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Offbeat

Women in travel can shine, says Dukes Boss


May 02 2016

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Women in the workforce have been in the spotlight in the UAE with the launch of three companies – Hopscotch, Mums@Work and Making Mumpreneurs – that are designed to help women find career roles. Also, eight women were given ministerial roles in the recent UAE cabinet reshuffle.

The topic was highlighted at the ATM by Debrah Dhugga, MD, Dukes London and Dubai. She said that there are fantastic prospects for women in this region but more initiatives could be done to attract capable candidates. “I am inspired by the recent appointment of Minister of Happiness of Dubai, who is a female leader. Perhaps things will change in the recent future and more companies will follow suit and give more opportunities to women,” she said.Women in the workforce have been in the spotlight in the UAE with the launch of three companies – Hopscotch, Mums@Work and Making Mumpreneurs – that are designed to help women find career roles. Also, eight women were given ministerial roles in the recent UAE cabinet reshuffle.

The topic was highlighted at the ATM by Debrah Dhugga, MD, Dukes London and Dubai. She said that there are fantastic prospects for women in this region but more initiatives could be done to attract capable candidates. “I am inspired by the recent appointment of Minister of Happiness of Dubai, who is a female leader. Perhaps things will change in the recent future and more companies will follow suit and give more opportunities to women,” she said.

Women in travel

Dhugga was speaking at Arabian Travel Market’s first ever session dedicated to women entitled ‘Women in Travel: Opportunities and Trends in the Middle East’. The session was moderated by Alessandra Alonso, Chief Mentor and Carol Hay, Director of Marketing, UK and Europe Caribbean Tourism Organisation.

“There are many opportunities for women in business in the UAE and women shouldn't be afraid to put themselves forward. There is also so much more that could be done to attract career minded women,” she said.

“Women are hard working and dedicated. However, within the travel and tourism sector specifically, it can be very challenging to carve out a career due to its 24/7 nature. But there are opportunities to work flexibly for women with children.”

Being a career woman

“As a mother, you need to be prepared to make sacrifices,” she said. “I have a son and a daughter who are now grown up and young professionals – but when they were younger, I paid more to childcare than what I was earning - you have to weigh up the long-term benefits for the family.”

“Being organised is an absolute priority. I always had two lists on the go – a working day list and a family list. It’s also important to be honest with your employer about corporate social and weekend expectations, if you decide to commit to a full-time role.”

Currently, Debrah Dhugga is working on the launch of Dukes Dubai on Palm Jumeirah, which has a mixed gender executive team. “I prefer having a mixed executive team as it provides a more creative dynamic, but we would like more female F&B applicants – we rarely get CVs from female chefs, for example, even though that trend is positive in the UK and the US.”

Women in travel

Dhugga was speaking at Arabian Travel Market’s first ever session dedicated to women entitled ‘Women in Travel: Opportunities and Trends in the Middle East’. The session was moderated by Alessandra Alonso, Chief Mentor and Carol Hay, Director of Marketing, UK and Europe Caribbean Tourism Organisation.

“There are many opportunities for women in business in the UAE and women shouldn't be afraid to put themselves forward. There is also so much more that could be done to attract career minded women,” she said.

“Women are hard working and dedicated. However, within the travel and tourism sector specifically, it can be very challenging to carve out a career due to its 24/7 nature. But there are opportunities to work flexibly for women with children.”

Being a career woman

“As a mother, you need to be prepared to make sacrifices,” she said. “I have a son and a daughter who are now grown up and young professionals – but when they were younger, I paid more to childcare than what I was earning - you have to weigh up the long-term benefits for the family.”

“Being organised is an absolute priority. I always had two lists on the go – a working day list and a family list. It’s also important to be honest with your employer about corporate social and weekend expectations, if you decide to commit to a full-time role.”

Currently, Debrah Dhugga is working on the launch of Dukes Dubai on Palm Jumeirah, which has a mixed gender executive team.

“I prefer having a mixed executive team as it provides a more creative dynamic, but we would like more female F&B applicants – we rarely get CVs from female chefs, for example, even though that trend is positive in the UK and the US.”


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