The United Arabs Emirates (UAE) is known to have quite a diverse society. The regions rich cultural heritage has been influenced by its unique environment. The region has varied topography, deserts, mountains and even a coast. All these features dictated the lifestyle of the people who lived here. The Emirati culture is based on the Arabian culture. It is however important to note that the culture has been heavily influenced by the Persian Culture. This is can be quite visible in the early days Emirati architecture and even dances. Emirati’s architecture shows the traditional lifestyle of the people that lived there. It is a representation of how people used to live traditionally. The region also has a common religion, which is Islam, and it serves as a means of uniting them in a much easier way. Religion plays an important role in the culture of Dubai (Expo 2020 Dubai, 2016).
On the other hand, the values of the western cultures have always been derived from the need for equality and political thoughts. The western cultures have their roots in the Greco-Roman era and also the rise of Christianity. This is a major difference from what influenced the cultures in the UAE. The UAE cultures were mostly defined by religion and their surrounding as earlier noted. The western culture was however not influenced by any of these. The western world is more concerned by equality, Christianity and politics. These are some of the things that actually influence the cultures of the western world making a distinction between the two cultures. The one similarity that stands out in both cultures is religion. The two cultures seem to be interested in their religion, the UAE’s being Islam while the western being Christianity (Expo 2020 Dubai, 2016).
The conflicts that might arise between the visitors and the people in the UAE are quite obvious based on the different cultures that the two regions have. The first conflict is the dressing code. The people in the UAE prefer covering up most part of their bodies while the people from the west are quite relaxed when it comes to dressing. The elderly part of the population in UAE likes to dress in the traditional Emirati clothes while the youths are more inclined to dress in a more westernized manner. It is however important to note that most of the emirates prefer clothing that will totally cover their bodies which is closely influenced by their Islam religion. This might sometimes cause a problem between them and the visitors. This is because the western culture does not require them to be totally covered up. Most people from the west prefer dressing up in shorts and clothes that do not go below their knees. Given that the weather in the UAE is quite hot, the visitors might be tempted to dress in a manner that does not well with the cultures of the residents. There have been cases where visitors get into trouble with the law for not wearing enough clothes especially along the beaches (Expo 2020 Dubai, 2016).
The western culture allows its people the freedom to do what they want. People are even allowed to drink in public without any concerns from the government. It is however illegal to take alcoholic drinks in a public places in the Emirates. Alcoholic drinks are only allowed in places where there are restaurants and bars. This is another area that might cause conflicts between the two cultures just in case the visitors feel like quenching their thirst they might want to look for a bar. Drinking alcohol in your own house also needs to be licensed. Drunk and disorderly behavior is also not allowed in the UAE. This is a behavior that shows that you do not have respect to the rest of the world given that etiquette is simply one of the values that is rooted in the UAE (Expo 2020 Dubai, 2016).
Any businessperson who wants to venture into the business world in the UAE should first consider the difference in his/her cultures and those of the residents of UAE. It is important to respect the cultures of the people you meet in the host country. Residents of the UAE do not want the influences that come with the western culture. It is therefore important that anybody who wants to start a business in the UAE learns about their cultures and respects them to avoid any conflict that may arise (Expo 2020 Dubai, 2016).
The world of business is very much changing in this dynamic world. People have learnt to overlook the differences between the different cultures and focus on the similarities that are there. The growth in trade in the last years have seen people come from different parts of the world into the UAE looking for better paying jobs. The indigenous population of the UAE consists of only 15-20 percent of the total population. This means that the cultural differences have been outweighed by the cultural similarities and people are flocking the country for business opportunities (Expo 2020 Dubai, 2016). There are more expatriates more than the residents meaning that people have actually flocked the Dubai for business purposes. Dubai is the main trading center of the whole Gulf. These Expos are key meeting points for the global community to share innovations and also make progress on issues of international importance. Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to attract 25 million visitors from around the globe. 70percent of these visitors will be from overseas. The culture differences have not stopped the previous expos held from attracting from different areas.
Expo 2020 Dubai (2016). United Arab Emirates. Retrieved from,
www.expo2020dubai.ae/en/ accessed on February 12, 2015.