The main event at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi was inaugurated by Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance and President of Zayed University, and also attended by Hamad Al Shamsi, Vice Chairman of Etihad Aviation Group, James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group and Ms. Ahlam Mosteghanemi, a UNESCO Artist for Peace.
Addressing the hundreds in the audience, Sheikha Lubna stressed that spreading a culture of tolerance and peaceful co-existence amongst people, institutions and internationally was a primary goal of the UAE Government.
James Hogan, who also gave an address, stated that tolerance was a critical quality to succeed in today’s complex, globalised environment and was closely linked to respect. "We are a customer service business and our guests are drawn from every corner of the earth. We have to be aware of this diversity and demonstrate tolerance in our dealings with people of all races and backgrounds."
An exceptional guest experience, service and hospitality are among the key factors in Etihad Airways’ recently being granted Skytrax’s Certified 5-Star Airline Rating - the most sought after quality standard in the airline industry.
"Most of us would admit that it is not always easy to accept viewpoints that are different to our own. That’s where tolerance not only plays a very important role, but can offer a great opportunity. Tolerance towards other people can be a huge catalyst in sparking great new ideas and smarter ways of working," Mr. Hogan said.
The airline employs nearly 27,000 staff, representing more than 140 nationalities to support its 117 destination network across six continents.
To mark the International Day for Tolerance, a number of activities are being held in Abu Dhabi involving partner organisations.
A photo exhibition is taking place at Zayed University, displaying the diversity of Etihad Airways’ network, accompanied by a video highlighting the multinational nature of the airline’s staff, and how tolerance is practiced throughout the organisation.
Tomorrow (16 November) will see Etihad staff join representatives from Zayed University and Abu Dhabi Airports Company to distribute gift packs to hundreds of labourers. The packs will include elements of the airline’s onboard amenity kits, clothes and blankets.
From 17 to 19 November, the 3rd Etihad Airways World Aviation Football Cup will take place at the university to unite teams from Asia, America, Australia, Europe and Africa in a fun and friendly environment.