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Les Roches to establish region’s first hospitality education academy with Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced the establishment of a cutting-edge hospitality education academy in September 2024. 

The academy in Abu Dhabi will be managed and guided by Les Roches, a globally-acclaimed hospitality and leisure higher education institution, with the objective of providing hospitality skills and academic knowledge to nurture homegrown talent in the UAE and in the region.

With a vision to elevate the hospitality sector, Les Roches Global Hospitality’s first campus in the area will welcome its first students next year.

Founded in 1954 in Switzerland, Les Roches ranks fourth in the world’s higher education institutions for hospitality and leisure management (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2023). The hospitality education academy will be uniquely defined by its objective to attract Emiratis and regional talents to the industry, offering them exceptional education and ensuring their seamless transition into key roles and leadership positions within the sector.

Providing top-tier education, the academy will differentiate itself through a bespoke Emirati approach, practices and values of authentic traditions that will be brought to the forefront in its curriculum. Immersive experiences in UAE hospitality will be the unifying bridge, bringing together global and local students. The distinctive programme and methodology aims to future-proof the UAE hospitality sector by cultivating local talent with high-quality education and skills needed for the industry’s future.

Les Roches’ model in hospitality education balances theory with practice, and independent learning with strong faculty support and mentorship, providing a solid foundation for advancement and ensuring that students acquire personal and professional skills for immediate employment and progression into leadership positions in the industry.

HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said:

“In line with our vision of inspiring journeys of creativity and discovery, the new academy will play a key role in ensuring the long-term sustainable growth of the hospitality industry, propelling future generations with a keen interest to reach their full potential. Celebrating Emirati hospitality, the academy will add to our diverse ecosystem that empowers local talent and will continue to contribute to Abu Dhabi’s growth as a dynamic and sustainable hub for tourism and culture.”

Carlos Díez de la Lastra, CEO of Les Roches Global Hospitality, commented:

“This moment marks a new chapter in the history of a country and a region that have some of the most prestigious hotels in the world, and that are futureproofing themselves by training and preparing the next generation of industry leaders who uphold the values and authenticity of Emirati hospitality. We are very honoured to be part of this unique journey and to contribute to raising the talents of tomorrow for the country.”

Sommet Education CEO, Benoît-Etienne Domenget, added:

“We are excited to be involved in a project that is born out of the leadership’s vision for the future of the hospitality sector in the emirate, and support Abu Dhabi in putting people’s development as a strategic priority.”

With a focus on hospitality excellence, innovation and cultural exchange, the academy is set to provide a comprehensive educational spectrum that welcomes talents from all around the world. It will feature a Bachelor’s degree and two Master’s degrees, combining conventional hospitality education programmes with specialised Emirati-centric courses to deliver tailored training to students. Additionally, the curriculum includes a range of hospitality-related and practical skills certifications, across areas such as hotel operations, travel, tourism, transport, and entrepreneurship. 

Whilst more information about the academy, its courses, and enrolment procedures will be disclosed at a later date, this multifaceted approach underlines the institution’s commitment to equipping students with a diverse skill-set for success in the dynamic hospitality industry.

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