Majid Al Futtaim Ventures Takes Steps to Push Emirati Talent Forward with Its Khutwa Program

30 Sep 2014

The Khutwa Program in support of Emiratization employs 14 aspiring UAE Nationals in its second year. Majid Al Futtaim Ventures employs 1462 employees from 66 nationalities working across 6 emirates locations.

Dubai, UAE - Majid Al Futtaim Ventures, responsible for developing and managing new enterprises that complement and reinforce Majid Al Futtaim Holding’s leadership in shopping, retail and entertainment, is making strides in support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s UAE mission to increase the number of Emiratis in the workplace. Thus, in support of national efforts and in line with Majid Al Futtaim’s value of togetherness, the Khutwa Program was initiated in 2013. This year, 14 ambitious Emiratis joined the 6-month Program.

Khutwa meaning ‘step’ in Arabic was inspired by the expression, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step,” and through this initiative, Majid Al Futtaim  Ventures is putting in motion the first steps to identify and foster the careers of young Emirati talent. As a pioneer in the region, adhering to international standards while retaining local culture, Majid Al Futtaim values its multi-cultural work environment that employs the strengths of multiple nationalities and expertise. The Khutwa Program is designed to offer talented UAE Nationals the opportunity to learn about one of the region’s leading companies, with its diverse set of businesses working across various industries ranging from fashion and healthcare to finance and entertainment, while offering Program participants initial steps to a promising career.

“Majid Al Futtaim Ventures is keen on fostering public and private partnerships in the region, and contributing to the region’s economy, while growing the communities it operates in,” stated Ahmed Galal Ismail, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim - Ventures. Majid Al Futtaim’s corporate responsibility initiatives range from employee engagement opportunities working hand in hand with local non-profits, implementing sustainable strategies, environmental energy conservation plans and of course the Khutwa Program to support Emiratization on the private sector side.

“With national support being fuelled towards education, and Emiratization in government entities, we can help by doing our part. We are offering young UAE graduates the first steps on a career path, through mentoring and exposure to a wealth of knowledge and leadership that comes with a diverse set of 2091 employees from 69 nationalities working across 9 countries,” added Ahmed Galal Ismail. “In line with our Majid Al Futtaim vision, we push ourselves as a company to create great moments for everyone every day, and with the Khutwa Program in terms of employment opportunities and career advancement,” concluded Ahmed Galal Ismail.

The 14 Khutwa Program participants joined earlier this month, and have since undergone an induction workshop and embarked on a two-month training program, covering essential corporate skills such as communication, time management, business acumen, essentials of project management, organizational structure, problem solving, financial acumen, business etiquette, and intercultural skills.

Majid Al Futtaim Ventures works closely with each participant via one-on-one career coaching sessions to identify areas of interest and placements that fit individual career goals. According to one of the participants in this year’s intake, “The Khutwa Program should be offered by all companies and should be given to all fresh graduates to learn effective communication skills with colleagues, managers and clients, the importance of customer service, and professional decorum in the work place.”

Opportunities for participants are diverse with positions in Human Resources, Information Technology, Marketing and Customer Service at Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas, Majid Al Futtaim Healthcare’s City Centre Clinic, and Majid Al Futtaim’s Leisure & Entertainment attractions. Last year, Majid Al Futtaim Ventures welcomed 10 young Emiratis as part of the inaugural Khutwa Program, of which 3 have been permanently recruited.