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Hospitality in Asia vs Middle East

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hospitality internships in asia


As the tourism industry continues to grow in Asia and the Middle East, the hospitality industry is becoming an increasingly popular sector to intern in. Towns and cities across an array of countries draw tourists from across the globe, giving prospective interns a multitude of places to choose from. When it comes to choosing an internship location, it’s important to consider the kind of surroundings that are most appealing to you; would you like to experience life in a fast-paced city like Shanghai or Beijing, or a more relaxing destination such as Okinawa or Thailand? You should also take into consideration the kind of culture you would like to immerse yourself in; Asia and the Middle East provide interns with vastly different experiences. To help you decide, we’ve put together some key facts about internships in the hospitality sector in Asia vs the Middle East.  

Hospitality in Asia

hospitality internships in AsiaThe travel and tourism industry accounts for 8.5% of total employment in Asia and is worth over $12.8 billion. China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan are the top most visited countries in Asia, with China and Thailand making the largest profit from their tourism industries.

While Northeast Asia has been the top destination for foreign arrivals in Asia, South East Asian nations are quickly catching up after experiencing significant growth in the hospitality industry. Though many South East Asian countries have experienced a huge influx of foreigners, places like Kathmandu remain relatively untouched and are a great choice for anyone looking to make an impact on a newly developing tourism sector.

International hotel chains are capitalising on this growing trend and have opened branches in popular tourist hotspots across the continent. Today, internationally recognised hotel chains feature in towns and cities across Asia, from Beijing to Bali. International chains attract international guests, so naturally there is a need for English speaking staff. Many of these hotels offer internships in various departments for foreigners looking to gain international experience in the hospitality industry.


Hospitality in the Middle East

hospitality internships dubaiThe Middle East is a vibrant region characterised by a colourful and diverse culture. In recent years, it has become a very popular holiday destination among tourists from Europe and Asia. The increase in purchasing power among the Chinese has resulted in record numbers of tourists entering the Middle East from China. Countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey have benefited from a 10-20% increase in visitors from China, helping to boost the region’s tourist sector following a slump in 2016.

The Middle East is recognised as a pioneer in the hospitality industry, thanks to consistently high standards of service. Much like in Asia, international hotel chains can be found across the region, and offer internships to English speakers from all over the world. One Middle Eastern city best known for its impeccable service is Dubai, where a multitude of high-end hotels and restaurants can be found. An internship somewhere like Dubai will offer internationally-minded interns a chance to gain an authentic insight into one of the most popular tourist destinations of today and the chance to learn from the best in some of the world’s most luxury hospitality establishments.

Hospitality interns in the Middle East will be at the forefront of new developments in the hospitality industry and enhance their career in a popular tourist destination.


Asia Vs Middle East: How to Choose

south east asia work experienceThere are huge differences between life in Asia and the Middle East, so it’s important you consider your goals when deciding which destination is for you. Firstly, if learning a particular language is important to you naturally you should opt for a country where that language is spoken. Many internship providers, including our partner organisations offer language courses alongside hospitality internships in countries like China, Japan, Nepal and Indonesia. Alongside language, you might wish to consider local culture and way of life. These differ vastly between countries within both regions, and of course between Asia and the Middle East. Consider your personal goals as well as your professional, and think about the kind of environment and culture you will be happiest in.

intern in the middle east

Middle Eastern nations like the United Arab Emirates have strict rules about public behaviour and harsh punishment for not abiding by them. This includes things considered normal, or harmless in the West such as holding hands in public or swearing. Of course, it’s important you respect the local customs of your host country, so if this sounds too strict for you, consider an alternative destination. While Asian countries don’t tend to have as strict rules on public behaviour, it’s important you respect their culture by dressing appropriately, not shaming people in public, and learning which gestures may be considered rude. By living and working in a country you will learn a lot about local culture and customs, so make sure to choose one you’re interested in!

Another important consideration when choosing your internship is the cost of living. Most internships are unpaid, so you might want to calculate how far your budget will stretch in certain destinations. The cost of living in Middle Eastern countries like the UAE is very high, while in most Asian countries it’s relatively low. It’s also good to factor in the kind of support you can receive in different locations. Our partner organisations offer internship packages to help you settle in to life in your new city, meet other people and resolve any problems you may face.

Doing an internship in either Asia or the Middle East will provide you with great international experience that will prove to future employers that you are able to work as part of a diverse workforce and in a country that will be making a mark on the industry as a whole. Both regions are continuing to grow and become key players in the industry, so when it comes to choosing between the two, the main thing that matters is where you will be happiest.

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