IFZA Academy: Developing industry competence from Dubai to the world

Amelia Hewson is a specialist Australian adult educator and manager who has built a strong reputation in both the public and private sectors across the UAE for developing and implementing innovative training programs. Amelia is managing the IFZA Academy, a dedicated learning institution for the Free Zone sector.

For those who are unfamiliar with IFZA Dubai and the IFZA Academy, can you clarify the role your department plays in IFZA’s day-to-day business functions?

In a nutshell, the IFZA Academy is the first Academy of its kind in the UAE Free Zone sector. We emphasize the importance of relationship building, knowledge sharing and upskilling of all individuals involved in an IFZA incorporation. In addition, we work hand in hand with our extended network of over 800 Partners worldwide to ensure their professional experiences are streamlined and they feel confident to facilitate an IFZA incorporation regardless of what may be changing or unfolding in the world around them.

How would you say the IFZA Academy assists those who wish to open their own business?

That’s a great question! Although the Academy focuses on training our Professional Partners, the immense sharing of information eventually translates into a faster, smoother and more efficient incorporation process for our license holders. The Academy focuses on competence and transparency so it really is our job to ensure all our Partners are up to date with the latest news and information to better serve their clients in both the UAE and abroad.

You mentioned that IFZA works with both local and International Professional Partners, what is IFZA’s reach to date?

Our reach is really impressive, on a weekly basis we train up to 100 participants both face-to-face and online. The number of Partners joining IFZA and requiring our services, is growing at a staggering rate. In 2021 alone, we have conducted training for Partners in over 20 countries worldwide, including UK, Germany, Italy, China, Pakistan, India, Philippines, Greece, Lebanon, Israel, KSA, Oman, among others.

How has Covid impacted the Academy?

To be honest, Covid has had a positive impact on our sector. People all over the world are starting to appreciate the value of owning their own businesses and taking their family security into their own hands. The Academy has been working relentlessly to ensure our Partners are able to convert their client’s dreams into reality even during these troubling times. That being said, with Covid restrictions impacting social interaction, we have seen a dramatic shift from traditional face-to-face delivery to a more modern e-learning methodology.

Since our inception, IFZA has honed a culture that places great emphasis on forward thinking, flexibility and adaptability, so the move from classroom to screen was a challenge we were ready to embrace. During the National Sterilization Program, the Academy delivered over 40 sessions to more than 1000 participants. This initiative was really valuable in maintaining our relationships and continuing to support our Partners, in spite of the pandemic. Our online training option is now more popular than ever and we are so pleased to be able to continue building relationships whilst providing our Partners with the peace of mind they desire.

Image Credit: Supplied
280+ sessions delivered 600+ hours of training 2,600+ participants 20+ countries reached

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