Presently Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen are the 14 nations in the Middle East. The majority of Middle Easterners share in common the Arab culture, language and religion. It is especially important to take note of the Islamic belief. “Islam means the act of giving one’s self to God or Allah” (Harris & Moran, 2000, p.385).
Visitors and business people must understand the powerful religious and cultural force of Islam to appreciate or comprehend this country. Although this paper focuses on establishing and doing business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the writers have also given attention to the demographics and culture of this intriguing country.
The United Arab Emirates is bordered by Saudi Arabia and Oman. Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras as-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al Qaiwain are the seven emirates. Most of the inside areas of the UAE are desert, and from May to September in Abu Ddhabi and Dubai, the humidity and daytime temperatures stay around 105 degrees Fahrenheit. These high temperatures keep people inside during the daytime hours, and often leaving their homes in the evening to conduct business.
Business hours in this region vary, but are generally from 8am to 1pm, reopening at either 3pm or 4pm and closing at 6pm or 7pm. Bank hours are generally 8am to midday. Markets and food stores are open at the later evening hours when it is much cooler (http://jafza.co.ae/ad1.htm).
The population of the UAE is approximately two million people of whom only 500,000 are United Arab Emirates citizens; the others are from other Gulf countries, Pakistan, Iran and India. Although English is widely understood, Arabic is the official language. Most Emirates, approximately 96%, are Sunni Muslims (the remaining 4% are considered Hindu), and their paramount virtues are considered to be dignity, honor and reputation.
Although mostly hot and dry with little rain to speak of, the UAE has one important natural resource – petroleum. This marketed the transformation of the UAE’s economy in 1962 with the first export of oil from Abu Dhabi (Johnson, 1987). The UAE became one of the most stable and untroubled international business centers in the Arab world.
A hereditary emir or prince rules each of the seven emirates. The chief governing body of the federation is the Supreme Council of Rulers, made up of the seven emirs. It elects from among its members a president and vice-president. The president appoints a Prime Minister to head the Council of Ministers. The legislature is the Federal National Council, whose 40 members are appointed by their respective emirs (Grolier). Within the military branches, Army, Navy, Air Force, and paramilitary (including Federal Police Force).
The armed services have a total male population of about 425,000 (http//) get reference from Sandy.
****We have to try to break this up some. There are four ref. right here together*****
The UAE death rate is very low, about 3.06 deaths in 1000, whereas, the birth rate is 18.61 out of 1000.
The fertility rate for women is 3.56 children. Life expectancy for males is about 74 years of age and for females, 76 years of age. The literacy rate is 79.2%, as last listed in 1995 9 ??????? (Http//). Need to get reference from Sandy).
The Gross Domestic Product or GDP is in the $40 billion dollar range, using United States figures. Furthermore, the inflation runs about 5% even though annual growth is negative 5% (http//).
In an interview with Roger Biddle, a United States of America soldier who was stationed in the UAE for a short time prior to the liberation of Kuwait, he talked about what he described as the “three strikes and you’re out” law. For instance, if a person steals anything at all, the first time offense would be to cut off the person’s hand that took the item. If the same person stole a second time, then the person’s other hand would be cut off. On the third offense, the person would be beheaded.
These punishments were always conducted in public. Needless to say, the crime rate is extremely low.
Arabs prefer close, personal relationships. In a conversation with friends and relatives, they will be close enough to smell