professional development of the brightest Arab minds from the region,” said Ron Hilvert, Managing Director of EAHM.
The winners will work alongside the talented team of marketing professionals responsible for staging the summer festival, one of the region’s biggest tourism events and marketing success stories of the Arab world, slated to run from August 2nd to September 5th, 2014 this year.
Throughout their stay, they will be attending workshops, visiting key DSS events and tourism landmarks, and meeting leading players behind the Destination Dubai brand. The internship will offer students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience that will not only enhance their theoretical understanding of their chosen field of study, but also its practical applications as they build a valuable network of potential future employers and corporate mentors.
The DFRE reiterated its commitment to continue enhancing the program, with an overarching objective of surpassing the students’ expectations and offering them a powerful learning platform where they can develop their professional skill sets and strategic analytical abilities. “The DSS Apprenticeship Program serves as a constructive tool for knowledge sharing in the region and this year we are proud to add Libya, Yemen and Tunisia to our current line-up of participating markets. As we review the applications for this year, we are looking forward to hosting yet another new batch of zealous and dynamic students, representing some of the most prestigious universities in the region,” H. E. Laila M Suhail added.
Since its launch in 2006, the DSS Apprenticeship Program has grown successfully to its current edition. Last year, the program featured more than 80 universities from 14 countries. The 2014 edition is another step forward in DFRE’s broader strategy to take the DSS Apprenticeship Program global by 2015, when the program will reach its 10-year milestone.
For the current edition, each university nominated its top six students who were then asked to submit an essay on a topic chosen by the DSS Apprenticeship Program team. This year, the topic of the essay was, “What would you do differently for DSS 2014, in terms of promoting and positioning this event for your local market, if you were assigned the position of Chief Marketing Officer for Dubai Summer Surprises?”A special jury comprising key DFRE executives and other marketing professionals will evaluate the final submissions before selecting a student from each country.
The essay submission process is currently underway with final selections set to be made on the basis of the quality of the essays, completion of required documents and a follow-up phone interview to assess the student’s expressed character, ambition, energy, and potential to make a valuable contribution to the continual enhancement of DSS. The names of the winners will be announced shortly.