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Equality and Diversity in the United Arab Emirates Essay

The development of globalization processes accentuated the role of such concepts as equality and diversity in organizations. In order to understand the impact of these phenomena on the organization’s progress and its operations in the industry, it is necessary to discuss equality and diversity in detail. Equality is associated with the idea of equal opportunity when each person has the right to access and use resources available to everyone (Richard, Roh, & Pieper, 2013).

In addition, the idea of equality in the society and organization is also associated with the fair treatment when all people are discussed as having the same possibilities, rights, and duties (Martin, 2014). In its turn, diversity can be defined in the context of differences that make all individuals unique (Richard et al., 2013).

These differences are related to age, gender, race, social status, and many other factors that are elements of diversity, and they are important for social and organizational frameworks. Equality and diversity are discussed as connected notions because equality can be achieved in a case when diverse persons are treated in the same manner, but they are also regarded as individuals with their own attributes, needs, and interests.

From this point, diversity means that all people are different, and they should be treated with respect in spite of their particular features. In this context, the notion of diversity is connected with the idea of equality. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the promotion of equality and diversity in organizations is also one of the critical tendencies of the modern business world, and its aspects need to be discussed (Al-Jenaibi, 2012). The principles of equality and diversity are promoted in many modern organizations, and it is important to evaluate specific competing drivers that contribute to incorporating diversity into the strategy of the UAE-based company and discuss the elements of diversity in relation to the labor market.

Competing Drivers for Incorporating Diversity into the Strategy

Diversity in organizations became actively discussed during the recent decades as a characteristic feature of the managerial strategy. It is possible to identify the competing drivers that have caused companies all over the globe to incorporate the principles of diversity in their strategy. The drivers are competing because they can be divided into external and internal ones (Podsiadlowski, Groschke, Kogler, Springer, & Van Der Zee, 2013).

Globalization is discussed as one of the main external drivers of promoting diversity in organizations because this global process has influenced all aspects of the business development. Thus, globalization can be viewed as a process when a company recruits employees from different regions of the world and enters foreign markets (Richard et al., 2013). In this context, the globally oriented organizations should accept and promote the idea of diversity in order to achieve the success, and the principles of diversity become the part of the company’s strategy.

Another external competing driver is the development of technology. Today, organizations are not limited in their recruitment strategies, connections with suppliers, partners, and customers, as well as approaches to controlling operations. All these processes are possible because of the development of communication technologies (Podsiadlowski et al., 2013). The consequence of the focus on communication technologies is the access to more diverse people whose needs and interests should be addressed with reference to the organizational strategy.

The internal driver of diversity is the goal to increase the competitive advantage of the company. The reason is that diversity promoted in the organization is discussed as associated with many advantages because diverse employees have different skills and abilities. They demonstrate the critical thinking and propose unique ideas and innovative approaches (Al-Jenaibi, 2012). As a result, managers often choose to integrate diversity in the strategy and policies and promote its principles to use benefits of working with talented employees. It is important to discuss how these drivers influence the development of the UAE companies.

Julphar is the UAE-based pharmaceutical company that is one of the leaders in the Gulf region. The company was founded in 1980, but it expanded its operations in many countries all over the globe (Julphar, 2016). Today, the company is known as the promoter of the ideas of diversity in the business world of the UAE. The competing drivers that cause the managers of the company to integrate the diversity principles and rules in the policies and strategy are the same as in other organizations. Globalization has influenced the development of the UAE as the country with the high rate of diversity in companies.

It is important to note that, in the UAE, “expatriates account for 90% of its population, including residents from South Asia, China, the Philippines, Thailand, Iran, Northern Africa, and Western countries” (Al-Jenaibi, 2012, p. 1). It is possible to state that the ethnic and cultural diversity of the workforce is the characteristic feature of the UAE labor market that is a consequence of globalization and reduction of economic barriers. As a result, Julphar employs more than 1,400 workers, and they represent more than 22 nationalities (Julphar, 2016). The company’s policies include statements to guarantee equality and avoid discrimination in treating diverse employees.

Technology is another driver that also influenced Julphar. The pharmaceutical company implements the latest technologies in the production processes, and diverse professionals, who have skills in working with technologies, are actively recruited by the company’s managers. Furthermore, the focus on increasing the competitive advantage is also important, and the company pays much attention to recruiting the staff while concentrating on persons’ unique skills, qualifications, and potential (Julphar, 2016).

In this context, the employees’ age, gender, ethnicity, and social status among other factors cannot influence the managers’ decisions. In order to promote diversity in the company, managers also organized the training and talent development programs for diverse employees to improve their skills and enhance performance, as well as create comfortable environments (Julphar, 2016). All these approaches contribute to improving interactions and minimizing conflicts between employees, and as a result, it is possible to speak about the effective teamwork.

Elements of Diversity and Labor Market

Diversity is the multidimensional phenomenon that includes many components that are taken into account when managers discuss possibilities for diversity in their organizations because all these aspects make people different. These elements are age, gender, race and ethnicity, physical abilities, religion, social status, education, sexual orientation, parental status, and location (Richard et al., 2013). In the labor market, all these factors can play the key role when managers choose employees without orienting to the principles of diversity. Therefore, there is a direct relationship between these elements of diversity and the labor market.

The problem is in the fact that many organizations avoid hiring middle-aged persons. In this context, it is possible to speak about discrimination. In the UAE and other Gulf countries, gender discrimination is observed when managers choose to recruit less qualified males instead of educated females (Al-Jenaibi, 2012; Brady, Kaiser, Major, & Kirby, 2015). Education also plays an important role because women are often less educated than men in the Gulf countries.

The problem of the social status is also related to the question of education. As a result, the labor market in the UAE is oriented to young males with the high potential and education (Al-Jenaibi, 2012). However, the labor market reflects diversity in terms of the number of ethnicities represented in it. The cultural diversity is a characteristic feature of any society, and in most cases, labor markets are highly diverse in terms of races and ethnicities.

The principles of equality and diversity also support the rights of people with different physical abilities. However, the problem is in the fact that, in many countries, the number of positions proposed to persons with limited abilities is rather small. While focusing on the aspect of religion, it is possible to state that in the UAE companies, the religious diversity is accepted and promoted because it is closely connected with the cultural and ethnic diversity (Martin, 2014).

Furthermore, employees are not discriminated because of their geographical location, and companies hire professionals having various nationalities and backgrounds. However, the situation can be different in other countries’ labor markets where the percentage of expatriates is comparably low (Brady et al., 2015). Still, while focusing on such elements as the sexual orientation of employees and their parental status, it is possible to state that the UAE labor market is rather conservative in this context.

In spite of the fact that discrimination is prohibited in the UAE companies, people’s declared sexual orientation and their parental status can influence the managers’ decisions regarding recruitment (Al-Jenaibi, 2012). In this context, the parental status of women often becomes a barrier to obtaining the desired position, and the modern labor market includes the limited number of women having children of the school age. The similar situation can be observed in other countries where managers prefer to recruit young unmarried males without children.

In Julphar, the principles of equality and diversity are reflected in the company’s policies, and managers promote diversity while hiring representatives of different nationalities, referring to the persons’ experience rather than gender and age. In this context, the candidates’ education can be discussed as an important factor to influence the manager’s decision (Al-Jenaibi, 2012; Julphar, 2016).

Human resource specialists in Julphar support the idea that the management of diversity is a controversial task, but it has many advantages, including the improved performance of employees, as well as their increased productivity and creativity. The modern labor market is diverse, and it is important not to ignore the impact of such diversity elements as age, gender, education, race, and social status among others on the company’s performance because of the focus on employees’ creative thinking, cooperation, and improved decision-making (Podsiadlowski et al., 2013).

In spite of the fact that some employees’ differences and qualities remain to be desired by managers, the modern labor market allows for selecting diverse candidates who can use their unique features to contribute to the company’s development (Martin, 2014). In this context, it is important to pay attention to creating equal and comfortable conditions for all employees in order to use their potential. From this point, companies need to reflect diversity of the labor market while concentrating on proposing flexible human resource management practices and policies.


Equality and diversity are important aspects of the organization’s treatment of employees. In this context, equality is achieved when diversity among employees is recognized and addressed appropriately. Managers need to accept differences of all employees and focus on their individual features, but they also need to treat them equally. In this case, it is possible to develop the holistic approach to managing diverse workers who are the characteristic feature of the modern global and national labor markets.

From this point, the competing drivers of diversity are globalization, the development of technology, and the focus of companies on increasing their competitive advantage. Thus, globalization processes have led to the easy migration of employees having different cultures, races, religions, and experiences. The development of technology has contributed to increasing the demand for diverse employees, as well as hiring them. The concentration on the competitive advantage has made firms focus on diversity strategies in order to respond to the market and industry realities.

Julphar is among the UAE-based companies that employ diverse workers and support diversity as the component of the corporate strategy because of its advantages. In addition, all elements of diversity, including gender, age, race, religion, physical abilities, education, social status, and sexual orientation among others influence the modern labor market. Although there are frequent cases of discrimination in companies, the global tendency is associated with the focus on diversity and equality in treating employees in spite of their differences.


Al-Jenaibi, B. (2012). The scope and impact of workplace diversity in the United Arab Emirates: A preliminary study. Geografia: Malaysian Journal of Society and Space, 8(1), 1-14.

Brady, L. M., Kaiser, C. R., Major, B., & Kirby, T. A. (2015). It’s fair for us: Diversity structures cause women to legitimize discrimination. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 57(1), 100-110.

Julphar. (2016). Home page. Web.

Martin, G. C. (2014). The effects of cultural diversity in the workplace. Journal of Diversity Management, 9(2), 89-97.

Podsiadlowski, A., Groschke, D., Kogler, M., Springer, C., & Van Der Zee, K. (2013). Managing a culturally diverse workforce: Diversity perspectives in organizations. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 37(2), 159-175.

Richard, O. C., Roh, H., & Pieper, J. R. (2013). The link between diversity and equality management practice bundles and racial diversity in the managerial ranks: Does firm size matter? Human Resource Management, 52(2), 215-242.

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"Equality and Diversity in the United Arab Emirates." IvyPanda, 18 Oct. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/equality-and-diversity-in-the-united-arab-emirates/.

1. IvyPanda. "Equality and Diversity in the United Arab Emirates." October 18, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/equality-and-diversity-in-the-united-arab-emirates/.


IvyPanda. "Equality and Diversity in the United Arab Emirates." October 18, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/equality-and-diversity-in-the-united-arab-emirates/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Equality and Diversity in the United Arab Emirates." October 18, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/equality-and-diversity-in-the-united-arab-emirates/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Equality and Diversity in the United Arab Emirates'. 18 October.

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