While the Middle East has taken the lead in international political news in recent years, Arab Gulf countries are increasingly active on the international economic and business front. The region is attracting more and more investors, entrepreneurs, job seekers and tourists. While the propaganda and media machines have been promoting these countries as tourist destinations for shopping and business opportunities, the cultural and social components have largely been ignored.
Indeed, most of the people of the Gulf countries are Muslims and they are also Arabs, but what most expatriates forget is that they are different. The differences are greater than the similarities. In this Cultural Detective: Arab Gulf, the focus will be on the specific cultural values and norms of the indigenous people of the Gulf countries (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman).
Cultural Detective Arab Gulf contains the following stories and critical incidents:
- Feedback at the Call Center:
The call center manager for a British bank in Oman conducts counter-productive performance appraisals.
- In the Eye of the Beholder:
A German accountant in Qatar is baffled by a sudden decision by his company's owner.
- Signing the Contract in Saudi Arabia:
US American marketing executives' expectations are not met during a contract-signing trip.
- Time to Decide?:
An expatriate coach wants to promote an employee, but misinterprets the Kuwaiti team owner's response.
- Unofficial Religious Occasion:
A minority Shia staff member requests a day off from the general manager of a Bahraini advertising agency.
- Matter of Respect, A:
An Emirati general manager's treatment of a visiting expatriate woman suddenly cools.
- Different Party Plan, A:
A teacher at a private school in the UAE is invited to a student's wedding.