Could you describe the history of The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management?

Judy Hou: The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management (EAHM) was founded 16 years ago as part of a master plan to provide the rapidly growing hospitality sector in Dubai with graduates who could contribute not only their technical and theoretical expertise, but also their understanding of Dubai and the UAE’s unique multicultural environment. Emirati culture is known for its incredible hospitality, and the EAHM has drawn on these roots and produces more graduates each year who are in high demand locally and internationally.

How do you work with international institutions to provide the best training?

We have more than 40 partnerships with universities and hospitality management schools all over the world, which allows us to engage in student and faculty exchange. Having such an international student body makes these partnerships fundamental to our identity, and also provides our students with global exposure. By far, one of our most valuable partnerships is our academic association with Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL). Besides providing our students with the opportunity to study for one or two semesters at the campus in Switzerland, EHL supports us in ensuring that our curriculum and teaching achieves international best practice. This association with EHL is the only one of its kind in the world.

What kind of work have your alumni gone on to do after graduating from The EAHM?

You can easily differentiate an EAHM alumni from other students. They are agile, ambitious and genuinely hospitable. The EAHM develops future hospitality business leaders, and the key to our success is the thorough preparation of the individual to take their place in an increasingly complex workplace with a deep appreciation of business practice, culture and hospitality. As such, upon graduation, our alumni are prepared to work in any customer-centric business. You can find them in managerial positions at hotels and restaurants, but also in other fields such as consulting, investment banking, finance, airlines or event management, to name a few. Our degrees really prepare graduates for the future, and instil in them the agility that enables them to pivot through the ups and downs of the industry.

In general, why should students choose The EAHM over the competition?

There are a few reasons why students choose The EAHM. Firstly, it is located in Dubai, one of the most exciting cities in the world, and it has one of the highest concentrations of five-star hotel properties on the planet. Our extensive connections with these properties ensure that we have access to outstanding industry speakers, abundant internship opportunities and excellent graduate job opportunities – 96% of our graduates have one to two job offers within six months of graduating.

Secondly, Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world with an incredibly low crime rate. This is very important to parents whose children are leaving home, often for the first time. Thirdly, the number of entertainment and hospitality spots in Dubai means that our students are in demand from high-end catering and event companies that offer casual work opportunities. Students are able to build their skills, earn some money, make friends and generally integrate into the hospitality industry almost immediately.

What lessons have you learned since opening your doors to students?

We have been able to sharpen our vision of what a higherlearning institution should be. We see a business environment where making the customer happy is the ultimate goal. Therefore, we are convinced that hospitality is a fundamental skill in the workplace and a competitive advantage in business. Regardless of technological advances, a thorough knowledge of hospitality is crucial. It prepares our students for a future that is uncertain, disruptive, constantly evolving and very exciting.

What plans do you have for the future?

The EAHM has achieved great success during its short existence: it is ranked in the top ten hotel schools in the world, and is the best hotel school in the Middle East. Our aim is to continue being a point of reference for hospitality management education in the Middle East and internationally. We will continue to welcome students from all over the world, continue the important work of hospitality research and continue to watch our graduates reach the very top of their chosen professions.