The United Arab Emirates Country Overview
The country is a federation comprising of seven States namely, Ajman, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Dubai, Ras al Khaimah, Umm al Qaiwain and Sharjah. It gained independence from Britain in 1971.
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Each of the States has some degree of autonomy but the country is governed by a supreme council of rulers called emirs. It is these emirs who appoint the Prime Minister as well as the cabinet.
At independence, the country was literally poor but within a very short time, it became an economic hub in the Middle East especially due to its oil exports.
The oil industry attracts huge numbers of foreigners as well as expatriates. However, as from 2000, the UAE has tried to diversify its economy into other sectors such as retail business, tourism and construction (BBC news, 2013).
Dubai in particular has emerged to be a front runner in economy diversification to become a cosmopolitan canter for retail business, construction sector, tourism and land reclamation.
Examples of such projects include the Burj Khalifa building, the current tallest in the world and the palm islands (Neuliep, 2006).
Geographical setting forms an important aspect of cultural analysis in marketing. Particular geographical elements such as climate, topography, and location are very essential in road pavement industry. These elements may provide the opportunity to enter the UAE region or act as barriers of entry to the market (Samovar, Porter & McDaniel, 2010).
The UAE is located in the Southwest of the Asian continent. The region borders two major gulfs within the continent which include the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
The other important information for the pavement industry with regards to location is that the region lies in a longitude range of 56 to 25 degrees north and in a latitude range of 22 to 50 degrees east.
UAE covers a total land space area of 83,600 kilometres. It is however, important to note that the exact area of the region has not been accurately determined due to border disputes with Qatar (BBC news, 2013).
The UAE region has a unique climate due its geographical location. Generally, the region is hot and dry and receives very low rainfall of about 110mm a year. However, heavy rains are common in the mountainous areas of the region.
Temperatures are favourably cool in most parts of the region but humid winds along the coastal regions sometimes interfere with business activities. The problem of dust storms is also common in the area and affects visibility especially during the day (BBC news, 2013).
Topography is an important aspect of climate that must be considered in the analysis. Road pavement industry requires a good topography for the development of the business. A bad topography in a region automatically becomes an entry barrier for an organization.
The region is dominated by sandy desert lands. The desert starts from Sebkha to the Hajar Mountains. The desert also has sand dunes and gravel plains.
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The coastal areas are mainly plain but prone to heavy floods during the rainy season. However, roads are mainly developed within the urban areas which have good topography especially a city like Dubai.
Although the country has a federal system of government, it is largely authoritarian. It had no elected government until 2006, when it organized an election, which resulted into a ceremonial federal assembly almost fully controlled by the supreme council.
Following the Arabian revolutions triggered by the Tunisia revolution in 2011, the UAE government introduced restrictions on the usage of the social media especially face book and twitter, which were widely believed to be used by Islamic insurgents to organize a revolution and take over power early this year (Samovar, Porter & McDaniel, 2010).
The country is known for its adherence to traditions and cultural beliefs and values. Ironically, it is one of the few countries in the entire gulf region which tolerates and accepts other cultures and traditions.
In Dubai for example, there is a variety of cultures from all over the world. Being an economic hub, the state of Dubai has over three quarters of its population being foreigners or expatriates (BBC news, 2013).
The fact that the UAE is a business hub for people from many parts of the world means that the pavement management industry is a viable business because there are no barriers for foreigners who want to establish businesses in the UAE.
The citizens of the UAE enjoy high standards of living, owing to its massive wealth from the oil industry.
Although there have been fluctuations of oil prices in the global market, the citizens have been cushioned by the diversification of the economy to include tourism, construction and retail businesses.
This places the country above par with most third world countries which have more than half of their citizens living below the poverty line (BBC news, 2013).
The roads pavement management industry can thrive well due to this economic aspect. The fact that the country is above par with many developing countries means it has the demand for road pavements and also has the ability to construct or pay for the construction and maintenance of road pavements.
The UAE is known for its vibrant ICT sector. The fact that there is a lot of booming business in the country makes it have no alternative other than to embrace technology in order to make business more efficient.
The banking industry for example is very vibrant, especially due to various money transfer services which are convenient and user friendly to the customers. Other sectors which have embraced technology are the hospitality and the education sectors.
Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions for the UAE
Power Distance Index (PDI)
This focuses on social inequalities and the extent to which the citizens of a country embrace social inequalities.
High PDI means that there are a lot of inequalities in wealth and power distribution within the society as well as that the society has a high degree of embracing or endorsing such inequalities. A low PDI ranking means that there are minimal social inequalities within a society.
The UAE ranks high in this dimension at 90% meaning that the UAE citizens widely accept institutional inequalities (Hofstede & Minkov, 2010).
This model looks at how the people emphasize individual or collective success and achievement. A high ranking in IDV signifies that individuality is paramount in that society and that the individuals or citizens tend to form very loose interpersonal relationships (International business center, n.d.).
A low ranking in the same means that the people are more cohesive in nature and that they value collective success more than individual success (Itim International, n.d.).
This looks at the extent to which gender differences affect the distribution and control of power and wealth among citizens of a country. It also looks at the extent to which men embrace feminine roles and values as well as how the women embrace masculine roles and values.
In countries where MAS rankings are high, roles are highly differentiated along gender lines whereby there are those roles and jobs which are performed or done by women and those which are performed or done by men (International business centre. n.d).
The UAE ranks at 50%, an indication that the UAE is moderate in role differentiation based on gender (Sutton, 2010).
Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI)
This focuses on the degree to which the society can tolerate any ambiguous or uncertain situation or event.
A high UAI ranking means that the country is guided by clear rules and laws, which are clearly written down and known to everyone, and therefore does not tolerate any ambiguous situation, unclear or uncertain issue (Itim International, n.d.).
A low ranking in UAI means that the country is open to different opinions, which may not be rules, regulations or laws governing that country.
This means that the society accepts change readily, which may put it at risks associated with some changes which are not part of the countries’ laws, rules and regulations (International business center, n.d).
The UAE’s score for this dimension is 80%, meaning that the country it strongly holds to systems of beliefs, rules and regulations which try to keep the future as certain as possible (Itim International, n.d.).
Long Term Orientation
This looks to the extent to which a society emphasizes or fails to emphasize long term dedication to forward thinking, traditions and values. A Country with a high ranking in LTO implies that it acknowledges hard work and traditions as a basis for the establishment of long term benefits.
On the other hand, a low ranking in LTO means that the country does not embrace traditional values which may impede change.
This means that the country is open to new ideas and innovations which may make business to thrive even for an outsider (Hofstede & Minkov, 2010). There is no score available for the UAE on this dimension.
Road Pavement Management Industry
This industry can thrive well in the UAE since its experiencing an exponential type of growth and expansion. Many people are moving to the country to seek greener pastures as well as to work there as expatriates.
What this means is that there is an unmet demand of road pavement facilities in the country. The business would be appropriate because it would be sustainable given that a growing population coupled with insurgence of immigrants can only help in sustaining a road construction and management enterprise (BBC news, 2013).
Another factor of attraction of the roads pavement management industry in the UAE is the presence of government agencies such as the Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ).
This agency was established in 1996 as a government’s strategy of making United Arab Emirates a global business hub driven by foreign investors as well as local investors.
Language as an inseparable element of culture plays a foreground role in marketing. A cultural analysis of any particular region must accommodate the role of language in influencing the development of marketing in a given industry.
In UAE, language may act as a barrier to the development of the road pavement industry. Therefore, it is essential for an international organization in the road pavement industry to learn and identify the languages spoken. The official language spoken in the region is Arabic.
Moreover, the region has other dialects which include Urdu, Hindi, Tagalog, and Persian. Among the mentioned languages, Arabic dominates the region as written and spoken language.
It is also essential to note that in cosmopolitan areas such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, English has been adopted as the official international language (Neuliep 2006).
The element of culture plays a cardinal role in marketing. It enables an organization to determine consumer behaviour in a particular region or market segment. As such, cultural analysis of a given region is important in marketing to identify consumer characteristics.
This study is based on a cultural analysis of the UAE as the selected region for Road Pavement Management Industry.
The paper brings into perspective cultural elements that may affect the industry such as geography, social intuitions, political setting, legal system, language, business customs, living conditions and healthcare systems.
By description, the first section of the paper gives a brief introduction to the topic understudy, which is followed by the geographical setting of the region.
The next is based on political dimension of the region, followed by, cultural dimension, economic dimension, technological dimension and, and Hofstede’s Cultural Dimension for the UAE
BBC news 2013, United Arab Emirates profile. Web.
Hofstede, G & Minkov, M 2010, Cultures and Organisations: Software of the Mind, 3rd ed, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.
International business centre,( n.d.). Geert Hofstede Analysis. Web.
International Business Publication 2012, United Arab Emirates Business Law Handbook Strategic Information and Laws, Intl Business Pubns, New York, NY.
Itim International n.d, Geert Hofstede cultural dimensions. Web.
Neuliep, J 2006, Intercultural communication: a contextual approach, 3rd ed, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Samovar, L, Porter, R & McDaniel, E 2010, Communication between cultures, 7th ed, Cengage Learning, Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Sutton, M.Q 2010, Introduction to cultural ecology 2nd ed, AltaMira Press, Lanham, Md.