The Abu Dhabi Tourist Guide Licensing Course I'm taking at the moment actually just consists of eight full days. But they are spread out over five weeks! We are now on week three where we seem to have the whole week "off"? Well, to study I presume?
So far we have done two workshops. The workshops have been held at the European International College in town, but next week again we will be going around town in a bus, learning the City Tour.
The Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA) seem to give this course 2-3 times a year, and this time there are about 30 of us taking it. I'm one of the few who are just starting out, the others are already working as tour guides. Most of them are actually coming up from Dubai, only a few of us are actually from Abu Dhabi. The licenses are specific for each emirate so I will need to do another course, if I would like to guide also in Dubai in the future. But one thing at a time.
I've found the workshops really interesting so far. The first workshop was on the sights of Abu Dhabi, and the second was on Culture and Heritage. I especially enjoyed the second one as I love learning more about the history and traditions of the UAE. During that workshop we were also treated to Emirati food for lunch, delicious!
Obviously it is a completely different thing to guide here around the UAE, to for example Rome, where everything is about history, monuments and ancient times. Here - the city is ever changing, you really need to read up and keep up on what's happening around the area all the time. Quite a challenge!
Me after the workshop, dressed in a thick, long sleeved dress over trousers, with a scarf AND a woolly cardigan! The lecture room is so cold, like a freeze box! It was really nice to come outside and thaw out after the long day inside.