Photos: Meet the first porter at the hotel in Abu Dhabi – News


It’s a role Iwacu enjoys as she meets many people of different nationalities.

Every time Grace Iwacu opens the doors for hotel guests and walks them to the front desk for check-in, she feels “brave”. After all, many think it’s a man’s job.

Breaking the stereotype, Iwacu – a 24-year-old Rwandan national – became the first female porter to be appointed to the reception of an Abu Dhabi hotel. She recently started her job at Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers.

“It’s amazing to work at the front desk as a porter in this great hotel. I feel empowered as a woman because this is essentially a male stronghold in the hospitality industry, ”Iwacu told the Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

She greets customers, helps them get out of their vehicles, takes care of their luggage, then drives them to the reception area.

It’s a role Iwacu enjoys as she meets many people of different nationalities.

The expatriate previously worked at a hotel in Rwanda’s capital Kigali before coming to the United Arab Emirates in July this year for her training and two-year job.

She is one of dozens of women from different African countries who have been brought to the United Arab Emirates in recent years by Evolvin ‘Women, a social enterprise dedicated to empowerment. The group works primarily in developing countries, providing women with training and employment opportunities in the UAE hospitality sector.

Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers was the first hotel in Abu Dhabi to partner with Evolvin ‘Women, entering a two-year partnership to provide development programs for women.

The hotel hired women from Zambia, Rwanda, and Ghana to work in housekeeping, catering, and reception, with two of them taking on porter roles, usually a male-dominated role.

“Cultivating gender balance in all aspects of life is very important. I am confident that I will take this opportunity to acquire many skills in the UAE hotel industry, which I will bring back to my country after my career here, ”said Iwacu.

Her compatriot Isabella Ndagijimana, 25, who was also recruited for housekeeping as part of the development program, said she was delighted that UAE hotels were keen to offer guest development training. skills and internships for women in developing countries.

“I graduated in hotel management. Having the opportunity to work and train at this five star hotel will help me build my career for better internships, especially when I return home, ”she said.

Appointing porters, instead of gatekeepers, is a revolutionary step in highlighting the potential of women to excel and grow in any role when given the right opportunity and the right support, said Assia Riccio, CEO of Evolvin ‘Women.

Since 2017, Evolvin ‘Women has provided roles in hospitality and skills development to 55 women and they expect the number to reach 80 by the end of September this year.

“The hospitality industry offers many opportunities. These women come here to the United Arab Emirates for a two-year training and professional career. We then help them find hospitality jobs when they get home, ”Ricco told the Khaleej Times on Tuesday.

“We would like them to bring the skills back to their countries, become financially independent and take care of their families.

Tarek Jarrouje, Director of Human Resources at Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers, added: “By placing women in traditionally male dominated roles and providing them with training and skills development internships, we are highlighting the impact that every company can have to promote gender equality in the hospitality industry.

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Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with a strong attachment to family and great values ​​for humanity. He has practiced journalism in the UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country’s parliament (FNC) and crimes including Abu Dhabi police, prosecution and courts. He also reports on important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in stories of human interest. When he is no longer in office, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi because he wants to see his compatriots happy. Exercising and reading are part of her free time.


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