x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

UAE hotels 'need to improve service'

Some hotels in the Emirates do not provide good service and need improvement, according to the company behind the first hospitality school in Ras al Khaimah.

Some hotels in the Emirates do not provide good service and need improvement, according to the company behind the first hospitality school in Ras al Khaimah. Vatel International Business School for Hotel and Tourism Management plans to open in Ras al Khaimah Free Trade Zone in January. Vatel, a French institution with 16 branches worldwide, will offer three-year bachelor's degrees, two-year master's degrees and MBAs in international hospitality management.

Standards of service in some of the UAE's hotels are unimpressive, said Maher Tebouri, a Vatel development officer. "We visited the UAE two or three times and we saw that the tourism culture is not in the hotels," Mr Tebouri said. "There are a lot of good hotels, big hotels, but the service, the know-how in hospitality, is not there." Prospective students from Iran, Oman, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, as well as UAE residents, have shown interest in joining, the school said.

Students will have practical training in a local hotel. "They will begin in the kitchen because they have to know all that happens in a hotel or restaurant, from how do they manage the food and beverage to how do they manage the front office," Mr Tebouri said. Most students will take practical training at the Hilton in Ras al Khaimah, which is near to the planned Vatel campus. Courses will be taught in English and French, although students will not need to know French to enrol as language instruction will be included.

RAK is looking to expand its higher-education sector significantly over the coming years. Currently there are about 2,500 students at branch campuses and colleges in RAK Free Trade Zone, but within a decade a dedicated education free zone is expected to include up to 40,000 students. dbardsley@thenational.ae