A group of 200 high-achieving students from the UAE arrived in Ireland last week. The students, who were specially selected by the Abu Dhabi Education Council as cultural ambassadors for the UAE, will be in Ireland for five weeks in a bid to improve their English.
The students’ language programme is run by Intelligent Partners, an education and training consultancy based in the UAE, and the students’ visit has been co-ordinated by Tourism Ireland in Dubai and Fáilte Ireland. Half of the group will study in Cork, while the other half will study in Dublin. As well as daily English classes, the students will also have a chance to explore our cities and countryside, including Connemara, Galway city, the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle and more.
Some of the students who will be studying at UCD visited the university last week to familiarise themselves with the campus. A TV crew – from Abu Dhabi TV – was on hand to interview the students and their chaperones, which will help to spread the good news about Ireland as an ideal host destination for students to a wide audience in the Middle East.
Aisling McDermott, Tourism Ireland, said: “We are delighted to welcome these students to Ireland. Tourism Ireland has been working hard to promote the island of Ireland in the Middle East, as a host destination for students wishing to improve their English. We know that Ireland appeals to these students; as a dynamic and modern place with a high standard of education which is known for its rich culture and, of course, for the warm welcome extended to visitors.”
The EFL sector is a valuable source of tourism business and the UAE is growing in importance as a generator of this type of tourism to the island of Ireland.
Students from the UAE and their Emirati chaperones at UCD, with Aiveen Ryan, Tourism Ireland and Deirdre McCarton, ATC Language and Travel (front row, left).
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 01 476 3493/ 087 685 9027
Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
• Approximately 7.5 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland in 2009, delivering revenue of €3.5 billion.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 41 different websites, providing information in 19 different languages covering every continent. In 2009 discoverireland.com attracted a record 13+ million unique visitors, a +34% increase in visits on 2008.