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.

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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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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New Expat in the UAE? Everything You Should Know About Ramadan in a Nutshell!

New Expat in the UAE? Everything You Should Know About Ramadan in a Nutshell!

For new expats relocating to the UAE, it’s fair to say that the transformation that takes place during the month of Ramadan can present quite a cultural shock to those who don’t understand it.

Whether you’re in the more conservative area of Sharjah, or, in the more liberal Dubai, Ramadan generally plays out in the same way and the same traditions and practices are observed.

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Carlos Ghosn: A Lesson in Leadership and Cultural Differences

Carlos Ghosn: A Lesson in Leadership and Cultural Differences

Every now and again the business world hands the cross-cultural training world some great examples of cultural difference in action!

One such case study is that of Carlos Ghosn, ex-CEO of the Japanese car giant, Nissan.

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New Online Training Course on Doing Business in The UK

New Online Training Course on Doing Business in The UK

We are delighted to announce the release of an online cultural awareness training course on British culture.

Did you know that in The UK they celebrate a 'pancake day'? Yes! And it involves a pancake race too!

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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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New Emperor Marks New Era for Japan

New Emperor Marks New Era for Japan

The 1st of May will mark the start of a new era in Japanese history.

Emporer Akihito is making way for his eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito, in Japan’s first imperial abdication in over 200 years.

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The Culture of Doing Business in Italy

The Culture of Doing Business in Italy

Travelling to Italy for work? Want to make a good impression? Then this blog is for you.

Here's a quick-fire overview of some key cultural insights that might come in handy.

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Simple Steps to Enhance Online Learning with Games

Simple Steps to Enhance Online Learning with Games

The culture of learning and development within most organisations has changed dramatically.

Although online learning programmes are now recognised by the majority of corporate businesses as a great way to train busy and mobile staff, there has traditionally been more resistance to using stand-alone games.

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Why E-Learning Works for Cultural Competence Training

Why E-Learning Works for Cultural Competence Training

Online training for cross-cultural skills are in high demand. So why are corporate training stakeholders turning to e-learning?

Tradtional face-to-face training has become more of a challenge over the past 15 or so years.

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Why is Cultural Competence Important in Training?

Why is Cultural Competence Important in Training?

Why do we focus on culture in corporate training? Is it really all that important?

Understanding the role culture plays in our lives is very important.

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Dubai First Gov Games - a Great Lesson in Driving Cultural Diversity

Dubai First Gov Games - a Great Lesson in Driving Cultural Diversity

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.

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Gift Giving Etiquette in the Middle East

Gift Giving Etiquette in the Middle East

The giving and receiving of gifts is an important part of professional and personal life in the Middle East.

Closely tied up with the need to maintain relationships and as a way of gaining and giving face, gift giving bonds people together.

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French Waiter Cites Cultural Differences for Being Rude

French Waiter Cites Cultural Differences for Being Rude

Guillaume Rey, a French waiter, was sacked from his job in a Canadian restaurant for being ‘aggressive, rude and disrespectful’

Upset by the sacking Rey believes his employees simply did not understand French culture. A complaint was filed
his previous employer, Vancouver restaurant on Canada’s Pacific coast, under British Columbia’s Human Rights Tribunal in which the waiter claiming  “discrimination against my culture”.

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Cross Cultural Training Essential for Foreign-Bound Personnel

Cross Cultural Training Essential for Foreign-Bound Personnel

Ignorance Is No Excuse and Can Land You in Jail

In light of the story of the British woman jailed for smuggling painkillers into Egypt, Punter Southall Health & Protection have warned companies sending personnel abroad that it is their "duty of care to ensure employees understand the legislation and cultural differences of that country."

British retail worker Laura Plummer, was recently arrested in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada after she was found to be carrying 290 Tramadol tablets in her suitcase, a painkiller which is legal in the UK but which is banned in Egypt. She was convicted of smuggling and is now serving a 3 year sentence.

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Does Living in a Multicultural Environment Give You Cross Cultural Skills?

Does Living in a Multicultural Environment Give You Cross Cultural Skills?

As cross-cultural training specialists, we sometimes come across resistance from delegates who have been obligated to attend a cultural awareness session by their boss, HR or the Learning and Development department.

Resistance may stem from many factors, not least of which may be that the benefits and background to the training course have not been fully communicated.

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Two Minute Tips on Global Training Roll Outs

Two Minute Tips on Global Training Roll Outs

How a Homogenous Approach to International Training Stifles Success

In a global market place, companies are increasingly rolling out training courses across international offices with the intention of providing consistent and homogenised messages to all their staff – regardless of location.

There is sometimes little, if any thought, given to whether the materials will be well received by the recipient international office.

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Scale-Up Investors Want People Skills

Scale-Up Investors Want People Skills

The UK's innovation agency has just released a report highlighting what investors are looking for in potential investment targets.

‘Scaling up: the investor perspective’ is the result of research commissioned by Innovate UK which was overseen and publish by the market research company, Ebiquity.

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Middle Finger Gesture Lands Briton in Dubai Courts

Middle Finger Gesture Lands Briton in Dubai Courts

Having worked in Dubai for over 10 years, one of the things that constantly amazes me about visitors to the Emirate is that they think they have landed in some sort of desert version of Las Vegas, where everything goes.

Well, as British IT consultant Jamil Ahmed Mukadam has found out - it is anything but.

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Cross-Cultural Tips for Remote and Virtual Teams

Cross-Cultural Tips for Remote and Virtual Teams

Working remotely, across time zones, with different cultures and through various communication channels is becoming more and more common.

Over the last 10 years or so, training demand for courses that focus specifically on helping remote and culturally diverse teams have grown year on year.

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