With over 7 million of its 9 million population classed as non-Emirati, the UAE has become an incredible melting point of cultures and nationalities.
Owing to Dubai’s relatively relaxed attitude and job opportunities, the majority of these expats reside in Dubai itself. Of these expats, South East Asians make up the largest proportion with approximately 8% of Westerners making up the smaller portion.
Whether Indian, Pakistani, Filipino, Canadian, British, Arab or Thai, everyone in Dubai has a role to play, with many of them working as part of the Dubai Governmental Groups.
Dubai's Cultural Diversity Challenge
Although much of the success of Dubai is owed to the skills and commitment of its multicultural employee base, the challenges of bringing such diverse cultures together and making them feel a part of the makeup of Dubai is no mean feat.
With different religions, languages, working styles and communication approaches, those in Dubai have to go above and beyond to make things work.
The importance placed on creating a sense of ‘team’ were emphasised by the Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai who has been motivated by body of research into team spirit and happiness in employees.
Dubai First Games
The need for team spirit and collaboration have been at the core of many of Dubai’s initiatives and the Dubai First Games are one such initiative; an ingenious way of bringing people together and uniting them under a single banner.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai has been the driving force behind them; also introducing the added bonus of the equivalent of £400,000 for male and female teams making it into first place.
Concluding on the 11th May 2018, they saw individuals across nationalities and cultures taking. The qualifying factor for entry?
Physical excellence, stamina and teamwork coupled with being an employee within one of Dubai’s Government teams, such as: the Department of Islamic Affairs, Department of Civil Defense, Abu Dhabi Airports, Dubai Ambulance and Police Services, MBR Space Centre, Ministry of Defence and the Thai Royal Police.
'One Team, One Soul'
With the theme set as ‘one team, one soul’, participants were subject to incredibly demanding challenges in which they needed to use their collaboration skills, strategic thinking and physical endurance to succeed. 10 obstacle courses were innovatively designed to challenge participants in a way that conventional obstacle courses don’t.
Ongoing training, determination and dedication were essential to those competing. The obstacles were created using nearly 40 tonnes of steel and over 800,000 litres of water. They were certainly not for the faint hearted!
The event has become yet another example of the way in which Dubai is making efforts to push boundaries not only in the areas of tourism and architecture but also in respect to employee motivation and teamwork.