The Blog for Culture Vultures

Satiate your inner Culture Vulture with regular news and posts about cultural awareness, doing business abroad, working in a multicultural environment, HR diversity and global mobility.

What are the Main Differences between Saudi Arabia and the UAE?

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Many assume the two Gulf countries are alike.

However, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are culturally, politically and socially different in many ways.

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Why is the Middle East called the Middle East?

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A question commonly raised during Middle East cross-cultural training is why the region is named this way.

Geographically, there’s very little ‘east’ in the Middle East.

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Culture & Etiquette Tips When Doing Business in The UAE

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Want to make the best impression possible when you visit the UAE on your business travels?

Then you need to learn a bit about the country, its people and how to behave!

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Has Saudi Arabia Ended Gender Segregation in Restaurants?

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Did you know that Saudi Arabia segregates people at restaurants according to gender?

Yes, it’s true, but the internet and media have been buzzing with news that the country has stopped the practice.

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Saudi Arabia Brands Feminists, Atheists and Homosexuals as 'Extremists'

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Be warned! Saudi Arabia is a confusing and contradictory place at the moment.

If you’re involved in doing business in Saudi Arabia, then you need to be aware of some of the current changes taking place at a cultural level.

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What Behaviours are Rude in the Middle East?

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If you’re travelling to the Middle East on business, and want to make a good impression, then it’s important you understand behaviours which are considered rude – or even taboo.

The Middle East is a large region, made up of many different countries – and hence cultures.

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How Do Businesses Negotiate in Saudi Arabia?

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Imagine that you’re presented with an unfamiliar board game and told to play it.

Unfortunately, you don’t understand the rules and irritate the other players by making mistakes and getting things wrong.

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How Does Islam Impact Doing Business in the Middle East?

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Are you new to doing business with the Middle East? Understanding the local culture is critical if you want to succeed.

In order to truly understand the locals, then you need to understand Islam and its influence on, not only the culture, but how business gets done.

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How Should I Address People in the Middle East?

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Are you travelling to the Arab world for business or working with Arab clients/colleagues?

Need to know what to call people and how to address them? Then this blog is exactly what you’ve been searching for!

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How does the Diversity of the Middle East Shape Cultural Sensitivity Training?

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When it comes to cultural sensitivity training, it’s a little misleading to think of Middle Eastern culture as something homogenous. 

Why?  Because the Middle East is a melting pot of ethnicities, languages and religions.  These elements all fuse together to give us a rich cultural tapestry.

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What’s it Like to be a Woman in Saudi Arabia?

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Despite a history of limiting the visibility of women, the application of harsh gender laws have instead made them the most visible part of the Saudi identity.

As such, when many Westerners think of Saudi Arabia, niqab clad women without any rights, are one of the first images that come to mind.

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Supermodel Accused of Racism Over Cultural Faux Pas

Supermodel Accused of Racism Over Cultural Faux Pas

Did you hear about the supermodel, the airport lounge and the cultural faux pas that caused uproar in Saudi Arabia and the UAE?

No? Well this is a great little example of culture gone wrong!

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Why Do Middle Eastern Men Wear a Chequered Head-dress?

Why Do Middle Eastern Men Wear a Chequered Head-dress?

A common question foreigners moving to or working in the Middle East ask at cultural awareness training sessions is, "Why do the men wear the head-dress?"

Great question! So let's discover more about the reasons behind it.

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What are the Most Common Causes of Culture Shock for Expats Moving to the Middle East?

What are the Most Common Causes of Culture Shock for Expats Moving to the Middle East?

Providing relocation training for expats moving to the Middle East means that we get to hear a great deal about people’s experiences in their new home country.

Although moving to the Middle East can be an incredibly positive experience, it goes without saying that adapting to new cultures and ways of doing things can be a challenge.

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What Cultural Differences can an American Expat Find When Moving to The Middle East?

What Cultural Differences can an American Expat Find When Moving to The Middle East?

 

The Middle East is as culturally diverse as the USA, which makes it difficult to talk about Middle Eastern culture as something homogenous.

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What does Google Search Data tell us about Culture in Saudi Arabia?

What does Google Search Data tell us about Culture in Saudi Arabia?

For those of you interested in the Saudi people and culture, Google Search Engine data is a great starting point.

By looking at what people in Saudi Arabia are searching for online, you can establish a good understanding of what’s important to the Saudi people and, from this, draw inferences about the culture and life in Saudi Arabia.

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Doing Business in Saudi Arabia? How to Make a Good Impression

Doing Business in Saudi Arabia? How to Make a Good Impression

Saudi Arabia is on a mission.

Their ambitious 2030 Vision seeks to create an economy for the future based around trade and tourism.

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Being Clueless about UAE Culture Won’t Protect You from Punishment

Being Clueless about UAE Culture Won’t Protect You from Punishment

A survey by the UAE’s security magazine, 999, has shown that most expatriates visiting the UAE are doing so while blind to UAE cultural customs and traditions.

Seven out of ten of the 2,000 expatriates included in the survey claimed to not understand local Emirati culture and traditions.

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Dismantling Stereotypes of Saudi Arabia

Dismantling Stereotypes of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has become an almost permanent fixture in Western news.

With the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the continued carnage in the Yemen which threatens to spiral into the worst global famine this generation, the spotlight placed on Saudi Arabia has been almost completely negative.

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Hospitality, Food & Friendship in Arab Business Culture

Hospitality, Food & Friendship in Arab Business Culture

Being a good host is a central part of life in the Middle East and it is an underpinning value that everyone in the region shares.

The roots of this can be found in the tribal system whereby treating guests well is traditionally a way of gaining honour.

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