The theme park leaders of the future have told residents of Dubai to get ready to be blown away when a new attraction opens later this year.
As a part of the Helmi Programme launched last year, Dubai Parks and Resorts have organized an educational initiative that offers Emirati talent the opportunity to gain expertise in the operations and management of theme parks.
With the plan to hire 1,000 Emiratis to work at the resort, the first batch of 10 students are currently on an intensive six-month course at the University of Central Florida in Orlando while gaining hands-on experience working in Legoland.
Another 40 Emiratis will undertake the same course with a visiting faculty in Dubai. Set to open in October 2016, Dubai Parks and Resorts will comprise Motiongate Dubai – a Hollywood-based theme park, the region’s first Legoland park, along with Legoland Water Park, and the world’s first Bollywood Parks.
One the students currently in Florida, 24-year-old Hind Galadari, said the whole experience has been very unique.
She said: “We came here and jumped right into everything theme parks, from seminar sessions, observations and classes to actually working in Legoland Florida to have a better understanding of what we are learning. Most seminars are related to theme park management, which include the A to Z of what happens in a theme park on a daily basis, behind the scenes.”
She added: “We work in numerous positions at Legoland, which gives us hands-on experience. We can see how employees work there, learn from them and see how the park is opened and closed every day.”
However, the most important part of the training is to make sure guests leave the park happy and want to come back as opposed to just a one-time visit, said Galadari.
“Apart from giving the guest a good time, we also need to ensure that we implement little things that will make them want to visit again,” she said.
“Because of the lessons we are taking, we are observing things that regular people would not notice. When you are placed in different categories you see how things work. Different areas are seamed differently, the staff that work in a particular area have to adhere to different rules as the groundwork, attractions and regulations are all different, yet all of them work hand in hand to create a fantasy land.”
And the excitement is building among the students with every day, said Galadari. “We are all eager and can’t wait to start up Dubai Parks back home,” she said.
The sprawling Dhs10.5 billion project is spread across 25 million sq ft of land on Sheikh Zayed Road close to the Palm Jebel Ali.
About 7 million ticketed visits are expected in 2017, the first full year of operation.