Saudi university’s tourism faculty opens its doors to female students

The Kingdom has stressed efforts to promote the country’s tourism sector and increase women’s participation in the workforce as part of Vision 2030.
Updated 09 February 2018
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Saudi university’s tourism faculty opens its doors to female students

JEDDAH: King Abdulaziz University’s faculty of tourism is expected to set up a women’s campus by next year.
Ibrahim Alsini, head of the university’s hospitality department, told Arab News: “Female student intake will begin in the coming academic year. We have received great interest from current students who want to change their major to tourism. This wasn’t possible, at least not until we officially begin the female programs.”
“The industry is hungry for professionals,” he said, welcoming the idea of women entering the tourism campus.
The Kingdom has stressed efforts to promote the country’s tourism sector and increase women’s participation in the workforce as part of Vision 2030.
Details of the departments available to female students are being studied. The male campus includes hospitality management, travel and tourism management, event management, heritage resources management, tour guiding and culinary art.
“Our current programs are taught in English, along with two French language courses,” said Alsini. “Almost 70 percent of our courses are practical. We’re academically partnered with Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne from Switzerland, the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Protocol School of Washington.”
Saudi Arabia is changing its visitor visa regulations to encourage tourism in the Kingdom. Advances in the entertainment sector and a change in the law to allow women into sport stadiums are also expected to boost tourist numbers.
Saudi women have shown their worth in the tourism sector by working as organizers in General Entertainment Authority’s festivities, and in hotel hospitality and management.


Saudi Vision 2030 ‘will boost competitiveness,’ WEF says

Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh landscape at night. (Shutterstock)
Updated 15 August 2018
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Saudi Vision 2030 ‘will boost competitiveness,’ WEF says

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LONDON: Countries across the Middle East are struggling to create diverse opportunities for their youth, according to the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) Arab World Competitiveness Report.
However, a number of countries are innovating and creating new solutions to previously existing barriers to competitiveness, the report noted.
Saudi Arabia has committed to significant changes to its economy and society as part of its Vision 2030 reform plan, while the UAE has increased equity investment in technology firms from $100 million to $1.7 billion in just two years.
Bahrain is piloting a new flexi-permit for foreign workers to go beyond the usual sponsorship system that has segmented and created inefficiencies in the labor market of most GCC countries.
The report found that, despite huge improvements in infrastructure and technology adoption, government-led investment in the Arab world has not been sufficient to encourage private sector participation on a wide scale.
The WEF report, written in conjunction with the World Bank Group, outlines recommendations for Arab countries to prepare for a new economic context, better education opportunities and increased social mobility.
“We hope that the 2018 Arab World Competitiveness Report will stimulate discussions resulting in government reforms that could unlock the entrepreneurial potential of the region and its youth,” said Philippe Le Houérou, IFC’s CEO.
“We must accelerate progress toward an innovation-driven economic model that creates productive jobs and widespread opportunities.”
The report states that the way toward less oil-dependent economies for the Arab region is through robust macroeconomic policies that facilitate investment and trade, promotion of exports, improvements in education and initiatives to increase innovation among firms.