The Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and organizers of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), has announced the names of the 20 regional and international students, who have emerged as the winners of the 10th anniversary global edition of the multi award-winning DSS Apprenticeship Program.
Dua’a Issa Al Sahoury from the University of Jordan will represent Jordan in the landmark edition of the longest running destination-marketing internship program, which has expanded its reach to an international audience this year by going global – furthering its decade long journey of learning, creativity and success.
The 2015 edition will see first-time participants India, Russia and China joining the program’s roster of regional markets including Iraq, Jordan, KSA, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Yemen, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Bahrain and Egypt in addition to the UAE. Over 100 universities from across 20 markets were invited to nominate their top students to participate in the coveted educational initiative named the ‘Best Educational Program in the World’ in 2014 by the International Festivals & Events Association.
Organized in collaboration with the program’s long-standing Strategic Partner – The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management (EAHM) – the internship will take place from 3 to 16 August, 2015. The winners will each receive an all-expense-paid trip to Dubai including return flights and a two-week stay at EAHM – 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.
As part of their itinerary, students will be awarded the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain hands-on training from industry leaders shaping the success of DSS – DFRE’s flagship festival and centerpiece of Dubai’s dynamic summer offerings – which will take place this year from 23 July to 5 September, 2015.
The screening process for the internship began with each participating university nominating its top six senior students from marketing, business administration, travel and tourism, event management and finance streams. Thereafter, each nominated student was requested to develop an original and well-researched essay on the topic: “What would you do differently for DSS 2015, in terms of promoting and positioning this event for your local market, if you were assigned the position of Chief Marketing Officer for DSS?”
In her winning essay, Dua’a Issa Al Sahoury said: “Since we are living in an era where people are using technology for almost everything, I recommend that we focus our marketing strategies on social media, web, and technology. My idea for an effective marketing technique will concentrate on building a DSS mobile application suitable for all kinds of mobile platforms. This mobile app will allow users to access information about DSS including its calendar of events, pictures and videos as well as a maps feature making it easier for people to access locations. Also, an online messaging function where people can easily ask questions about various aspects of the event will be incorporated in the app.”
An esteemed jury comprising senior DFRE executives and other marketing professionals evaluated the submitted applications on the basis of the criteria set out by DFRE which included quality of writing and thoroughness in completing the required nomination documents. A high degree of ambition and potential to make valuable contributions for the betterment of DSS, were other important factors that were taken into consideration by the jury before they shortlisted a winner from each of the 20 markets.
H.E. Laila Suhail, CEO of DFRE, said: “Every year we receive numerous applications from Jordan making the selection process quite challenging. We chose Dua’a from the University of Jordan on account of the originality and freshness of the ideas she has recommended to promote DSS in Jordan. I hope she will make full use of this opportunity and acquire the skills needed to flourish in the future.”
Commenting on their student’s success in securing a spot in the DSS Apprenticeship Program 2015, Dr. Zu’bi Mohammad Al-Zu’bi, Dean of the School of Business at the University of Jordan said: “Students chosen for the DSS Apprenticeship Program are given the extraordinary opportunity to work alongside a number of experts representing home-grown and multinational entities in Dubai. We are very proud of Dua’a Issa Al Sahoury for having been selected to join this highly coveted program. It is our institution’s privilege to have her representing Jordan. We wish her all the best for the program.”
During the internship, all the students will also be invited to attend a number of workshops and key DSS events as well as explore the city’s world-class signature attractions that reinforce Dubai’s position as a year-round family tourism destination, including the Burj Khalifa, Ski Dubai and Wild Wadi, to list a few.
The apprentices will also benefit from close interactions with highly qualified industry veterans contributing to the ongoing development of the Destination Dubai brand. The agenda will open doors for multiple networking opportunities while providing them access to corporate mentors and helping them acquire inter-personal and professional development skills for life.
Since its inception in 2006, the DSS Apprenticeship Program has become an institution, growing from 2 participating countries in its first edition to 17 in 2014. Over the past decade, the program has given close to 100 young marketers the opportunity to work on one of the biggest tourism events and marketing success stories of the Arab world and has positioned itself firmly in line with the Expo 2020 Dubai theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.’
Former participants of the program have benefitted hugely from high-profile interactions with prominent Dubai-based and international entities including Facebook, MBC Group, Emirates, Dubai Airports, Emirates Flight Catering, Dubai FDI, Majid Al Futtaim Group, Emaar Retail and Roads and Transport Authority among others.
The final stage of the internship program will put to test apprentices’ research, observation and teamwork skills and creativity when they are assigned into various teams to collaborate as one unit and present their reflective proposals before a jury comprising senior executives.
Over the years, the DSS Apprenticeship Program has served as an impactful credential for past winners who have obtained excellent positions at prestigious organizations and multinational companies after graduating from their respective universities.