The tour guide role in the United Arab Emirates: Emiratisation, satisfaction and retention

Rutledge, Emilie J (2022). The tour guide role in the United Arab Emirates: Emiratisation, satisfaction and retention. Tourism and Hospitality Research (Early access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/14673584221122488

Abstract

This paper examines the job satisfaction levels of national tour guides in the United Arab Emirates. In-depth interviews (n = 34) and a questionnaire (n = 63), incorporating Job Satisfaction Survey dimensions alongside context-specific ones, were used to assess continuance intentions in relation to career development opportunities and societal sentiment on the ‘appropriateness’ of this vocational role. While the nature of the job and promotional opportunities strengthened continuance intentions, stigma towards nationals working in the tourism sector reduced such intentions. A recommendation that fits with the UAE’s goal of better utilising indigenous human capital is to augment the hands-on aspect of the job with academically orientated tasks including archiving, curation and research and thus, raise this role’s status.

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