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Navigating amid customs and traditions of the Gulf
(A Correspondent) / 28 April 2012
DUBAI - Amal Loring, a UK expat in Dubai who has since converted to Islam and married an Emirati, is using her first-hand experience with the UAE culture to coach cultural understanding to businesses entering the region since once a company or individual arrives here, they need to be able to cope with their new surroundings in order to be successful.
Loring has been in Dubai for over 15 years and has experienced everything she’s teaching — from the initial stereotypes and confusion to the eventual understanding and complete embracing of the culture. Clients vary from top oil companies and financial institutions to the hotel and restaurant industry.
Loring channels her experiences to mentor businesses and individual clients on everything from dining etiquette and social nuances to daily interaction with UAE nationals and the development of the region. She has a very interesting personal story and is providing a service to businesses unlike others offered in the region.
The company Loring founded, MindBody Dynamixs, is bridging the gap between international companies and the Emirati culture by providing mentoring services to promote understanding of local customs and religious practices. The commonly misperceived difference between religion and culture, which separates expatriates keen to understand UAE cultural nuances and Islam is explained through custom-tailored workshops developed by Loring.
A qualified counsellor and former sales director for a US-based software giant, Loring has herself experienced the benefits and challenges of immersing oneself into a new culture, and the questions associated with such an occurrence. These first-hand experiences, combined with Loring’s background and education in therapy, position MindBody Dynamixs to coach companies doing business in the Middle East in an accessible and highly personable manner.
“Through my full immersion into the UAE culture and Islam, I have been able to develop a deep understanding of regional philosophies and behavioural norms in the area,” said Loring.
“I work with my clients to answer their questions and provide them with a level of comfort achieved only through understanding the UAE culture on multiple levels — including business dealings, family ties, social norms and religious duties and obligations. Through counselling and my corporate background, it became clear that a service was required to correct common misconceptions and ease the personal and business interactions between people of different nationalities and faiths which I myself experienced when moving to the region.”
“Corporations which provide their staff with greater insight into the region and its customs mean that customer service improves and employees are better equipped to survive and thrive in the UAE workplace,” Loring said.
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