UAE hospitality sector dealing with skills gap

Executives in the United Arab Emirates' (UAE') tourism and hospitality industry recently gathered to discuss ways to deal with a growing skills gap that has been affecting hotels across the region.

The conference was held in the wake of a new Workforce Planning Study that found that corporations are having a tough time finding qualified candidates to fill a number of junior and management positions, as well as finding mid-level employees in the food and beverage and events management segment.

"More than 383,000 jobs were supported by the travel and tourism industry last year, and that number is expected to grow by a further 2.6 percent this year," Ayoub Kazim, managing director of Dubai International Academic City and Dubai Knowledge Village, said in a press release. "The demand for skilled workers has never been higher."

During a roundtable discussion, Matthew Mee, vice president of the Jumeirah Group, said the industry also needs to to provide additional training for job seekers in their 30s looking for a career change.

According to The New York Times, UAE officials predict that 27 percent of its workforce will be employed by the tourism sector by 2020.