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World Expo 2020: Dubai

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Concordia University Chicago

Master’s Program

Global Management - MBAC-6500-64E (8335.201830)

Dr. Elisabeth Dellegrazie

Assignment 1

Case Study

World Expo 2020: Dubai

As a student of Concordia University, River Forest and a member of the larger society, I pledge to uphold an academic honor code that supports serving and leading with strong personal integrity. Specifically, this includes not cheating or using inappropriate or dishonest means in the completion of academic requirements. This also includes not giving unauthorized assistance to others. I understand that it is my responsibility to comply with this honor system

Student’s Signature:        Sardor Egamberdiev

[Digital signature]


1. Situational Description

UAE and Dubai are that it is one of the top 10 countries for the largest oil reserve in the world and that their government and other powers are reserved to the member emirates. The UAE has an open market economy in which the prices of products and services are set using a free price system. The culture in the country of UAE and Dubai is that, mainly Dubai is the country’s center of commercial and cultural activities, and that it is UAE’s most populous city, standing at more than 2 million people. It has emerged as a truly global city with an eclectic cultural makeup and has a strategic location as a business gateway to the Middle East and Africa for multinational enterprises.

According to Kim Ann Zimmermann (2017) culture refers to a ‘way of life’, meaning how people do things at different regions and countries. Culture belongs to unique particulate group of people or community that the way they live and do thing vary than other countries. It can be in terms of writing, religion, traditions, customs, music, cloths, cooking and other unique activates that belong to one particular group of community or society (Zimmermann, 2017).  

In addition, Joshua Rothman (2014) also added that is a culture which makes us unique. Each country has unique culture, different lifestyle, rituals, religions, music, etiquette, and traditions. It also contains beliefs and values of the society and the way they do and perceive the world differently (Rothman, 2014).  In addition, according to Hofstede, cultures vary along the lines of power distance, individualism versus collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity versus femininity.

One similarity between Dubai and UAE and the Western nations are that is it is very diverse when it comes to the population. Only about 10% of the population in Dubai are Arabs, with the remaining 90% being expatriates from Asia, India, Pakistan, and the UK. Similar to the Western nations, much of the population is from different parts of the world, so similarities in different cultural upbringings are evident.

Another similarities between UAE, Dubai and Western nations (say US) would be that majority of classes and businesses are done in English in UAE, Dubai and US, even though official language of UAE is Arabic. Besides, both countries are famous as top tourist destination. Both embraces a large population of expats and is haven for migrants. US is infamous as superpower and UAE is well-known for oil reserves. Both UAE and USA consist of a number of states or emirates which promotes high standard of living and expense. Like US Dollar, the currency of UAE is valuable and widely acceptable everywhere and people in both countries enjoy a high quality of life and convenient way of living. Like USA, UAE follows a strict law jurisdiction and comparatively low crime level.  

Generally, UAE, Dubai and Western nations encourage freedom of religion to its citizens despite of several terroristic incidents. Since UAE like the USA is a very modern, free-market country, people enjoy indulging in new products and different varieties of fast foods. For the very same reason, both the countries have a high obesity rates among citizens.

The prominent and primary dissimilarities between these nations is the religion and culture they practice. The official religion of UAE is Islam whereas USA is predominantly practice Christianity, thus, UAE tends to follow Islamic Law called ‘shari’at’ whereas most Western nations including US is a secular nation. In addition, Most Western countries are practice a government system whilst UAE is ruled by royal family of the country. There is also geographical and natural differences, unlike Europe, UAE and Dubai is covered by many deserts and most of the time the weather is hot and humid.

Unlike most Western nations, UAE and Dubai tend to be more family-oriented and well-connected with all family members. Last but not least, most Middle East nations practice very traditional dress code whereas Western nations tend to prefer causal and trendy outfit. Also, UAE imposes restriction on dress-code, alcohol and vulgarity in public while America is pretty much liberal. In UAE women enjoy less freedom in comparison to most Western’ women. Thus, the cultures of Dubai/UAE and the Western nations are similar since they acknowledge differences in culture and strive to encourage connecting minds and creating the future.

3. Define the Problem

Different communication style can often create cultural challenges between Western-based visitors and UAE-based people in doing business during World Expo 2020; without adequate cultural awareness both parties may find themselves confused and frustrated. There tends to be indirect communication style in UAE and Dubai unlike Western culture. For example, most Arabs tend to utilize body language and non-verbal communication styles like use of silence and a tone of voice and a direct ‘No’ is almost always never used.

Another misunderstanding between two nations would be business time structure. Business in UAE and Dubai tend to more flexible towards time and it may have slightly different from Western business culture (Maclachlan, 2010). Unlike most Western nations, Friday and Saturday are known as weekend in UAE. In addition, most business take a break during daily prayer times in UAE, thus Western-based visitor often find it difficult to conduct business meetings during prayer times.

Furthermore, frequency of business meeting can be irritating in UAE. In fact, according to a recent study conducted by Barco ClickShare in 2018, ‘nearly half of people in UAE fall asleep during meetings’. The global study surveyed 2,250 senior business professionals from companies in the UAE, UK, US, Germany, and France, discovering their meeting experiences in day-to-day working life. 45% of all UAE respondents admit that they would fallen asleep during business meetings due to unnecessary and frequency of meetings (Abbas, 2018).

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