Middle East/Africa News

Zawya: Hilton WorldwideAnnounces Passport to Success® Initiative in Saudi Arabia

Initiative will focus on engaging and developing talented Saudi youth for careers in hospitality

June 02, 2013  |  This information originated in U.K. English.

Riyadh, KSA - Hilton Worldwide has partnered with the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and the King Khalid Foundation, to announcethe official launch of the Passport to Success® initiative for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ("KSA"). The programmeis aimed at engaging and developing Saudi youth for future careers.

The initiative will equip trainees with the technical and practical knowledge, as wellas the all-important employability, confidence-building and life skills, required in work environment.

Passport to Success®,a global life skills initiative developed by IYF,will focus its training on four core areas,including all-round personal development, problem solving skills, healthy lifestyle advice and work place success.The range of training areas is designed specifically to develop young participants to becomeself-motivated, reliable, productive and confident intheir decision making.

Mahmoud Mokhtar, vice president, Operations, Saudi Arabia, said: "In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia we are in a unique and compelling position to take the industry lead with this programme for a number of reasons.Firstly, we want to play our part in supporting the government's Saudization policy to assist and promote the employment of local youth in the private sector. In addition, the importance of travel and tourismis now widely recognisedas a key driver in boosting and diversifying the Saudi economy.

"As the fastest growing hospitality company in the country, Hilton Worldwide is fully aware of the growing prominence of the hotel industry to the flourishing travel and tourism sector and, to that end, we believe that we are in a position to empower ambitious young Saudis with the know-how and expertise to pursue a career in hospitality with the most recognised hotel company in the world."

Hilton Worldwide's collaboration with IYF was launched globally earlier this year, by Hilton Worldwide CEO, Chris Nassetta, as the company seeks to champion youth development on a worldwidescale and to leverage insights offered through its partnership with the Foundation.

Bill Reese, President and CEO of theInternational Youth Foundation, said: "I am delighted the Passport to Success® programme will make its debut in Saudi Arabia with support from two widely respected, high profile partners. To ensure we can engage different types of learners and put students in charge of their own learning, the trainingis based on experiential instructional methods rather than a traditional lecture-based style of instruction and promotes a combination of interactive learning strategies.

"Our approach is also to adapt the current Passport to Success® curriculum to ensure it is culturally relevant. To achieve this, we are developing in-house trainers to offer the programme within the hotels and provide the curriculum and trainers to other Saudi institutions, such as universities and vocational centres that work with young peoplewho can potentially enter the sector."

Speaking on behalf of the King Khalid Foundation, Her Royal Highness Princess Banderi bint Abdulrahman AlFaisal, said: "Educators, employers and policy-makers are finding that for young people to succeed they need an educational foundation which, in addition to technical skills, includes life and employability skills as a way to prepare them to be motivated and confident decisionmakers, who can overcome adversity and realize their potential. The introduction of this initiative to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a very positive step and one that will not only make a great difference to young Saudis but also to our society as a whole."

With ambitious growth and expansion plans in KSA over the next few years, Hilton Worldwide is preparingto hire over 10,000 qualified personnel to meet its growing workforce needs in the Saudi market. The company will continue to invest in creating opportunities for careers in hospitality through scholarships and youth apprentice programs,which offer basic education and advanced life skills training, providing a pathway for economic opportunities amongst key communities.

About the International Youth Foundation
The International Youth Foundation (IYF) invests in the extraordinary potential of young people. Founded in 1990, IYF builds and maintains a worldwide community of businesses, governments and civil-society organisations committed to empowering youth to be healthy, productive and engaged citizens. IYF programmes are catalysts of change that help young people obtain a quality education, to gain employability skills, make healthy choices and improve their communities. To learn more visit www.iyfnet.org

Elaine Reed
Hilton Worldwide, Middle East & Africa
+971 (0)4 434 5461

Habib Bacha
Grayling (on behalf of Hilton Worldwide)
+971 50 1113799

About Hilton Worldwide Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxury and full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and focused-service hotels. For 95 years, Hilton Worldwide has been dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences. The company's portfolio of eleven world-class global brands is comprised of more than 4,100 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties, with more than 685,000 rooms in 92 countries and territories, including Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Curio - A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®.