The Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE), organisers of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), announced the winners of the DSS Apprenticeship Programme 2012 – the region’s most hotly contested destination-marketing internship programme, which this year welcomes its largest batch ever.
The programme once again brings together some of the brightest marketing and business administration students from across the Middle East and North Africa. Offering an incomparable opportunity to get behind the scenes of one of the region’s biggest tourism success stories and work alongside highly experienced practitioners in the field, the DSS Apprenticeship Programme this year welcomes winners from 12 countries – the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, KSA, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Palestine and, for the first time, Morocco.
Usman bin Abid Al Minhas, a fourth year business student at Qatar University was chosen by a jury comprising of key DSS representatives and marketing professionals to represent Qatar in the 7th edition of the prestigious programme.
H.E Laila Suhail, CEO of Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE) said: “Congratulations to Usman bin Abid Al Minhas from Qatar University for being Qatar’s representative at this year’s edition of the DSS Apprenticeship Programme. Showing an adept understanding of marketing principles through his well written essay, Al Minhas will have an opportunity to learn how classroom concepts are implemented in the real world through the various hands-on activities he and the other students will be involved in as part of the programme.”
The programme this year reached out to a record 75 universities across 12 countries, growing tremendously from the pilot programme launched in 2006, which included four participating universities in two markets.
Each university was invited to nominate its top six senior students from the marketing, business administration and events streams. Each student was asked to submit an essay on ‘What new strategies and opportunities they would implement to make the 2012 edition have a stronger impact across the region’, a topic chosen by the DSS Apprenticeship Programme team. A special jury comprising key DSS staff and other marketing professionals evaluated the submissions before short-listing candidates for phone interviews and selecting the final winner from each market, based on the quality of their essays, answers and expressed ability to make a valuable contribution to the programme.
In his winning essay Al Minhas said: “My strategy would be to segment the target audience by age and hence enable the festival to reach each target age group with a specific activity. This would also give each age bracket a choice of different activities to enjoy.”
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 business hospitality management schools, managed by Jumeirah Group the global luxury hospitality company and a member of Dubai Holding. The winners will work closely with the DSS team throughout their internship, attending workshops, taking part in visits to key DSS events and tourism landmarks and meeting leading players responsible for building the Destination Dubai brand.
The internship will offer students the opportunity to get hands-on experience 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 their internships, the students will be required to apply the knowledge earned and practical skills gathered by creating a powerful presentation to be shared with senior DSS management, key stakeholders and the wider DEPE team, outlining feedback on their first-hand experiences at this year’s event as well as innovative strategies and creative ideas that could enhance the DSS offering in future years. Previous winners’ presentations have often yielded insightful ideas that have been successfully applied to enhance the DSS offering year on year.
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