When we begin thinking about working & jobs in other economies, how do these countries fare when it comes to the work atmosphere? Here’s one culture that’s in close proximity to home and has plenty to offer. Dubai.
Let’s take a look at why:
- First impressions: Dubai, on the whole, follows the American work culture to each aspect of the work environment, starting from the corporate structure to everything that follows inside. The corporate buildings are not only modern, but designer, state-of-the-art high-rises equipped with the latest in technology, security, landscaping, interiors as well as amenities. Each building has its own stand-alone parking garage, a gym, restaurant(s), café’s, prayer rooms, art gallery, lounges and separate areas designated to entertain clients…creating a very enticing first impression that leaves one feeling a sense of pride as they are living a good life.
- Sheer diversity: The work-force is extremely diverse ranging from local Emiratis, Indians, Filipinos, Europeans, Australians, Americans and many other cultures, coming together under one roof. This creates for a healthy approach to understanding cultural sensitivities and fosters a team-oriented approach to working together. In India, we have very little international diversity, although we do have diversity existing within our various communities,. In fact, the Emiratis’ are now considered a minority here. The dress code too is international: from business professional to smart professional with everyone dressing up for the office. The common attire is pant-suits or skirt-suits, formal shirts, trousers and jackets.
- Voice of Employee: Communication is fostered and encouraged with an open-door policy approach in Dubai. There are also many HR initiatives planned through the year starting from trainings to off-sites, evaluations/appraisals as well as 360 degree evaluations. This is considered a standard, not a nice-to-have. Employees are also free to voice their thoughts and opinions on decisions which impact key areas of their work and organization.
- A word on women: Dubai is also considered a woman’s world. It is a heaven for women and children as they are given preferential treatment and respect in every way. They are always given priority seating in trains, restaurants and so forth. At the same time, they are not only considered as equals within the work force, many women are in senior-level & leadership positions and men report into them. No “boys’ clubs” where women continue to fight for their place within the work sector here.
- Real weekends: The weekend in Dubai falls early, kicking off in style on Thursday night, as the general rule of thumb is Fridays and Saturdays are holidays. Employees get into work between 7:30-8:30 am unlike in India, where the office begins later ranging from 9:30-10 am at many organizations. Some pockets of Dubai still continue shut between 2-4 pm every afternoon and each building or office is provided with a prayer room where employees are free to pray during the day.
Dubai prides itself in its heritage but also in its new-age outlook. Their tagline is, The Center of Now and they stand behind it in each and every way!
-Bina Jhaveri, Executive Coach