Rabaa Al Hajri to Represent Kuwait in the Eighth Edition of the DSS Apprenticeship Program

Rabaa Al Hajri (Kuwait Winner)

Kuwait, June 11, 2013 – The Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an entity under the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and the organiser of Dubai Summer Surprises, announced the names of the 14 talented students from across the Middle East and North Africa who have won a place as part of the hotly-contested DSS Apprenticeship Program.
Rabaa Al Hajri from the Australian College of Kuwait will represent Kuwait in the eighth edition of the award-winning destination marketing internship, a highly coveted component of the iconic Dubai Summer Surprises festival. This year the program welcomes its largest-ever group of winners from 14 markets including the UAE, KSA, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Morocco and first-time participants from Iraq and Sudan.
H.E Laila Suhail, CEO of DFRE said: “In her essay Rabaa Al Hajri from the Australian College of Kuwait showed great maturity in thinking not just of a multi-pronged approach to marketing DSS but also of the cost implications of executing a multi-platform strategy economically. It’s no surprise that she finds herself among this year’s apprentices with her holistic strategy and we look forward to more innovative ideas from her when she joins us in Dubai shortly.”
The winners will each receive an all-expense-paid trip to Dubai, inclusive of return flights and a two week stay at The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, one of the world’s leading hospitality business management schools, managed by Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hospitality company and a member of Dubai Holding.
The winners will work closely with the marketing team responsible for successfully staging DSS, attend workshops, take part in visits to key DSS events and tourism landmarks and meet leading players responsible for building the Destination Dubai brand. Itineraries have in the past included winner interactions with Dubai-based entities that have helped build the city’s world-class tourism offering and global brand cachet, such as Emirates, Emaar Retail, MBC Group, Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Economic Department and Dubai Cares and this year’s winners can look forward to a similarly impressive agenda of key visits.
Many of the interns who will be making their maiden visit to Dubai will also get the opportunity to experience first-hand the city’s iconic tourism landmarks such as Burj Khalifa, Dubai Metro, Ski Dubai, Wild Wadi and lots more.
The selection process for this year’s apprenticeship program began with each participating university nominating its top six senior students from the marketing, business, administration and travel and tourism streams. Each student was asked to submit an essay on a topic chosen by the DSS Apprenticeship Program team. This year the students were asked to submit an essay on the topic “How would you further market DSS in your respective local market if you were to become the Chief Marketing Officer for DSS?” A special jury comprising key DFRE Executives and other marketing professionals evaluated all the final submissions before selecting a winner for each country.
In her winning essay, Rabaa Al Hajri said: “Working as its Chief Marketing Officer, I have reached, after careful study of the previous DSS editions as well as the market I am operating within, the decision to devise a cost-effective, holistic promotional plan. My plan is to implement a marketing campaign that will have three phases of which the first is called ‘Social Explosion’ and targeted at the 18-27 year age group. With Kuwait’s youth being tech savvy, this phase comes with aggressive promotions via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Kik. The second phase will aim to get the attention of kids aged 5-10 years by using meet-and-greet sessions with Modhesh in malls and schools. The last phase focuses on business-to-business collaborations, targeting the 40+ age group by partnering with large travel agencies and companies that can come up with special packages to Dubai during DSS. This holistic approach hopes to target all relevant sectors that are essential segments, and would hope to ultimately double the number of visitors from Kuwait during the event period.”
Commenting on their student’s success in securing the coveted internship, Professor Jehad Yassin “Head of School of Business” said: “We would like to congratulate Ms. Rabaa Al Hajri for being selected for the prestigious DSS Apprenticeship Program and thank the organizers in Dubai for giving students this great learning opportunity. The Australian College of Kuwait brings the best of global education to the country and, armed with the skills and international outlook she has developed at our college, we are certain Ms. Rabaa will be a meaningful contributor to the program and make us proud.” The internship will offer students the opportunity to get hands-on experience working alongside the DSS team in a packed agenda of activities that will both enhance their theoretical understanding of their chosen field of study as well as its practical application, while building a valuable network of potential future employers and corporate mentors.

At the end of the two-week internship, the apprentices will be asked to work together as a team to present their fresh and creative ideas to senior management, based on their observations and experiences of the event. Over the past editions of the DSS Apprenticeship Program, participating students who have successfully completed the program and graduated from their respective universities have found rewarding jobs with prestigious organizations and multinationals in their home countries.
Since it first began in 2006, the DSS Apprenticeship Program has grown successfully to include its current expansive list of more than 80 participating universities across 14 markets in the Middle East and North Africa. The 2013 edition is the first step in DFRE’s broader strategy to take the DSS Apprenticeship Program global by 2015, when the program will mark its 10th anniversary.

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