Tourism entrepreneur shares industry insights

Tourism entrepreneur Nada Badran speaks to students in Tourism Principles class at Zayed University in Dubai on Oct. 21, 2018. Nada is a founder of Wander With Nada that offers tours with a local guide who shares insights into Emirati culture, history and contemporary life. (Photo courtesy TCC371 Tourism Principles)

By Hamda Khalid, Meera Salah and Hessah Nasser

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – As part of our Tourism Principles class, we had entrepreneur Nada Badran as a guest speaker to give us an insight into the tourism industry in Dubai.

Nada is a licensed tour guide and hosts local tours in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. She tells her tour groups stories behind the popular sights, sharing with them the history of the city. It’s not a typical tour as Nada offers an authentic experience. In 2018, Nada received a Certificate of Excellence from the travel site TripAdvisor.

Nada gave a presentation about the SWOT analysis she completed for the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, also known as Dubai Tourism. During our lecture, she focused on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Dubai Tourism. This is beneficial for us in the future, as we will be aware of different aspects of any organization.

Before talking about the SWOT analysis, she gave us an activity where we had to think of the SWOT analysis of Dubai as a city.

After a brainstorming for 10 minutes, students were able to state that the strength of Dubai is its strategic location as well as its infrastructure and safe nightlife, which is not found in many cities. A weakness is the dry, very hot, and sometimes humid weather of Dubai. In addition, to some extent, Dubai is considered an expensive city. An opportunity is that Dubai could attract those who come on a business trip to revisit as a tourist. One of the threats pointed out by the students was the possibility of natural disasters such as sandstorms or earthquakes in neighboring countries.

As tourism students, we found that a weakness is that many people alter the real culture and traditions in the Emirati society, which is our responsibility to change so that tourists have a true insight into our culture. Nada makes it a priority to give the tourists a firsthand experience of our real culture. As an opportunity, Dubai Tourism should use locals as tour guides so the tourists gain a true experience of the Emirati culture.

As students, we found this lecture to be very useful as we learned directly from a person who has experience in the tourism industry in our city. We also had an opportunity to ask questions related to Nada’s expertise, which benefitted us as tourism students.

About the authors: Hamda Khalid, Meera Salah and Hessah Nasser are majoring in International Studies in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Zayed University in Dubai. They are also pursuing a minor in Communication in the College of Communication and Media Sciences. This story was produced in TCC371 Tourism Principles class lead by Dr. Noela Michael.

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About the Author

This story was edited by Yulia Medvedeva, an assistant professor in the College of Communication and Media Sciences at Zayed University in Dubai.

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