By Neil King
Tourism Summer Camp gives 60 students insights into business and the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs
Students taking part in a summer camp have taken part in a crash course on business and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
Organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), the annual Tourism Youth Summer Camp has taken 60 UAE students aged between fifteen and seventeen for a series of business-related workshops aimed at unearthing future Emirati SME operators.
Mohammed Al Fahim, general manager of Safar Travel & Tourism, said: “The tourism industry is not just about big name brands but also about the SME private sector which operates agencies and a number of specialist attractions and the youngsters needed to be aware of the role they play.
“The whole entrepreneurial concept of starting small and growing can be evidenced by the development of our own agency – an experience we were keen to share with the people who could be key tourism players in the future.”
The students were given an introduction to business and entrepreneurial characteristics from officials of Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Fund for Enterprise and Development.
The fund’s director of the entrepreneurship development department, Mouza Obaid, said: “Getting young national to think seriously about the risks involved in business and the personality traits needed to succeed is essential.
“The realisation that start-up businesses mean round-the-clock work, dedication, flexibility and the ability to calculate risks may have deterred some of the students from moving down this road – but some were ‘risk savvy’ and showed interest in pursuing entrepreneurial dreams going forward.”
The summer camp aims to boost students’ awareness of Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry and its economic, social and environmental impacts, as well as helping to build their business and interpersonal skills.
Fatima Al Melhi, industry awareness executive at TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “The business workshops really hit the mark with the students interacting extremely well and curious to know more.”
“"They have grown in confidence over the past few weeks and their level of engagement was clear for all to see.”