DUBAI, UAE FEBRUARY 19, 2020: Today, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), hosted its first ‘Innovation Camp’ in collaboration with INJAZ Al-Arab, the MENA regional office of JA (Junior Achievement) Worldwide, providing 50 high school students an opportunity to participate in an innovative challenge based on finding sustainable solutions for the hospitality industry. The UAE challenge is one of nine identical competitions that IHG will be conducting across the world, as part of the company’s global campaign to drive youth interest in the industry and in IHG as an employer of choice.
The winners of each regional challenge will present their ideas at a global final competition which will be held virtually on Earth Day on April 22, 2020. The winning concept could potentially be implemented at select IHG hotels.
Hosted at voco Dubai, an IHG hotel with sustainability at its heart, the challenge saw students aged 15-18 from the Dubai American Academy (DAA) working together to create a sustainable hotel room concept. Students worked in collaboration with IHG volunteers and experts, who provided mentorship and support to them as they developed inspiring and innovative solutions. The ideas were presented to a panel of judges including, Thomas Dillon, founder of the Plastic Free UAE project and Director of digitalfarm, Kaitlynn Simmonds, School Coordinator for Azraq, and Amanda Rushforth, Content Creator and Environmental Advocate, and senior executives from IHG. The winning team consisted of 6 students who will move on to the global virtual finals.
Commenting on the initiative, Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG, said “The Innovation Camp is an exciting global initiative for IHG to showcase to young talent the career opportunities and progression offered by the hospitality industry. We are pleased to host the first event in the UAE, which has a thriving hospitality landscape and is leading the way in sustainability for the region. Our collaboration with JA Worldwide and INJAZ Al-Arab, has provided students the opportunity to gain valuable insight into the hospitality industry and we are thrilled to see such innovative ideas come out of the challenge today. Nurturing young talent is at the heart of this global initiative and it was inspiring to see the passion and enthusiasm from students in today’s competition.”
In the UAE, IHG is committed to support Emiratization with a focus on enabling young local talent to explore their professional future within the hospitality sector. Last year, IHG hosted the ‘First Look’ experiential learning and job shadowing event in Dubai in collaboration with INJAZ Al-Arab and showcased the vast career opportunities offered by the hospitality sector, encouraging students to make informed decisions about their future career paths.
Globally, as part of its True Hospitality for Good flagship programme, IHG works with JA Worldwide to support young talent considering a career in the hospitality sector.