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DHAKA: Bangladeshi drivers in Doha have received special language and cultural training ahead of the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Around 1.5 million people from around the world are expected to visit Qatar – increasing its population by 50% – during the tournament, which runs from November 20 to December 20.

The drivers are among many service workers in Qatar who will be on the front line welcoming football fans to the country. Some 8,000 of them – employed by taxi companies and ride-sharing services – are Bangladeshis.

For example, the Bangladesh Embassy in Doha recently organized a three-week training course for Bangladeshi drivers to improve their etiquette and English skills.

“If our drivers can provide good services to tourists, it will also be a positive brand image for Bangladesh,” Dr. Muhammad Mustafizur Rahman, charge d’affaires of the embassy, ​​told Arab News.

Bangladeshi teachers from Qatari universities delivered the training to 420 participants employed by 15 transport companies. The training is also available online for those who were unable to attend in person.

“We have certain limitations in communicating with passengers,” said Abdul Motaleb, one of the drivers who took part in the training. He has worked in Qatar for almost a decade.

“We received language guidance to welcome passengers and share basic information about the country,” he continued. “I can’t express how helpful it has been.”

For fellow driver Saydul Islam, the course helped him overcome his shyness when interacting with strangers.

“Before, I was afraid to speak to passengers in English,” he said. “After the training, it became easier.”

The program has also served as a pilot for future training programs for migrant workers in the Gulf state, home to 400,000 Bangladeshis, many of whom are also employed in the construction, healthcare and hospitality sectors. .

“We received very positive responses from the participants,” Rahman said. “The embassy will offer this type of development program for (those) who work in other sectors.”

Elna M. Lemons