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Female economic empowerment through tourism training in the United Arab Emirates

Mohit Vij (Faculty of Business Administration, Liwa College of Technology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Amitabh Upadhya (Global Banking School, Dubai Campus, Birmingham, UK)
Kakul Agha (School of Business, Skyline University College, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)
Vazeerjaan Begum (American University of Ras Al Khaimah, Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates)
Basma Waleed Kashmoola (Sharjah Institute for Heritage, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)
John Roy Senior (Fatima College of Health Sciences, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

ISSN: 1755-4217

Article publication date: 1 November 2022

Issue publication date: 31 January 2023




The issue of female economic empowerment in the Middle East and the North Africa region (MENA) has attracted significant attention; however, its potential in the tourism sector has not been fully explored. This study aims to identify the steps involved in conceptualizing, designing, and conducting a customized tourism training program to economically empower women in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


Grounded in stakeholder theory and using a triangulation method of data analysis, the study is an outcome of mixed-method research. The data were collected through focus group interviews, personal interviews and a survey involving women stakeholders from public and private sectors.


The study revealed that the desired components for tourist guide training among Emirati women include career paths, ways to seek support from family, entrepreneurial and leadership skills development, and destination knowledge.


The study provides theoretical and practical implications for a systematic training approach undertaken by a destination management organization (DMO) in liaison with other stakeholders. The study recommends a series of phases to scientifically design and conduct tourism training in order to empower women.



The authors extend heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) for funding this research project and extending their full support and guidance during its implementation.


Vij, M., Upadhya, A., Agha, K., Begum, V., Kashmoola, B.W. and Senior, J.R. (2023), "Female economic empowerment through tourism training in the United Arab Emirates", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 18-28.



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