UAE youth choose unique careers, give rise to culinary, jewellery schools

The country’s thriving hospitality and tourism sectors have driven the demand for professional culinary training, educators have said


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Fri 14 Jun 2024, 7:59 AM

Last updated: Fri 14 Jun 2024, 10:55 PM

As young people increasingly lean towards becoming an entrepreneur, they are now choosing subjects that are creative to have a unique career.

Such careers often promise global opportunities in cities like Milan, Paris, Tokyo, and New York, as well as exciting roles on cruise ships that draw students. So, culinary schools, jewellery making, modelling, and fashion design courses are now on the rise.

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Many are eager to invest a lot to succeed in these glamorous industries. Thai expat Ploy Sadanun Pothikangrit, who is a professional model moved to the UAE six years ago.

Initially sceptical of how things would pan out for a young South-East Asian girl in a Middle Eastern country, Ploy, 31, had decided that despite all odds she would give it her best shot.

Narrating her story, she said, “I started modelling at the age of 18 in Thailand. I came to Dubai because I thought in this country my career might grow. The market was burgeoning and there was a need for Asian models. Everyone has their apprehensions but that shouldn’t stop one from pursuing their dreams.”

Modelling agency

Ploy who is now an entrepreneur reiterates she is grateful to the country that offers a platform for budding artists to hone their skills with state-of-the-art design studios, art and design festivals, famous design schools and a thriving local market.

She adds, “That’s why this place is considered to be the fashion capital of the region. I love the profession and I grew a lot in Dubai in the last few years. Now Dubai is home. Today I run a model agency company of my own. I have 3,000 people in the database.”

“Everyone must focus on following their passion and what they love doing. When the opportunity comes, one should be ready to take it,” added Ploy.

Wants her clothing line

21-year-old Tejasvi Sandeep Gurjar was raised in the UAE and has a deep understanding of the country, having completed her schooling and university education here.

Following her childhood passion, much like Ploy, Tejasvi aspires to become an entrepreneur and launch her clothing line one day.

The graduate of Amity University Dubai’s Bachelor of Fashion Design degree said, “We had a grad show, an event where each of the fashion students had to design a collection with any theme or concept. So, I had chosen the Indo-western theme. I see it's trending a lot. We focused on garments.“

The young adult who graduated this year highlighted that the industry experience that she gained alongside her course is immensely valuable.

“I worked with Landmark Group’s fashion brand Max for nine months as an assistant buyer. All products launched in the market have to go through the approval of a buyer. To see if it fits the quality, colour, and size ranges. We check the quality and then send our approvals to the supplier and then the product is launched. I think that was a great learning experience.”

She now aspires to launch her own brand, and continue developing the Indo-western designs she’s created.

“I was always obsessed with linen, silhouettes, the shimmer, and the bling in the fabrics. It always drew me. After a few years of experience I’ll definitely start my own clothing line.”

School of jewellery arts

Meanwhile, the first permanent campus of ‘L’ÉCOLE Middle East’ in partnership with Dubai Design District (d3) has recently been launched.

The school of jewellery arts is expanding its impact in the region, and engaging a broader audience by leveraging Dubai’s rich cultural diversity.

The institute has launched its operations by introducing 13 public courses. The courses provide an opportunity to explore jewellery design’s art, history, and intricacies under the guidance of experts and industry professionals.

Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum highlighted Dubai’s growing reputation as a global centre for design and creativity and a destination for institutions, companies, and brands from across the world.

She said, “Dubai offers an environment that fosters business enterprise and creativity and provides opportunities to exchange expertise in various creative fields. The establishment of L'ÉCOLE’s first headquarters in the Middle East in Dubai underscores the city’s pivotal role in the creative industries and its commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation.”

New culinary school to open

Similarly, Symbiosis International University that is opening its doors in Dubai in September 2024 will see a culinary programme in the next couple of years.

Educators said that the country’s thriving hospitality and tourism sectors have driven the demand for professional culinary training.

Dr Vidya Yeravdekar, Pro Chancellor, Symbiosis International University, Principal Director, Symbiosis said, “The Symbiosis School of Culinary Arts is one of the most popular schools for the varsity. Indian chefs are the most wanted globally and more now with all the Indian origin Michelin stars around. Student intake is only a 100 students every year out of thousands who apply. Students are moving into unconventional careers…the Gen-Z, primarily. The Culinary Arts programme will be offered in Dubai in phase 2, when we move into a bigger campus.”

She reiterated such students become immediately employable in restaurants, big hotel chains, and the FnB industry with many wanting to venture into their own businesses.

“More importantly most of them become entrepreneurs and start their own restaurants. Notably, Dubai becomes an important market because hospitality is big here,” added Yeravdekar.


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