Tourism attaché based in Abu Dhabi, Aliette Esther was contacted by the school to help with a presentation and Open Day.
After her first trip to these stunning islands, one of the teachers, Sara Al-Zu’bi, fell in love with Seychelles and wanted to share her experience with the students, hence came up with this initiative.
“On the first day, I gave a presentation to students aged between seven and eight years old. I usually work closely with travel agents and professionals involved with the travel and tourism trade, so these young minds were a different segment of the market. I had to come up with a totally new presentation which was geared towards them. It was challenging, but a lot of fun,” said Ms Esther.
“I covered a few themes like the people, the flora and fauna, the language and other aspects of our culture. The students stunned me with everything that they knew, thanks to their teacher’s hard work.”
Miss Al-Zu’bi was enthused from her trip to the Seychelles, and started preparing for the presentation and Open Day.
It fitted in perfectly with the curriculum, and that made it even more worthwhile.
From posters to papier-mâché figurines, drawings of the flag and pictures of animals, as well as their own representations of different aspects of the islands, the students seemed to have covered it all.
These were also on display the following week for the Open Day, where the parents of the over 850 students, 95% of whom are United Arab Emirates (UAE) nationals, were in attendance.
The parents asked a lot questions about the islands, sharing their children’s fascination and enthusiasm, she said.
Miss Esther added that the highlight of the day was a dance performance that the class had prepared, and whereby three of the students wore traditional costumes of the Seychelles.
The whole audience was clapping and cheering to the rhythm of the music.
“It was really touching to see children of other nationalities loving the country so much,” Miss Esther added.
Everyone went home with fond memories of the islands as well as little souvenirs of the Seychelles in the guise of coco-de-mer key-rings and different coloured tortoises ordered specially for the event.
The Seychelles was showcased alongside Tunisia, Italy, Argentina, Thailand, Japan, South Africa, Mexico, Cuba, England, Brazil, Canada, France, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Germany, Greece, Russia, Morocco, Australia, Switzerland, Jamaica, New Zealand and India.
The school’s principal Dr Jake Madden thanked Miss Esther for the effort she invested in marketing and selling the Seychelles, and for sustaining the interest of so many parents, children and staff throughout the day.
“I think we can definitely expect a few families from the Al Yasat Private School to visit the Seychelles this year. They were all impressed by the fact that they can get a visa on arrival and that the islands are only four hours away from the UAE.”
“To top it off, it is perfectly safe, and that’s a definite attraction. The UAE is well-connected with the Seychelles archipelago by three airlines and four scheduled flights per day one of which is Air Seychelles the national carrier, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline,” she said.