The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country with a rich and diverse cultural, political, and social landscape. With over 9 million people, the government is a melting pot of various nationalities, ethnicities, and religions. This diversity has helped shape the UAE’s values and beliefs, significantly influencing international students who come to study there.
We will understand the influence of the UAE’s cultural, political, and social values on international students on several points.
The UAE’s cultural values are deeply rooted in Islam, the country’s official religion. Islam plays a significant role in shaping the country’s customs, traditions, and social norms. For instance, modesty is highly valued in Emirati culture, and students are expected to dress appropriately in public places. Women must dress conservatively, covering their arms and legs and avoiding revealing clothing. This cultural value also extends to men, who are expected to dress modestly and avoid wearing shorts or sleeveless shirts in public places.
Another cultural value that international students may encounter is the importance of family in Emirati culture. Family is considered the cornerstone of society in the UAE, and Emiratis emphasize maintaining strong family ties. This can be seen in how Emirati families gather regularly for meals, celebrations, and other social events. International students who come from cultures that place less emphasis on family ties may find this aspect of Emirati culture to be quite different from what they are used to.
- Emirati culture values modesty, which can help international students understand and respect the country’s cultural norms and dress codes.
- The emphasis on family in Emirati culture can help international students form strong connections and relationships with their peers and host families.
- Cultural differences can cause misunderstandings or conflict, mainly if international students are unfamiliar with or comfortable with Emirati customs and traditions.
- Emirati cultural values may conflict with the values or practices of some international students, potentially causing discomfort or cultural clashes.
The UAE is a federal, presidential, and constitutional monarchy, and political stability is highly valued. The country’s leaders are committed to ensuring the country’s peace and prosperity, and this commitment is reflected in the UAE’s political values. The UAE’s leaders have implemented various policies and initiatives to promote economic development and social welfare. For example, the government has invested heavily in infrastructure projects, such as airports, seaports, and highways, to improve the country’s connectivity and facilitate trade.
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International students studying in the UAE may also encounter the country’s emphasis on security and safety. The UAE has a well-developed security infrastructure, and the country’s leaders focus significantly on maintaining law and order. This is reflected in the strict rules and regulations that govern public behavior in the country. For example, drinking alcohol in public places is strictly prohibited, and penalties for drug offenses can be severe.
- The UAE’s commitment to political stability can create a safe and secure environment for international students, reducing the risk of political unrest or violence.
- The UAE’s investment in infrastructure can create opportunities for international students to access high-quality transportation and other services.
- Strict laws and regulations governing public behavior may feel restrictive or oppressive to some international students.
- The UAE’s emphasis on security may lead to increased surveillance or monitoring, potentially making some international students feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
Both Islamic and Bedouin traditions influence the UAE’s social values. Hospitality is highly valued in Emirati culture, and guests are treated with great respect and generosity. This can be seen in how Emiratis welcome visitors to their homes, offering food, drink, and other forms of hospitality. International students who come to study in the UAE may find Emiratis very welcoming and friendly and may be invited to social events and gatherings.
Another social value that international students may encounter is the importance of education in Emirati culture. Education is highly valued in the UAE, and the government has implemented various policies and initiatives to promote education and improve the quality of education in the country. International students who come to study in the UAE may find that the country’s emphasis on education is reflected in the education system’s quality and the support available to students.
- Emirati hospitality and friendliness can create a welcoming and supportive environment for international students, making them feel more comfortable and at home in the country.
- The UAE’s emphasis on education can create opportunities for international students to access high-quality educational programs and resources.
- Cultural differences or language barriers may make it difficult for international students to participate in or understand social events or gatherings fully.
- The emphasis on education may create pressure or expectations for international students to excel academically, potentially causing stress or anxiety.
In conclusion, the UAE’s cultural, political, and social values significantly influence international students. The country’s Islamic and Bedouin traditions have helped shape its cultural values, characterized by modesty, hospitality, and strong family ties. The UAE’s political values emphasize stability, security, and economic development.