Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai is working with four trainees from the UAE Down Syndrome Association (UAEDSA). The four colleagues work in various departments, including training, engineering, culinary and housekeeping. Each trainee is accompanied by an occupational therapist with the aim of learning new skills and gaining valuable career experience in the hospitality industry.
Saif joins the hotel’s training team every Tuesday for one hour. Mahmoud, Youssef and Abdulla visit every Monday for one hour and follow a tailor-made training plan involving the training, engineering, culinary and housekeeping departments. Each of the trainees has assisted with tasks such as towel and linen folding, administration, flower arrangements and preparing breakfast trays for room service.
It all starts with one….
Saif was the first trainee to join the hotel. He was a little shy at first but is very outspoken. On his first day, he walked into the office and said “Good morning, where’s my office?” On Saif’s first day, he assisted the training department to make name tags for a training session and proceeded to help with administrative duties. Saif has a wonderful character. Once he is accustomed to the people and surroundings, he is a comedian, honest and very friendly. He spent time with the housekeeping department too and on his first day he was already changing sheets and making beds in the guest rooms with keen enthusiasm!