Meet the World! – Eco-tourism and responsible travelers – A student exhibition held at GUtech

HALBAN To learn more about managing tourist destinations worldwide, students from the Department of Logistics, Tourism and Service Management at GUtech have conducted a public exhibition entitled “Meet The World!” yesterday afternoon. The students from the second and third year of International Business and Service Management studied ‘International Destination Management” this semester. They presented different destinations such as Germany, Spain, France, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Qatar and Morocco while relating them to current trends and issues in destination management including brand management, crisis management, and sustainable tourism development in destinations.

Noor Al Hassani, Alya Al Riyami and Omar Al Harthy presented tourism in France on a poster along with serving some French food. France is one of the top tourist destinations worldwide. As for the brand management, the students identified different images such as heritage tourism, wine tourism, adventure tourism, slow tourism and event tourism. “In 2018 around 82 million tourists visited the country. France is famous for its ecotourism and luxury tourism. I have visited France with my family a few years ago. I enjoyed the overall atmosphere in Paris. We visited the Louvre, the Champs Elysees and the cathedral Notre Dame de Paris. We also did a boat tour along the river Seine,” said Omar Al Harthy. He mentioned that especially ‘greener modes of transportation’ that produce less pollution could be promoted as well in Oman. He also liked the idea of introducing car sharing or public bicycle sharing. In their analysis of the tourist destination, the students mentioned an increase in eco-responsible accommodation projects which create awareness about the responsible use of energy and recycling.

Another group of students, Ahood Al Balushi, Maryam Al Ruzaiqi and Fatma Alwadhahi presented the destination Spain on a poster and through home-made Spanish sweets. In their small research project the students realized many similarities between Spain and the Sultanate of Oman. For example, Spain is facing increasing desertification and on the other hand the country is trying to attract tourists who are respectful and aware of environmental challenges facing destinations worldwide. “Tourism in Spain is becoming more sustainable. The sector is implementing measures to reduce energy, waste and overall more care for the environment. There is a growing interest in a “0 kilometer gastronomy” with locally produced ingredients,” said Ahood Al Balushi. The students also liked the idea of ecotourism, being implemented in different National Parks such as the Sierra Nevada National Park, which offers adventure and sports tourism. “I like the idea of implementing a crowd control system through prior online booking. This could help avoid congestions in museums or at popular heritage sites,” said Fatma Alwadhani.

(c) GUtech/ Photo & Text: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

Meet the World! – A public event to be held on 9 June

HALBAN The Department of Logistics, Tourism and Service Management at GUtech cordially invites you to a public event entitled: “Meet The World!” on Sunday, 9 June, between 13:00-17:00 at GUtech. Students from the second and third year studying ‘International Destination Management” will present different destinations from around the world, such as India, Thailand, Morocco, Germany while relating them to the most current destination management trends and issues including brand management, crisis management, and sustainable development in destinations.

The students invite the general public to come to GUtech and “Meet the World”, learn more about different destinations, while tasting food and getting to know different cultures from around the world.

“An Evening of Opportunities and Appreciation” – IBSM students organize an event at the Kempinski Muscat

HALBAN Under the patronage of H.E. Eng. Salim Mohammed Al Naimi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communication, an ‘Evening of Opportunities and Appreciation’, organized by third year students studying Event Management at the Faculty of Business and Economics at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) will be held at Kempinsiki Hotel Muscat tomorrow evening. Aimen Al Hosni, CEO of Oman Airports Management Company, will be present a keynote speech on the role of airports in realising Oman’s 2040 vision.

Dr. Heba Aziz, Dean of the Daculty of the Business and Economics, comments on this event: “I am proud of the efforts of the students in less than eight weeks they put together an impressive event; the organisation of the event and the event itself demonstrate GUtech’s commitment to bridge the gap between academic education and the business sector.” This year the students have chosen an event to recognise the efforts of the business sector in Oman, both public and private, for the opportunities that they create for the students and which complement their overall learning experience. Over seventy companies in the business sector have received students for their twelve weeks internship program, an industrial project – a consultancy project for the logistics sector, field trips and guest lectures.

The students’ event comes in fulfilment of the requirement for their module in event management where the students are supposed to organise an event with all its components logistics, finance, communication and programmein addition to passing and studying a theoretical component. Students were very successful in securing the sponsorship of two of the main business partners Kempinski the Wave and Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). The two organisations have been extremely supportive to the activities of the department’s academic and students activities.

The Faculty of Business and Economics currently offers two programmes of studies one in Logistics and the other in Business and Tourism. The faculty will launch its MBA programmes in October 2019. The event will take place at the Kempinski Muscat on 1 May, at 7 PM.

GUtech and Vienna University of Economics and Business launch a double degree MBA programme

HALBAN The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has launched a part-time double-degree MBA programme in cooperation with Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) in Austria. The study-programme will start this year. “The MBA programme came to complement the undergraduate programmes that we are currently offering and to fill a gap in the post graduate market in Oman,” said Prof. Dr. Heba Aziz, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics at GUtech and Academic Director of the newly launched MBA programme.

Established in 1898 and founded as the Imperial Transport University, Vienna University of Economics and Business is one of the largest and leading business universities in Europe. The university has a well-established, very international student and academic body. “International mobility of faculty and students is part of our institution. Working on an educational level together with Oman will enhance our cooperation on a business level as well,” said Prof. Dr. Barbara Stöttinger, Dean of Vienna University of Economics and Business, the WU Executive Academy. The MBA will cover general management topics such as entrepreneurship, finance, marketing and logistics. “The MBA has been designed for students who have demanding full-time jobs and are in managerial positions. We are looking forward to linking the Omani society and GUtech with Austria and enable the MBA students to study a modul at our university. GUtech is planning to offer the MBA on part-time over a period of 18 months; modules will be taught four days a week from Thursday to Sunday. The MBA will offer specialisations in the fields of logistics, tourism and entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Astrid Kleinhanns-Rollé, Managing Director of the WU Executive Academy.

For further details please contact GUtech: admissions@gutech.edu.om

 

Tourism Management students from Germany visited GUtech

HALBAN A group of 44 students and their professors from Tourism Management Departments of the Cologne Business School (CBS) and the University of Applied Sciences in Stralsund (HOST) in Germany visited GUtech. Students and staff members of the Department International Business Management (IBSM) welcomed the group. During the joint programme at GUtech, the students presented their study-programmes and the locations of each university as well as tourism in Germany and in Oman. The programme also included ice-breaker activities in small groups, a campus tour and a student photo exhibition.

Professor Dr. Heba Aziz, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics stressed in her speech that the cooperation between GUtech and the University of Applied Sciences in Stralsund was the first cooperation of the department established in 2011. Since then several Omani students have studied at HOST. In exchange GUtech offers internships for one semester for Master’s students or a semester in the Bachelor of International Business and Service Management. “I would like to conduct an internship at GUtech and to be involved in research,” said Kristin Beyeler, who is currently studying in her 1st semester, MA Tourism Development Strategies at HOST. Alexandra Flimm, CBS student in the Bachelor of International Tourism Management said that the Omani students are very open-minded and welcoming and that she would like to study one semester at GUtech. “Our excursion to Oman offers an intercultural experience with visits of the university and different companies as well as field-trips around the country,” said Prof. Dr. Volker Rundshagen, Head of General Management, Leisure and Tourism Management at HOST. “The visit to GUtech enhances our cooperation and the exchange of students and staff between both universities,” stressed Steffi Schnierer, Programme Manager and Lecturer at HOST. Dr. Desmond Wee, Dean and Professor for Tourism Management at CBS said that he would like to invite GUtech students to participate in an upcoming five-day international project seminar, a ‘Hotel Placement Simulation’, where students will learn how to set-up a hotel in an interactive environment along with other students from Estonia, UK and Belgium. “Before establishing a hotel, it is important to think about the cultural, social and environmental sustainability of the project,” he said.

For many students from Germany, it is their first travel to the Arabian Peninsula. “This excursion is my first travel outside Europe. In future, during the 5th semester, I would like to study for one semester in Mexico, Peru or in Argentine. After my studies I would like to work on a cruise liner,” said Emilio Anzini, who studies a BA Intercultural Tourism Management at CBS.

Around 1,400 students from 75 countries are studying at CBS in Cologne that was founded in 1993. The university is embedded in a large network of partnerships with around 100 universities all over the world and numerous international companies. At HOST which is located in the far North of Germany, on the Baltic coast, 2,200 students from around the world are studying in 27 programmes. HOST has international cooperations with universities in Cyprus, Sweden, Turkey, Italy, France and Bali. As a study incentive for international students, the city of Stralsund offers 150 Euros to each student at the beginning of their studies, said Ammar Saeb, who studies in the Master’s programme Tourism Development Strategies at HOST.

Caption: Group photo with students and professors from CBS and HOST along with GUtech professors and students

(c) GUtech / Text: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet

The Dean’s List Award Ceremony – 55 students awarded

HALBAN The Dean’s List Award Ceremony was held in the large GUtech amphitheatre to celebrate the achievements of 55 GUtech students and to commemorate the 6th anniversary of His Majesty’s visit to the university. “We only recently introduced the Dean’s List as a way to recognize outstanding academic achievements. The Dean’s List is a very enviable accomplishment that is only given to our top students” said Prof. Dr. Armin Eberlein, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs.

The criteria for the award were an outstanding academic achievement, the top 10% of the students, a minimum GPA of 3.5, registered for a minimum of 25 credit points, no incomplete or failing grades, no disciplinary written warning letters and an IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. Dr. Armin congratulated the students along with the Head of each academic Department. “You should be proud of the award. You worked hard, attended many lectures, and in addition spent many hours studying on your own or in groups. And it paid off. Your efforts were worth it. However, efforts alone are not sufficient to get on the Dean’s List. You also need to have the intellectual abilities that are needed for this distinction. You need to have the skills to work through complexities, solve problems, find solutions and communicate them well. Today you are being recognized for this combination of your efforts and your skills,” said Dr. Armin. Moreover, the Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs stressed that the university commemorates the 6th anniversary of the visit of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said to GUtech. On the 24th of December His Majesty honoured the university with a special private visit. “We are proud of His Majesty’s recognition of our achievements. It shows how His Majesty values us as individuals, our university, our educational ethos, and the benefits that we as an institution bring to the country of Oman. Ultimately, it is through you, our students that GUtech contributes to Oman. You get a superb education here at GUtech. In a few years when you join the workforce, you will be the ones who add value to the Omani economy. And this is what makes me proud of being part of GUtech. It allows me to not only educate individuals for the sake of getting a degree, but I can help develop the future leaders of Oman. This is a real privilege,” said Dr. Armin Eberlein. Many GUtech students and friends attended the ceremony. Finally one GUtech student mentioned that this award ceremony serves as a motivational event for other students to study hard in order to be part of the list next year.

(c) GUtech: Text Dr. Manuela Gutberlet; Photo: Fatma Al Balushi

The following GUtech students were awarded for their outstanding achievements:

Majd Al Kayyal
Murooj Mohammed Al Busaidi
Mohammed Salim Al Haddabi
Jawaher Said Al Ghadani
Maram Mudather Mohamed
Maha Surur Al Busaidi
Halayel Ahmed Al Saadi
Aisha Salim Al Balushi
Arwa Saud Al Zadjali
Firdaus Nabil Al Barwani
Reem Said Al Mushikhi
Mohamed Saleh Al Alawi
Shadhan Hamood Al Rashdi
Sara Haroon Al Bartamani
Loay Imad Al Lawati
Husam Yaqoob Al Siyabi
Khamis Hassan
Fatma Fuad El Sheibany
Zoudat Mohamed Al Aufi
Ahmed Juma Abdulla
Khuzama Salim Al Shezawi
Badria Humuod Al Mauly
AL Ghaith Ali Al Ghaithi
Anwar Rashid AL Hajri
Fatema Nour Al Din Al Farsi
Belqees Ali Al Hinaai
Riyan Yahya Al Wahshi
Sara Tariq Al Bulushi
Maisa Mohammed Al Hinai
Lora Awadh Al Alawi
Maryam Abdul Razzaq Al Raisi
Haitham Anwar Al Rawas
Taif Mohamed Al Kindi
Eilaf Khalid Al Busaidi
Marah Khalfan Al Aufi
Abir Talib Al Kharusi
Ghazalah Nabi Baksh Al Balushi
Shurooq Mohammed Al Busaidi
Nama Yousuf Al Bulushi
Manaf Mohamed Al Raisi
Alaa Mohsin Al Ajmi
Fatema Jamal Al Busaidi
Sanad Sulaiman Al Rawahi
Mallak Yousuf Al Senani
Shaima Hilal Al Jahwari
Fatma Mohammed Al Farsi
Noorin Adil Al Busaidi
Fatma Ali Al Barwani
Ammar Abdulhameed Al Kiyumi
Sara Hamood Al Naamani
Melika Naderi
Juhaina Abdullah Al Salmi
Qatr Al Nada Abdul Rahman Al Hinai
Samahram Is’haq Al Hashli
Melina Naderi

 

A Tuesday Tourism Talk with Samih Sawiris, 19 November at the Kempinski Hotel Muscat

HALBAN As part of the regular ‘Tuesday Tourism Talks’ organized by the Faculty of Economics and Business of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech), the faculty will host Samih Sawiris during an evening event held at the Kempinski Hotel Muscat on 19 November, 7 pm. Samih Sawiris is one of Oman’s leading tourism investors and a leading international figure in the field of tourism and investment. “We are honored to announce this special conversation with Samih Sawiris next week. As the founder and Chairman of Orascom Development Holding (ODH.SW) he has established along with Omran two major integrated tourism projects in Oman, Jabel Sifah located in Muscat and in Hawana Salalah in Dhofar. During the upcoming talk Samih Sawiris will reflect and share insights of his extensive experience as an investor in the tourism industry worldwide, creating destinations through ‘place making’,” said Prof. Dr. Heba Aziz, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business at GUtech.

Sawiris is the founder and Chairman of Orascom Development Holding (ODH.SW), a Swiss-incorporated company listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX). Orascom Development is a leading developer of fully integrated destinations that include hotels, private villas and apartments, leisure facilities such as golf courses, marinas and supporting infrastructure. Through a partnership between the internationally builder of fully-integrated towns, ODH and Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN), the leading government arm for tourism development in the Sultanate of Oman, Muriya has invested $650 million in the past ten years in Oman. ODH, 70% shareholders in Muriya, bring with them more than 25 years of experience in developing destinations and towns in the Middle East and in Europe

Orascom Development’s diversified portfolio of destinations is spread over nine jurisdictions (Switzerland, Egypt, Montenegro, Oman, UAE, Jordan and Morocco). The Group currently owns 35 hotels, with 8,135 guestrooms and over 1,000 rooms under development in the different countries. ODH operates eight destinations; Andermatt in Switzerland, Four in Egypt: El Gouna, Taba Heights, Haram City and Makadi in Egypt; The Cove in United Arab Emirates, Jebel Sifah and Salalah Beach in Oman, Andermatt in Switzerland and Lustica Bay in Montenegro.

Samih Sawiris is also a major shareholder of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI N.V.), a Dutch based global producer of natural gas-based chemicals and engineering and construction contractor with projects and investments across Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. He is also a significant stakeholder in Lafarage (LG.FP); a world leader in building material and major player in the cement, aggregates and concrete industries, operating in 64 countries and listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.

In addition, Samih Sawiris is part of the Sawiris Foundation, a prominent institution of economic and social aid in Egypt that provides job opportunities, trainings and placement of qualified Egyptians in the job market as well as scholarships in various colleges and universities.

 

Tourism and the Digital Transformation Forum on 26 September

In celebration of the World Tourism Day 2018, the Faculty of Business and Economics at GUtech in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism in Oman will hold a forum on “Tourism and the Digital Transformation” on the 26th of September at the Kempinski Hotel Muscat, between 6 – 8.30 pm, followed by dinner. “The event is sponsored by the Kempinski Hotel and Shell Oman to whom we are very grateful. The forum will present testimonials on how the tourism sector worldwide has been shaped by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. A leading panel of international and national experts will be discussing their recent initiatives in heritage, hospitality, tourism development, marketing and quality assurance in an interactive and concise forum,” said Prof. Dr. Heba Aziz, Head of the Department of Logistics, Tourism and Service Management at GUtech.

Technologies are emerging, disrupting and affecting our lives in ways that indicate we are at the beginning of a Fourth Industrial Revolution, a new era in which digitalization builds and impacts societies in new and often unanticipated ways. It is worthwhile considering exactly what kind of shifts we are experiencing and how we can ensure, collectively and individually, that this revolution creates benefits for all. Tourism was one of the first sectors to digitalize business processes on a global scale, bringing flight and hotel booking online to become a digital pioneer. As information and communications technology (ICT) became a global phenomenon, tourism was a consistent early adopter of new technologies and platforms. Digitalization of the tourism sector influenced business and consumer alike and required a complete paradigm shift in the sector. Disintermediation meaning the gradual disappearance of the travel agencies and the move of the tourism sector into a business to consumer model. This might have led to loss of business on one hand, but has on the other created many others. Another interesting development is in the area of the power of the consumer, the wisdom of the crowd has now replaced quality assurance agencies, consumer is no longer interested in how many stars the hotel have but rather on the quantity and quality of reviews on tripadvisor.

This year’s World Tourism Day (WTD) will help to put the opportunities provided to tourism, by technological advances including big data, artificial intelligence and digital platforms, on the map of sustainable development. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) sees digital advances and innovation as part of the solution to the challenge of marrying continued growth with a more sustainable and responsible tourism sector.

“Harnessing innovation and digital advances provides tourism with opportunities to improve inclusiveness, local community empowerment and efficient resource management, amongst other objectives within the wider sustainable development agenda”, said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili in his message for the World Tourism Day 2018.

The programme of International Business and Service Management (IBSM) is one of GUtech’s fastest growing programme of studies. The programme of study focuses on the tourism sector from an international and national perspective. More information on the forum can be found on the GUtech website.

(c) GUtech/ Department of Logistics, Tourism and Service Management

Students volonteered during the UNESCO World Heritage Meeting in Bahrain

HALBAN The Faculty of Business and Economics at GUtech has recently formed a student club entitled Oman Sustainable Tourism Club (OSTC). The department of Logistics, Tourism and Service Management is planning for the official launch of the club to take place on 27 September, on the occasion of the World Tourism Day. “The club members who are now around 20 have been very active and enthusiastic about the various activities and initiatives they plan to carry out. So far the students have designed their own website, a communication campaign with a logo, I am so proud of them,” said Prof. Dr. Heba Aziz, Head of the Faculty of Business and Economics. 

In addition, some members of the student club have volunteered in the 42nd Session of the UNESCO World Heritage held in Bahrain, between the 24 June and the 4 July. The students had the opportunity to witness the inscription of Qalhat as a World Heritage Site with lots of joy and happiness and they celebrated this great achievement.

The World Heritage Committee gathers representatives from over 100 countries concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage elected by the General Assembly of States Parties to the Convention. “This event is a major international UNESCO conference with over 1000 delegates participating to decide on the listing of cultural heritage sites on the World Heritage list. It is a wonderful experience for the students to be exposed to such major important events,” said Prof. Dr. Heba Aziz. During the conference the GUtech students worked as part of an international body of students volunteers. The students showed interest in being part of such event in the future in order to be able to represent the Sultanate of Oman and GUtech.