Students’ Perceptions towards Working in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry in United Arab Emirates

  • Maryam Taha Mannaa Department of History and Islamic Civilization, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE
  • Mohamed Abou-Shouk Department of History and Islamic Civilization, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE
Keywords: Commitment to work, Students’ perceptions, Tourism career, Tourism study, UAE


There are few studies on student perceptions of working in the tourism sector in Arab and Islamic countries. Taking into account the factors related to the cultural dimensions and to the society, the current study aims to examine the factors that influence the perception of tourism students in United Arab Emirates (UAE) to work in the tourism sector after graduation. Based on a random sample of students enrolled in the tourism program at the university level and using the structural equation modelling technique of analysis, the findings revealed that the commitment of students to work in the tourism sector is negatively influenced by the social aspects, the nature of work and the pay and promotion benefits. The current study is useful for all policy makers in education and tourism businesses to improve the image of tourism jobs in the minds of tourism students in the UAE, as well as to attract and retain skilled national employment and reduce the leakage of tourism income resulting from a high percentage of non-national employment.


Download data is not yet available.


Afifi, G., & Al-Sherif, N. (2014). Women occupational empowerment in the Omani tourism sector. European Journal of Tourism Hospitality and Recreation, 5(1), 53–84.

Aksu, A. A., & Koksal, C.D. (2005). Perceptions and attitudes of tourism students in Turkey. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management,17(5), 436-447.

Al Mazro'ei, L. (2010). The experiences of Muslim women employed in the tourism industry: The case of Oman. Retrieved from'ei_Lubna.pdf?sequence=1 (Last access: 17/4/2020)

Al Zubaibi, A. (2012). The pillars of family stability under Islamic law, stewardship and alimony as a model - a comparative analytical studyلد. Damascus University Journal for Economic and Legal Sciences, 28(1), 461-485.

Alananzeh, O. (2014). Exploring the factors influencing students in enrolling tourism and hospitality management colleges in Jordan: A case study in Aqaba Economic Zone. Journal of Management Research, 6(2), 61–73.

Al-Ismail, S., Carmichael, F. & Duberley, J. (2019). Female employment in hotels in Saudi Arabia and UAE, Gender in Management: An International Journal, 34 (7), 554-576

Alsawafi, A. (2016). Exploring the challenges and perceptions of Al Rustaq College of Applied Sciences students towards Omani women's empowerment in the tourism sector. Tourism Management Perspectives, 20, 246–250

Barron, P., Broadbridge, A., Maxwell, G. and Ogden, S. (2007), “Careers in hospitality management: Generation Y’s experiences and perceptions”, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 14 (2), 119-128.

Baum, T. (2015), “Human resources in tourism: still waiting for change? A 2015 reprise”, Tourism Management. 50(4), 204-212.

Brown, E.A., Thomas, N.J. and Bosselman, R.H. (2015). Are they leaving or staying: a qualitative analysis of turnover issues for Generation Y hospitality employees with a hospitality education? International Journal of Hospitality Management, 46,130-137.

Chellen, H., & Nunkoo, R. (2010). Understanding student's commitment to employment in the tourism and hospitality industry. International Research Symposium in Service Management, 1(1), 14-31.

Dumbrăveanu, D., Light, D., Young, C., & Chapman, A. (2016). Exploring women's employment in tourism under state socialism experiences of tourism work in socialist Romania. Tourist Studies, 16(2), 151–169.

Emirates News Agency (2019). Tourism sector contributes AED164.7 bn to GDP in 2018: Ministry of Economy. Accessed online at: (Last access: 23/2/2020)

Ferris, G.R., Berkson, H.M. & Harris, M.M., 2002. The recruitment interview process persuasion and organization promotion in competitive labour markets. Human Resource Management Review, 12(3), 359–375.

Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS (3rd ed.). London: Sage Publications Ltd.

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. (1981). Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18, 39-50.

Frye, D., Kangb S., Huhc C. & Leed, MJ (2019). What factors influence Generation Y’s employee retention in the hospitality industry? An internal marketing approach. International Journal of Hospitality Management, (Last access: 24/4/2020).

Gebbels, M., Pantelidis, I. & Turner, S. (2020). Conceptualising patterns of career commitment: the leaving process in hospitality. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 32(1), 126-147.

Goh, E. and Lee, C. (2018), “A workforce to be reckoned with: the emerging pivotal Generation Z hospitality workforce”, International Journal of Hospitality Management, 73, 20-28.

Gomaa, H. & Sobieh, A. (2014): Student Perceptions of Career in Tourism and Hospitality Industry in Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Tourism Studies, 13(1), 1-25.

Gulf News (2019). Expo 2020 Dubai in numbers. Gulf News. Accessed online at (Last access: 27/3/2020)

Gulf News Business (2018). Abu Dhabi on its way to becoming a world-class tourism destination. Gulf News Business. Accessed online at (Last access: 01/4/2020)

Guzeller, C. & Celiker, N. (2020). Examining the relationship between organizational commitment and turnover intention via a meta-analysis. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 14(1), 102-120.

Hair, J., Black, W., Babin, B., & Anderson, R. (2010). Multivariate data analysis: a global perspective (7th ed.), NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Hair, J., Hult, G., Ringle, C., & Sarstedt, M. (2016). A primer on partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM), Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

Huang, C. & Lo, R. (2014). Perceptions, Attitudes, and Needs of Undergraduate Student towards Career in the Hospitality Industry -An Example from the Undergraduate Students in Taiwan Shoufu University. Journal of International Management Studies, 9 (2), 20-32.

Insight Magazine (2016) Inspiring the Next Generation of Emirati Tourism Professionals, Jan- Feb. 14-17.

Jenkins, A.K., 2001. Making a career of it? Hospitality students’ future perspectives: an Anglo-Dutch study. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 13 (1), 13–20.

John, I. (2018). Travel, tourism to boost UAE's GDP. Khaleej Times. Accessed online at (Last access: 01/4/2020)

Kock, N. (2020). WarpPLS 7.0 User Manual. Texas: ScriptWarp Systems.

Kusluvan, S., & Kusluvan, Z. (2000). Perceptions and attitudes of undergraduates tourism students towards working in the tourism industry in Turkey. Journal of Tourism Management, 21, 251-269.

Lusby, C. (2017). American and Macau Student Perceptions Towards Working in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry. International Interdisciplinary Business- Economics Advancement Journal, 2(1), 54-64.

Menemenci, N., B. & Sucuoglub, E. (2015). Undergraduate Tourism Students’ Opinions Regarding the Work Conditions in the Tourism Industry. Procedia Economics and Finance, 26, 1130 – 1135.

Michael, N., Reisinger, Y., & Hayes, J. P. (2019). The UAE's tourism competitiveness: A business perspective. Tourism Management Perspectives, 30, 53–64.

Pfeffer, J. (2005). Producing sustainable competitive advantage through the effective management of people. The Academy of Management Executive, 19 (4), 95–108.

Richardson, S. (2009), Undergraduates’ perceptions of tourism and hospitality as a career choice, International Journal of Hospitality Management, 28, 382–388.

Roney, S. A. & Öztin, P. (2007). Career Perceptions of Undergraduate Tourism Students: A Case Study in Turkey. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 6(1), 4-18.

Roney, S. A., & Oztin, P. (2007). Career perceptions of undergraduate tourism students: a case study in Turkey. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education, 6(1), 4-18.

Sahoo, S. (2014). UAE hospitality sector is opening doors to Emiratisation. The national Business. Accessed online at (Last access: 05/03/20).

Sutton, J. (2016). From desert to destination: Conceptual insights into the growth of events tourism in the United Arab Emirates. Anatolia, 27(3), 352–366.

Tan, Z., Baharunb, N., Wazirc, N., Ngelambongd, A., Alie, N., Ghazalif, N. and Tarmazig, S. (2016). Graduates’ Perception on the Factors Affecting Commitment to Pursue Career in the Hospitality Industry. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 224, 416 – 420

Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, 2017; Middle East and North Africa results, Accessed online at (Last access: 29/3/2020)

UAE Business. Oil Economy to Tourism Economy, UAE. (2016). Accessed online at http:// (Last access: 01/4/2020)

Wan, Y., Wong, I. & Kong, W. (2014). Student career prospect and industry commitment: The roles of industry attitude, perceived social status, and salary expectations. Tourism Management, 40, 1- 14.

Wena, H., Leunga, X., Lic, X. & Kwonb, J. (2018). What influences Chinese students' intentions to pursue hospitality careers? A comparison of three-year versus four-year hospitality programs. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education, 23, 70–81.

World Tourism Organization (2019), Compendium of Tourism Statistics dataset [Electronic], Madrid, Spain: UNWTO (Last access: 22/4/2020).

World Travel and Tourism Council (2017), Travel & Tourism Economic Impact – United Arab Emirates; London, United Kingdom.

How to Cite
Mannaa, M., & Abou-Shouk, M. (2020). Students’ Perceptions towards Working in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry in United Arab Emirates. Al-Adab Journal, 1(135), 33-52.
Other studies