Cultural immersion in the Arab world at SP Jain Dubai


Earlier last month, a group of young business students made their way to the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) in the Bastakiya district of Dubai. These youngsters were none other than a group of Global MBA candidates from the S P Jain School of Global Management (S P Jain) who had only recently arrived in Dubai after a 4-months long stay in the beautiful harbor city of Sydney. Being one of their very first cultural expeditions in Dubai, the students were excited to see what the city had to offer.

S P Jain students on arrival at the Center were warmly welcomed by none other than Dubai’s famous ‘Culture Guru’ – Mr. Nasif Kaid. The cultural immersion exercise began with a tour of the Bastakiya Mosque, also known as Dubai’s Grand Mosque. Here, students were taken through a structured tutorial that highlighted the history of Islam, the five pillars of Islamic faith, method of worship, gender equality in the Middle East, and other religious lessons from the holy Quran. The tutorial was followed by an intense interactive session that provided the participants an opportunity to get their queries on Islamic religion answered.

The mosque visit was followed by an authentic Emirati lunch arranged in a Majlis in the central courtyard. Keeping in line with traditional Arabic practices, the lunch began with a cup of steaming Kava – a blend of Arabic coffee, cardamom and saffron – and a serving of dates. Over coffee, the students learned of how ‘mocha chino’ borrows its famous name from the Yemeni port city of “Mocha”, a city that originally gave mocha beans to the world. A lunch line-up of authentic Emirati cuisine that included the likes of Machboos, a form of Biriyani; Saloona, an Emirati stew; Mhammar – a popular fish delicacy; and Ligamat, an Emirati dessert served with date syrup, followed soon. Over lunch, S P Jain students were also introduced to the Bedouin (desert-dwelling Arabian ethnic group) way of life. The discussion led to other angles of Arabic culture such as their hospitality, way of conducting business meetings, attire, significance of Ramadan and several other interesting facts.

Now some of you reading this may wonder – what business lessons does a student immersed in studying best business practices gain from sampling Emirati cuisine or visiting a mosque? After all, isn’t business usually learnt in a classroom?

At S P Jain, we believe that business today is a lot about being confident, personally effective and culturally agile, be it at a boardroom or a dinner meeting. Can one then succeed in the business world solely on the basis of lessons learnt in a classroom? At S P Jain, we believe that for students to fulfill their true potential as business leaders, global intelligence and real-world skills are must-have requirements.

S P Jain’s emphasis on global intelligence comes to life through a unique tri-city model. Students pursuing their degrees at S P Jain rotate across its three campuses in Dubai, Singapore and Sydney, each a regional capital and a great backdrop for business education. A combination of these three unique and dynamic environments gives our students a ring-side view of a multitude of business practices and cultures. Furthermore in each city, students interact with corporate mentors and engage in live projects to gain an in-depth understanding of opportunities and threats that define the economic and political health of these cities. The social skills and cultural insights gained as a result of this unique tri-city model give students a competitive edge in the workplace – you simply cannot get this if you don’t experience a ‘borderless world’.

Being global requires one to develop a global mindset and THIS is what business education at S P Jain emphasizes.

Note: This is a sponsored article and has NOT been written by the PaGaLGuY Editorial Team. It is intended from an informational perspective only and it is upto the readers to research and verify the claims and judgements in the article before reaching a conclusion.


Read Next