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We are delighted to announce the outstanding success of the 2nd edition of the MEA Future Leaders Challenge (FLC), where we were privileged to once again join as Platinum Sponsor. The Middle East & Africa Future Leaders Challenge aims to inspire the next generation of hospitality professionals and enhance talent development, positioning the MEA region as a global leader in the industry. With generous support from partners and a distinguished Advisory Board, this initiative seeks to elevate the standards of the hospitality industry in the region.

This year’s challenge focused on how the integration of AI and cutting-edge technologies transform the perception of career opportunities within the hospitality and tourism sectors, making them more appealing to aspiring hospitality management graduates.

Collaborating with 23 hospitality and tourism schools across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, Hotel Management School Leeuwarden took an active role in guiding and mentoring student groups through a design based education approach, equipping the students for the upcoming challenge and guiding them towards the creation of their final products and presentations. Additionally, Stephanie van Oorschot, our Industry Relations Officer, served as a member of the Advisory Board and jury.

The winning team, comprised of students from various institutions, showcased their exceptional project ‘Hospitality Quest’ during the Finals in Dubai. This innovative mobile and web-based game is designed to introduce the world of hospitality and tourism through an interactive and educational experience. Besides the certifications and trophies, one of the winning team members received the JJ Award for Outstanding Human Connection. This award is in memory of Jochem-Jan Sleiffer, former President of Hilton in Middle East, Africa and Turkey and better known as JJ, and is embodying his core values ‘hospitality and tourism, authenticity and empowerment’.

As a partner, our hotel management school is proud to contribute to the success of the MEA FLC, inspiring the next generation of hospitality professionals and elevating the standards of the industry in the MEA region.