InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) recently hosted its first ‘Innovation Camp’, in collaboration with INJAZ Al-Arab, the MENA regional office of JA (Junior Achievement) Worldwide.
The camp provided 50 high school students with an opportunity to participate in an innovative challenge based on finding sustainable solutions for the hospitality industry. The UAE challenge is one of nine identical competitions that IHG will be conducting across the world, as part of the company’s global campaign to drive youth interest in the industry and in IHG as an employer of choice.
The winners of each regional challenge will present their ideas at a global final competition, which will be held virtually on Earth Day on April 22, 2020. The winning concept could potentially be implemented at select IHG hotels.
Hosted at voco Dubai, an IHG hotel with sustainability at its heart, the challenge saw students aged 15-18 from the Dubai American Academy (DAA) working together to create a sustainable hotel room concept. Students worked in collaboration with IHG volunteers and experts, who provided mentorship and support to them as they developed inspiring and innovative solutions. The ideas were presented to a panel of judges and senior executives from IHG. The winning team consisted of six students who will move on to the global virtual finals.
On the initiative, managing director – India, Middle East and Africa, IHG, Pascal Gauvin said: “The Innovation Camp is an exciting global initiative for IHG to showcase to young talent the career opportunities and progression offered by the hospitality industry. We are pleased to host the first event in the UAE, which has a thriving hospitality landscape and is leading the way in sustainability for the region.”
He continued: “Our collaboration with JA Worldwide and INJAZ Al-Arab has provided students the opportunity to gain valuable insight into the hospitality industry and we are thrilled to see such innovative ideas come out of the challenge today. Nurturing young talent is at the heart of this global initiative and it was inspiring to see the passion and enthusiasm from students in today’s competition.”