UAE CEOs paired with students in leadership development program

A student workshop in progress during the CEOx1Day program.
Updated 29 August 2019

UAE CEOs paired with students in leadership development program

A contingent of business leaders from 16 UAE-based companies — ranging from Alabbar Enterprises, Dubai Airports and Dubai Opera through to The Lego Company and Nestle Middle East — have been paired with some of the country’s brightest young undergraduates in a development program designed to give the students insights into the working life of a CEO.
Managed by international executive search consultancy Odgers Berndtson, the CEOx1Day program, now in its second year, will match third- and fourth-year undergraduates from six leading UAE universities with CEOs from a diverse range of sectors. During a full working-day, each student will shadow their designated CEO to learn from today’s corporate leaders.
Carefully chosen from over 200 applicants, the final 16 students were selected following a multi-phased assessment and interview process, which included personality profiling, telephone interviews, group work, case studies, and one-on-one interviews with Odgers Berndtson’s consultants.
“Selected students will have the opportunity to shadow leaders from a range of sectors, all of which have vital roles to play in the UAE’s ongoing industrial and economic development,” said Mark Houghton, managing partner at Odgers Berndtson, Middle East. “The finalists shone through the selection process and we have high hopes that this year’s CEOx1Day will be a positive and rewarding experience for what is an accomplished 2019 cohort.”
Currently studying at the American University of Sharjah, Heriot-Watt University Dubai, Middlesex University in Dubai, the University of Wollongong in Dubai, New York University Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi University, the 16 finalists have already received guidance from the Odgers Berndtson team on recruitment processes, team building and presentation skills.
Several of the CEOs involved in the scheme have already hailed it as a mutually beneficial experience.
“This is reverse mentoring in action,” explained Houghton. “Past students have told us how the scheme has brought the reality of business to life and seeded great respect for the CEOs in some of the tough day-to-day decision-making they have to undertake. Conversely, the CEOs say the students have given them new perspectives on a number of issues which have led to several innovative measures being pursued.”
The CEOx1Day shadowing will run from September through until the end of the year.


Hyatt Regency program supports Saudi Vision 2030

Updated 18 February 2020

Hyatt Regency program supports Saudi Vision 2030

Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya has announced a partnership with the Hotel and Tourism Management Institute Switzerland — Saudi Arabia (HTMi), and the international nonprofit Education for Employment (EFE), in an effort to support the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. With the help of EFE and HTMi, the hotel will sponsor various groups of women throughout the year, each for four months of training at HTMi — Riyadh. The hotel will then recruit them in various departments where they will be able to contribute to the best of their abilities. 

“I’m thrilled to be here today to celebrate with the team of Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya their new initiative to support Hyatt’s global program ‘RiseHY,’ which is designed to introduce youth to hospitality and provide needed employment opportunities,” said Giuseppina Bavasso, Hyatt’s director of human resources — Middle East, Africa and South West Asia. “The RiseHY program builds on our long-standing commitment with our existing or new relationships with community-based organizations across the world to provide vocational training and career readiness programs. We understand the challenges young people face and we believe that hospitality is one of the few industries where entry-level opportunities can lead to long-life career chances.”

RiseHY is a global program designed to pair the hospitality industry’s career opportunities with young people who need them. As part of the initiative, Hyatt hotels around the world commit to hiring 10,000 opportunity youth by 2025.

“The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 aims to boost women’s participation in the local labor market and provide equal and rewarding opportunities for everyone, so that they may use their talents and abilities to contribute to the Kingdom’s economy,” said Walid El-Awadly, Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya’s general manager. “Building an inclusive and diverse workforce has always been an integral part of Hyatt’s DNA and our commitment toward RiseHY is a chance to bring employment opportunities to the members of the communities in which we operate. This commitment brings Hyatt’s purpose — to care for people so they can be their best — to life in the Riyadh community.”

Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya opened its doors to guests in January 2017. The hotel offers 260 guest rooms, including 39 suites, spread across 28 floors.

Hyatt Regency’s strategy is aligned with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which focuses on stimulating tourism and boosting the Kingdom’s economy. The current Hyatt portfolio in the country comprises Park Hyatt Jeddah, Jabal Omar Hyatt Regency Makkah, Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya, Hyatt Place Riyadh Al-Sulaimania, and Hyatt House Jeddah Sari Street.