People

As we enter the next exciting chapter of our expansion at both Dubai International and Al Maktoum International, our people are central to achieving Dubai Airports’ vision of operating the worldʼs biggest and best airports.

It is only with the support and dedication of all our employees that Dubai Airports is able to continue operating two world class airports while expanding our facilities in terms of our $7.8bn SP2020 expansion plan.

Dubai Airports continues to refine our employee proposition to keep the more than 3,000 employees from 58 countries united around our target of managing the world’s biggest and best airports.

In an increasingly buoyant job market, Dubai Airports has reaffirmed itself as the employer of choice by constantly refining our employee proposition. In 2013 the organisation introduced new policies that improved the working and personal lives of employees through additional enhancements including extended medical and education benefits for employees and their families.

These changes did not go unnoticed, with Dubai Airports being awarded the Employer of the Year at the Middle East HR Excellence Awards 2013. The Employer of the Year award is given to a company or organisation that demonstrates superior people management strategies resulting in a productive, engaged and motivated workforce, making it an employer of choice.

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Human resources

In 2013 Dubai Airports refined it policies and processes with regard to both manpower planning and enhancements to its employee proposition.

Every year Dubai Airports surveys its employees and, based on the findings, policies are revised for the benefit of all. In 2013, as reflected in the 2012 survey, these new policies included extended medical benefits for employees’ adult children, greater maternity leave and a new range of development programmes.


The benefits of these policy enhancements have resulted in a low employee turnover rate of just 4.2 per cent and an average length of employment of over 10 years.

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Recruitment

Identifying and attracting the best talent available is the first step to ensuring that Dubai Airports has the right people to implement its vision.

As the UAE’s economy gathers momentum the competition for key skills has become fiercer, particularly among UAE nationals. This was compounded by the need to identify specific skills needed to implement Dubai Airports’ SP2020 plans.

However, Dubai Airports’ competitive employee offering continues to attract skilled candidates. During 2013, 320 positions were filled of which 174 were new employees. Of the 320 positions, 46 per cent were recruited from within Dubai Airports and 28 per cent were UAE nationals. Overall the number of employees was virtually unchanged despite passenger growth of 15.2 per cent.

Learning and development

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Training in numbers

Dubai Airports recognises that all employees must be afforded the opportunity to grow and develop to ensure they have the skills to meet the demands and challenges of a rapidly evolving airport environment. Through personal development Dubai Airports believes a greater commitment to the broader goals of the organisation can be ensured.

Dubai Airports continues to expand its portfolio of development and training programmes to improve organisational performance and respond to developmental needs for all our employees. A more flexible approach has also been adopted to make training more widely available, particularly for shift workers.

During the past year there was a particular focus on the development of supervisors, managers and leaders, preparing them to lead and manage the world’s most ambitious airport expansion programme as well as our fast growing passenger and cargo traffic.

This included Dubai Airports’ Airports Management Programmes, which have been recognised by the ILM, Europe’s largest awarding body for leadership and management qualifications.

“This included Dubai Airports’ Airports Management Programmes, which have been recognised by the ILM, Europe’s largest awarding body for leadership and management qualifications.”

Alongside the development programmes for leaders at every level, targeted skills have been developed through the launch of new programmes, including business writing and report writing. Key among the programmes introduced during the past year was an in-house project management training programme, certified by the Project Management Institute (PMI), one of the world’s most prestigious and sought after Project Management certifications.


Focus on service

As part of Dubai Airports’ continuous drive toward managing the world’s best airports, the organisation recently launched its Airport Service Programme, a new service training initiative which will be rolled out to all airport employees over the next year. By the end of 2013 more than 10 per cent or 100 May I Help You employees had completed the course.

The content is designed around the customer journey and experience at both Dubai International and DWC and covers everything from culture and communication skills to service standards and behaviour. A great deal of research has been carried out into the passenger journey at our airports and how best to meet our passengers’ needs and demands, all of which has been incorporated in the programme.

The programme will eventually be made available to key stakeholders including Dubai Police and Dubai Immigration.

Development programmes

Every year Dubai Airports identifies high-performing and high-potential employees for a range of development programmes. In the past year a total of 67 employees completed their development through these programmes while several more have begun their development.

These programmes include:
Danaat: Development programme for talented female employees
Masaar: Graduate programme for UAE Nationals
Qaa’ed: Development programme for middle management
Tatweer: Postgraduate programme for high-performing UAE employee

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National identity

UAE Nationals are playing an increasingly important role in the management of Dubai Airports, with a growing number of Emirati employees joining the organisation or moving into more senior positions.

In fact more than 50 per cent of the leadership team positions at Dubai Airports are held by UAE Nationals.

“In fact more than 50 per cent of the leadership team positions at Dubai Airports are held by UAE Nationals.”

Dubai Airports continues to nurture talented Emirati employees across the organisation through a range of development programmes such as Masaar, Tatweer and Qaa’ed, which have played a vital role in creating a committed, efficient workforce. They have also helped identify qualified UAE Nationals for valuable training slots.

During 2013, the first group of highly talented UAE Nationals graduated from the Masaar programme, our graduate programme for UAE Nationals, and took up permanent positions within Dubai Airports. The graduates, selected through a stringent merit-based process, were given an opportunity to acquire skills and hands-on experience in fields as varied as airside operations, engineering services, corporate communications, terminal operations, human resources and finance.

The second group of Masaar candidates has already embarked on their development journey and will graduate in 2014.

Also Dubai Airports continues to sponsor top-performing Emirati employees to pursue part-time education in aviation at the Emirates Aviation College through the Tatweer initiative. The employees undergo a rigorous selection and interview process, which takes into account their current performance in the work place and determines whether they have the dedication needed to complete their studies.

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Reward and recognition

Dubai Airports’ reward and recognition schemes are designed to improve employee engagement, inspire the workforce, drive productivity and raise morale.

The accolades linked to the scheme include the Mega Star Performer Award (annual), Star Performer Award (quarterly) and Shooting Star Award Dubai (spontaneous), all of which recognise outstanding employee achievement and dedication.

The Shooting Star Award, originally introduced in 2010 as a method of recognising exemplary performance in a timely fashion, was given to 312 employees in 2013. Some 20 employees were designated Star Performers and three were recognised as Mega Star Performers.

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Employee events

Dubai Airports recognises that to remain an employer of choice requires that it go that extra mile and find new and innovative ways to add value for each of its employees. Creating an environment where employees look forward to being part of Dubai Airports is integral to its success, and the company continues to add and refine its initiatives, which include events, seminars and special offers.

Dubai Airports’ packed calendar of events, from sporting tournaments to fun-filled activities such as DA has Got Talent, helps build a team spirit and unity across the organisation by bringing together our employees and their families in a relaxed environment outside the workplace.

Additionally, the employee relations team continues to provide special offers through a new online employee discount portal, which features deals from more than 200 companies.