Gender Differences and Work-Related Communication in the UAE: A Qualitative Study

  •  Kamarul Ahmad    


•Purpose-Thepurpose of the research is to investigate the true nature of any differencesbetween men and women, in the way that they communicate at the workplace. •Design/methodology/approach- Aqualitative research was carried out using semi-structured interview questions,involving 418 UAE nationals comprising of 218 Emirati males and 200 Emiratifemales ranging from the age of 20 years to 55 years. •Findings- Findingspartially supported Tannen (1990) and Gray (1992), but also had some newinteresting revelations, unique to the UAE such as regarding communicationstraightforwardness and tone, group communication, communicating with othernationalities, body Language, forming opinions, expressing them and receivingfeedback, openness, disclosure and details in explaining things, conversationtopics, and ability to convince others in a sales presentation. •Researchlimitations/implications – When making conclusions from alimited sample size, some stereotyping is indeed inevitable. •Practicaland social implications - This research provides valuableinsights to anyone who wishes to work and do business in the UAE, from theperspective of gender differences and gender interaction. •Originality/value Research and publications about genderdifferences and gender-related communication are abundant in the west. Manystatements by some authors such as Tannen (1990) and Gray (1992) are somewhatcontroversial. On the other hand, research regarding gender-related differencesin the UAE is relatively scarce (Alkhateeb, 2001). Since the 9/11 incident,there have been generalisations and negative stereotypes about Arab men, Islam andgender roles in the Middle East. This research is timely, especially in thelight of the fast rate of development in the UAE brought about by the discoveryof oil in the 1960’s and more women entering the workforce.Keywords:gender differences, United Arab Emirates, work behaviours, communication

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.