Finally I am back ! Meanwhile, I have moved to Dubai from Copenhagen with a new job. I have started to work with different countries like India, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bangladesh in this job. Totally new geography and totally new cultures for me. I am very excited !
At my first day in new office in Dubai, I have found this book on my desk. ‘Don’t they know it's Friday?’
Yes, Fridays are off in UAE and some other Arabic countries, because it is a holy day based on Islam religion. Weekend is Friday-Saturday. It takes some time to adapt your mind and body, but nothing changes.. You continue to love Fridays J
I really liked this book, there are good practical tips on how to deal with the Gulf Arabs in business. It addresses in particular the cross-cultural aspects of life affecting westerners and other nationalities in business with nationals in or from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and Oman.
When I searched on internet about book and author who is Jeremy Williams Obe, I found that his company, Handshaikh Ltd, conducts seminars, briefing programmes and negotiation training for organisations with Gulf business connections. (www.handshaikh.com)
In this web site, you can see some useful information and a cross cultural test to measure your knowledge and experience about Gulf Arabic culture especially in business life. I immediately did the test after my first 1 month cultural experience in Dubai, I got 50 score out of 100. Good progress for me, but I still need to observe and interact a lot ! It is indeed a rich culture with religion, behaviours, dresses, way of doing business, language, climate (For me there are 2 types of weather here : hot and very hot)…
If you are interested in this culture or moving to this area to live or work, I strongly recommend you to read this book and then try cross cultural test.