Dubai College of Tourism launches online tour guide programme

Dubai College of Tourism (DCT), an institution established by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), has announced the launch of its new online tour guide training programme, which is designed for individuals looking to become professional certified tour guides.

Upon passing the programme, applicants will receive a two-year license and will be able to apply to become professional guides for tour operators or start their own tour company.

Designed to make the process of getting a tour guide license as convenient as possible, the programme will teach prospective candidates how to present Dubai and its culture to international visitors, in addition to the skills they need to excel in this position. The course, training and testing is currently available in English, with a Mandarin version being developed and to be launched soon. To enroll for the programme, one has to meet certain requirements, which are listed in the online training platform.

Commenting on the programme, Essa Bin Hadher, general manager of Dubai College of Tourism, said: “One of our main goals is to ensure that anyone who visits Dubai has an unforgettable experience and is able to create memories that last a lifetime. Tour guides across the city are critical players in ensuring we achieve this, and by launching our easy-to-access programme we are also laying the groundwork for many more talented Emiratis and expatriate residents to join the city’s tourist-facing workforce. With online and distance learning assuming more significance due to the current situation, we have sought to simplify the process of obtaining a Dubai tour guide license through this programme. Interested candidates can follow the course from anywhere and learn the best way to represent Dubai as a professional tour guide.”

Once candidates have fulfilled the preliminary requirements, they need to complete three stages within a maximum of 90 days. This includes the ‘Dubai Way’ section, a 12-hour e-learning course that provides the information and skills needed to become a tour guide and provides a high standard of customer service. The Dubai Way online learning platform features a series of interactive video lessons with the modules in the programme designed to help participants expand their knowledge of the emirate and its tourism industry, as well as improving their guest relations and service skills.

The second stage is the ‘Knowledge Assessment and Interview’ a two-hour online test, followed by a virtual interview. The ‘Skills Development and Assessment’ is the final section, which includes a series of videos and online activities to further enhance the skills of applicants. It is then followed by a 15-20-minute practical assessment with an instructor. All of these steps can be completed virtually and, in total, will take 21 hours.

Upon the successful completion of these three stages, applicants will receive a digital certificate and a two-year tour guide license. Individuals interested in becoming entrepreneurs and running their own tour guide businesses must also separately apply for either an Intlaq license from the Department of Economic Development (for UAE Nationals) or a Trade License, if the business owner is an expatriate. For further information about the Dubai Tour Guide Programme, please visit www.tourguidetraining.ae.

Mariam Al Maeeni, director of Industry Nationalisation, Dubai College of Tourism added: “Nationalisation initiatives launched by Dubai College of Tourism including the Medyaf programme encourage young nationals to join the tourism industry, preparing them for a suitable career based on their skills and competencies. The tour guide training programme forms an important element of Medyaf and we are constantly making improvements to it in line with evolving local training requirements and international standards. As Emiratis are among the most passionate about Dubai and can be our best tourism ambassadors, we are committed to helping more of them build professional careers as tour guides. To encourage more Emiratis to join the programme, we are promoting this training course extensively through our social media platforms, and we will also be organising virtual informational one-on-one sessions with interested participants to educate them about the application process and the job opportunities in this field.”

As a leading vocational education institution in the region, DCT aims to ensure a steady stream of highly trained tourism professionals for Dubai. In addition to Dubai Way and Medyaf, the college is also offering ‘Dubai Expert’, an interactive online training programme for international travel agents, as part of its efforts to deliver fundamental programmes specifically designed for those working within the tourism industry, to further enhance Dubai’s position as a ‘must-visit’ destination.