Laila Suhail, CEO of Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE)
The Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE), an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) and organisers of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), announced the sixth edition of the award-winning DSS Apprenticeship Programme, adding Palestine to the list of participating countries for the very first time.
This year, 55 universities from across the Middle East and North Africa were invited to nominate their best and brightest students to win a place in the hotly contested annual internship programme. As in previous editions, one student from each country will win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work behind the scenes at DSS, and learn from the best practices in marketing and events management that have made Dubai’s summer festival the biggest tourism marketing success in the Arab world.
Laila Suhail, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment, welcomed the addition of Palestine to the programme saying: “The DSS Apprenticeship Programme was conceived to offer students a chance to witness how an ambitious vision can see fruition through hard work and creativity, as well as offer them valuable real-life professional experiences that will have both immediate and long-term benefits in their chosen field. Each year we have welcomed more students into our fold and it is with great pride that we include Palestine among this year’s apprentices.”
According to Suhail, the five universities from Palestine that were invited to participate include Birzeit University, Bethlehem University, Al Najah University, Arab American University and Al Quds University. “The pool of creative talent in Palestine, especially among the youth, is immense and we were keen to offer a channel to nurture it. We are delighted to have a student from Palestine add a unique perspective to the shared experiences of this year’s group of apprentices and we hope that he or she finds the programme to be creatively challenging, educational and – in the spirit of DSS – a lot of fun,” added Suhail.
Since its inception in 2006, the DSS Apprenticeship Programme has grown tremendously from four participating universities in two countries to a highly anticipated programme covering 11 markets and 55 universities in the MENA region. In addition to first-time entrant Palestine, this year’s roster of participating countries includes the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Qatar, Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria. Five universities from each country were invited to nominate candidates who undergo a highly competitive selection process to earn one of the coveted slots in the DSS Apprenticeship Programme 2011.
The selection process begins with universities and colleges nominating six of their brightest senior students from the Marketing and Business Administration programmes whose credentials are reviewed, along with the contents of an essay the students are asked to submit. In this year’s essay, students were requested to share their ideas on how they would promote DSS in their local markets. A special jury comprising key DSS staff and other marketing professionals evaluate the submitted applications and select the winning apprentice for each country.
The apprenticeship includes return flights to Dubai and accommodation at Qamardeen Hotel, a Southern Sun operated property conveniently situated in the Downtown Dubai district. The winners will work closely with the DSS team throughout their internship to enable them to gain greater exposure during the preparatory stage of one of the biggest tourist and commercial events in the world. As in previous years, the DSS Apprenticeship Programme also presents winners with a unique and valuable opportunity to establish a great network of potential future employers and corporate mentors.
Students have been busy over the past one month preparing their submission material which the jury will scrutinize on the basis of the quality of the essays, completion of required documents, as well as the student’s expressed character, ambition, energy, and potential to make a valuable contribution to the continual enhancement of DSS. Winners from each of the eleven markets will be announced shortly.