Saudi are set to train hotel staffs

Under the always vigilant instructor, Munira al-Rubaian, spreads the freshly cleaned bed linen in a mock hotel room in Riyadh, the Saudi capital city, with an aim to grab a job in the growing tourism sector of the desert kingdom.

This 25-year-old unemployed is one of the thousands of Saudis who have signed up in the “Tourism Pioneers” program, managed by the state which is targeting to get 100,000 job-seekers ready for a sector that’s the officials of the government persists that it’s getting all prepared to major take off.

At two Riyadh facilities, Rubaian and other trainees study lessons like greeting the guests of the hotel, plating food in expensive restaurants and maintaining the luxury suites perfectly clean.

For short courses in countries with more advanced tourism industries, like Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland and France, others have been sent to those countries.

This army of newly trained cleaners, bellboys, and higher-paid managers of the hospitality sector is hoped to assist Saudi Arabia — a notably conservative and closed-off Gulf kingdom that opened its tourism doors a mere three years back, make a positive impression on first-time visitors.

Also, the scheme helps the goal of the government of taking in more Saudis in positions traditionally occupied by migrant labourers.

For Tourism Pioneers, the niqab-wearing Rubaian signed up after her own initiations to find a job at a hotel went fruitless.

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