DSS names apprenticeship programme winners
Dubai, June 21, 2011
With the biggest summer event in the region set to take off in days, Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE), organisers of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), have announced the winners of its apprenticeship programme.
Depe, an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED), said the winning students are in the UAE in preparation for their exciting two-week internship this year.
The hotly-contested programme targets students from across the Mena rregion, and is a unique internship opportunity which brings together the best and brightest Arab youth to experience working on the regions biggest summer tourism extravaganza.
The participating countries this year include the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and, for the first time, Palestine.
The DSS Apprenticeship Programme has grown tremendously since its inception in 2006 when the programme included four participating universities from two countries.
This year, 55 universities from across 11 markets in the Mena were invited to nominate candidates to undergo a highly competitive selection process to earn one of the coveted slots in the 2011 Programme.
The selection process began with universities and colleges nominating six of their brightest senior students whose credentials are reviewed, along with the contents of an essay the students are asked to submit.
In this year’s essay, students were requested to share their ideas on how they would promote DSS in their local markets if they served in the position of chief marketing officer for the summer extravaganza.
In his winning essay, UAE winner Bader Ali of Higher Colleges of Technology, said: “By establishing a communication channel with the larger community, I would further engage with them to participate in promotions and competitions, and voice their opinions on the festival. This strategy will increase visibility and satisfaction among the visitors even after the festival is over.”
Bader added: “I am very excited to have been selected as the UAE’s ambassador in this year’s programme. I look forward to playing the role of the host within the group and demonstrating to my fellow participants the warm hospitality the UAE is famed for.”
Maha Rashed Shareeda, Al Ahlia University, Bahrain
“By focusing on the interests of the youth we can attract a large number of them by utilising the various new media channels of communication such as Facebook, Twitter, Blackberry Messenger and other social media networks and blogs.”
Ahmed Ali Al-Attar, American University of Kuwait, Kuwait
“By giving people what they dream of, DSS can guarantee a bigger audience during the summer. Building on public interest in activities such as football and water sports, Dubai can certainly give visitors the thrills and excitement this annual festival is known for.”
Mansour Al Ammari, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
“As Chief Marketing Officer for DSS I would create a strategy to bring more corporate sponsors onboard to increase the visibility of DSS amongst all target audiences, while simultaneously increasing revenue for them.”
Jaifar Al Khabouri, Modern College of Business & Science, Oman
“By showcasing different cultures, DSS can expose its visitors to different traditions from around the world and create a sense of global unity and pride.”
Karl Anghelopoulos, Lebanese American University, Lebanon
“For a theme to be successful it must be innovative and attractive for any target group that seeks continuous excitement. All DSS events should provide consistent entertainment for visitors, not just temporary fun.”
Mays Al Husseini, University of Kalamoon, Syria
“Marketing is vital to attract new visitors and maintain existing ones. The more you talk about the festival in well known arenas such as the popular social networking platforms, the more people will engage in the conversation.”
Yara El-Zahaby, American University in Cairo, Egypt
“I would be targeting the youth, specifically the age group of 17 to 25 year-olds and have them explore different aspects of life through events which aim to attract and educate this age group of highly trendy influencers.”
Lara Nidal Hamad, University of Jordan, Jordan
“By creating special discount booklets that are offered to visitors flying into the country during the festival period, visitors can be offered greater value at malls and boutiques, restaurants, cafés and entertainment events. Everyone is looking for a good deal, especially when travelling in large groups, and this would encourage more people to travel with their families.”
Sara Al Kuwari, Qatar University, Qatar
“Even though DSS branched out to serve a larger range of people by changing the slogan ‘Big Fun for Little Ones’, yet the perception of being a kid’s festival still lingers in some people’s minds. I would promote more activities that focus on pre-teens, teenagers and young adults so that the festival is perceived as an event that engages all ages.”
Maram Nazzal, Birzeit University , Palestine
“Creating themes that cater to every person is the key to a successful campaign. Each target audience must be catered to individually and offered a choice of events suitable to them.”
The internship was set up to give winners the opportunity to build valuable corporate skills and gain exposure to best practices in business administration, marketing and events management by training alongside the talented experts who are responsible for putting together DSS over the last 13 years.
The students will get hands-on experience working on preparations leading up to the launch of DSS as well as visiting and auditing key events during the festival period.
As in previous years, the DSS Apprenticeship Programme also presents winners with a unique and valuable opportunity to establish a great network of potential future employers and corporate mentors.
The apprenticeship includes an all expense paid trip to Dubai and will be hosted at Southern Sun Qamardeen Hotel, conveniently situated in the Downtown Dubai district, home to the student apprentices for the fifth consecutive year.-TradeArabia News Service