Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi to launch MENA region’s first hospitality academy managed by Les Roches

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has established a hospitality education academy in Abu Dhabi, which will open in September 2024 to be managed and guided under the stewardship of Les Roches. The objective is to provide hospitality skills and academic knowledge to nurture homegrown talent in the UAE, GCC and Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Les Roches Global Hospitality’s first campus in the area will welcome its first students in September 2024. 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 defined by its objective to attract UAE Nationals and regional talents to the industry.

The academy aims to focus on the practices and values of the UAE within its curriculum. The programme and methodology seeks to support the hospitality sector by cultivating local talent with high quality education and skills needed for the industry’s future. The academy will feature a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees. The curriculum includes a range of hospitality-related and practical skills certifications, across areas including hotel operations, travel, tourism, transport and entrepreneurship.

His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the 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 overall, propelling future generations with a keen interest to reach their full potential. Accelerating high potential industries such as hospitality through collaboration and strategic partnerships will continue to contribute to Abu Dhabi’s growth as a dynamic and sustainable hub for tourism. Celebrating Emirati hospitality and culture, the academy will add to our diverse ecosystem that preserves, promotes and embodies Abu Dhabi’s heritage and innovative spirit.”

Carlos Díez de la Lastra, CEO of Les Roches Global Hospitality, said: “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 that uphold the values and authenticity of Emirati hospitality. We are very honoured to be part of this unique journey and contribute to raise the talents of tomorrow for the country.”

Benoît-Etienne Domenget, CEO of Sommet Education, said: “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 honoured to support Abu Dhabi in putting people’s development as a strategic priority.”