Friday, May 30, 2014

Don't they know it's Friday?

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. (

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.
Enjoy life..


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