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New career opportunities for the young generation in Saudi Arabia

EHL Insights
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Young Generation Saudi Arabia

If you think of Saudi Arabia job opportunities, you would probably think of the oil industry. But that is changing as Saudi Arabia is putting a new focus on the tourism and hospitality industries and promoting careers within them.

It is not necessarily a new interest from tourists that has lead to this change, but instead the goals of the Saudi government itself. Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is focusing on new areas for the country’s economy that steer it in different directions from the oil industry.

Tourism is one of the new focuses among others. The young Saudis are embracing the focus on tourism and hospitality, therefore great change and new opportunity within the country is expected over the coming years. This market growth and scholarships offered will create great new job prospects for young Saudis.

Youth perception of Saudi Arabian tourism careers

A study questioned young Saudis  to see how they felt about certain careers in their country. The research found that interest among youth has gone down in oil and related areas and has increased in other areas, including tourism and hospitality, as well as healthcare and technology. This research shows that the future of Saudi Arabia has the potential to have a different focus than it previously had.

The survey found that 91 percent had interest in a tourism career. Many believed that tourism and hospitality would be lucrative and would provide them with good career opportunities. They also felt that tourism will be an important part of the country’s economy and employment going forward.

Government investments in tourism

The Saudi Arabian government is determined to grow its recreation and leisure tourism industries. Toward this end, it is making investments and has plans for growth in these areas. In fact,  investments of $810 billion  are going to large scale tourism projects in the area. Some of these projects include:

  • Neom, which is planned as a sustainable, high-tech, futuristic city with an investment cost of $500 billion.
  • Museums and Saudi heritage projects.
  • Red Sea island development with 90 luxury islands.
  • Qiddiyah Project, which is a theme park and entertainment project in Riyadh with a $10 billion investment cost.
  • Amaala, which is envisioned as a “Riviera of the Middle East” with cultural, wellness and real estate components.

Tourism had already increased and started thriving in Saudi Arabia. Now, these investments into major tourist attractions are expected to greatly boost the tourism industry and the gross domestic product of the country.  Saudi Arabia’s goal  is to bring the country’s revenue from tourism from three percent of the GDP up to 10 percent by the year 2030.

Scholarships in Tourism and Hospitality

Fortunately, this focus on growing tourism and hospitality includes the understanding that skilled professionals are needed to run the new projects. The right workforce is key to the success of this growing industry for the country.

To help with a  skills gap  and ensure the necessary workforce for the development and operation of the projects, scholarships are being offered. For example, The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) will award 120  scholarships in tourism and hospitality  with the goal of having the professionals needed for the Red Sea Project.

This program can go through the University of Prince Mugrin (UPM) in Madinah for a Bachelor of Science Degree in International Hospitality Management that is accredited by the Ecole hotelière de Lausanne (EHL). But is also available for students willing to study abroad - at EHL's main campus in Lausanne for example.

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Hospitality career opportunities for young Saudis

Saudi Arabia’s plans to put major investments into tourism projects and offer scholarships in the industry is great news for young Saudi Arabians looking for career opportunities. Young Saudis have the potential to have careers in  tourism and hospitality settings  that could include hotels, resorts, restaurants and leisure activities. They could work in various  hospitality roles  that include directors, concierges, event planners, restaurant servers, managers and many more.

This growth creates wonderful opportunities for young people deciding on their career paths. It opens up new career options and is designed to create a new tourism center of the world. Young Saudis will now have more opportunity than ever to look beyond careers in petrochemicals, oil and gas and go in a different direction. The tourism and hospitality industry could provide a good career path with opportunities to grow into different roles over time.

Gain the best education in Tourism and Hospitality

The scholarships being offered to young Saudis interested in tourism and hospitality give them the opportunity to go abroad for the best education in these industries. By studying at EHL or through a program accredited by EHL, they follow high Swiss standards in tourism and hospitality. During their studies, students learn theory and concepts in tourism and hospitality through a classroom setting. Then, they also apply what they learn into practice through hands-on projects and internships in these industries. This scholarship opportunity will help young Saudis gain the level of knowledge and skill they could expect from Swiss hospitality.

With the Bachelor of Science degree in International Hospitality Management students earn through the scholarship program, graduates will have many opportunities opened to them. They will have the knowledge, skills and degree to help them expand within the Saudi Arabia hospitality and tourism industries that are expected to grow significantly over the coming years. These students will be at the forefront of this exciting growth and will be able to progress in their careers along with the industry.


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