The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Emirates Tourist Guide Association to improve tourism guidance, promote tourism in the emirate, and connect tourist guides with the tourism and culture sectors.

The year-long agreement, signed by HE Saood Al Hosani, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi and Jassim Al Bastaki, Founder and Vice Chairman of the Emirates Tourist Guide Association, includes organising workshops to promote knowledge exchange and identifying opportunities for Emirati tourist guides and human capital building. Additionally, the collaboration will raise awareness for Abu Dhabi’s eco-tourism ambitions and support the importance of preserving the UAE’s cultural and tourism heritage.

“Through this agreement, we are committing to collaboration across entities in order to provide opportunities which will be beneficial not only for Abu Dhabi but for the UAE as a whole,” said HE Al Hosani. “By working together, we will create jobs and embed a culture among Emirati youth of seeing tourism as an important career option, inspiring them to live our emirate’s values by welcoming the world to Abu Dhabi. These efforts are part of DCT Abu Dhabi’s post-pandemic tourism recovery strategy, and support Abu Dhabi’s ongoing economic diversification.”

The agreement will also explore the possibility of a fee exemption for DCT Abu Dhabi’s tourist guides when entering landmarks across the emirate.

Jassim Al Bastaki, Founder and Vice Chairman of the Emirates Tourist Guide Association, said: “This agreement is an important element of the Association’s primary objectives to promote the culture of tourism guidance among Emirati youth and enhance tourist guidance in the tourism sector. This goal is accomplished by supporting Emirati youth interested in tourism guidance by developing their skillsets in this field.

“The Association strives to create an environment for the development and enhancement of tourism-related institutions, particularly those focussed on tourism guidance, to encourage interest in the tourist guide profession for Emiratis,” Al Bastaki added.

Under the MoU, the tourist guides will also learn about the skills needed to support VIP delegations, People of Determination, the elderly, and children who participate in the experiences. Additionally, both parties will collaborate closely during events related to tourism guidance.

DCT Abu Dhabi enters strategic collaborations with public and private entities to contribute to the diversification of Abu Dhabi’s economy and position the emirate as a global hub for tourism and culture.