Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), in partnership with the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) – Centre for Executive & Professional Education, has certified 19 successful graduates from the Tour Guide Training Program 2022, the first course post-pandemic.
Amongst the new tour guides are five UAE Nationals from across Ras Al Khaimah who will use their skills to share the destination’s rich tribal history and take visitors on a unique historical and cultural journey into the Emirate’s fascinating heritage and traditions.
Established for those seeking careers as Tour Guides, the program is designed to give candidates the skills and knowledge necessary to maximize professional opportunities in the tourism industry and meet industry standards. The classes are conducted by lecturers and trainers who have years of experience in the fields of cultural heritage and use global standards to impart their knowledge, resulting in world-class tourism professionals.
Throughout May and June, the participants took part in practical overland training and mastered the art of effective commentary, active listening, managing difficult situations, and conducting effective small and large tours, alongside a variety of additional skills to help advance their career. During a graduation ceremony held at AURAK on 21st of June 2022, candidates who had successfully completed the course and passed both theoretical and practical exams received an official certificate and tour guide card issued by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority. The newly certified tour guides are now eligible to join tourism focused organizations and companies that operate cultural experiences for visitors, including city tours, heritage site tours and wider sightseeing within the Emirate.
Prof. Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, President of the American University of Ras Al Khaimah said “Today is a proud day for us as we celebrate the graduates of the RAK Tour Guide Training Programme. Tourism is one of the main pillars of Ras Al Khaimah’s economy and AURAK is keen to develop and expand the number of professionals entering the industry to sustain and help grow the tourism sector of Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE. Working hand in hand with our economic strategic partners and economic institutions, we are delighted to be equipping our youth and the next generation with the knowledge, know-how and expertise to venture and explore the unexplorable.”
Commenting on the success of the training course, Raki Phillips, Chief Executive Officer at Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority said: “We place huge importance on the growth and development our next generation of tourism talent. Today’s travellers are looking to go beyond the traditional holiday experience, rather seeking new and fulfilling experiences where they can immerse themselves in the destination for a sense of purposeful travel. As such, it is important to have qualified, passionate guides that showcase Ras Al Khaimah’s rich culture and heritage and bring to life our unique, authentic Arabian experience with a fresh perspective.”
Ras Al Khaimah has an incredible history dating back over 7,000 years to the Bronze Age, making it one of the oldest continuously habited regions in the world, home to three Arabian tribal traditions spanning coast, mountain and desert which can all still be experienced today. Under its sustainable strategy of Balanced Tourism and vision to become the regional leader in sustainable tourism by 2025, the Authority has made concentrated efforts in sustainable development through cultural tourism, leading to not only the protection of natural and cultural heritage but also job creation. Cultural sustainability projects include a three-phased restoration program at Al Jazirah Al Hamra as well as a bespoke tour of the key archaeological sites in the Emirate. Four of the historical sites have also been included in UNESCO’s tentative list of World Heritage Site- Al Jazirah Al Hamra, Julfar, Shimal and Dhayah Fort.