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Don't They Know It's Friday? Cross-Cultural Considerations for Business and Life in the Gulf [Paperback]

Jeremy Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Mar 1999
A business handbook which addresses the cross cultural aspects of life affecting Westerners and Gulf nationals of all GCC countries and deals with the realities of business practice and the mental stresses and strains of operating in the Gulf as a Western visitor or expatriate.

Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Motivate Publishing (Mar 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 186063074X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860630743
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 15 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 115,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple but Effective 27 Jan 2006
I first read this book when it was originally published in Dubai 1998 and it provided me with an insight into some of the more confusing practices and customs of the Middle East. It won't help you walk straight into a joint venture with a local, set up a business or remove the frustrating and infuriating bureaucracy of the region but it will at least make you aware of the potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't they know it is Friday 17 Jan 2010
By Ihu
Good practical tips on how to deal with the Gulf Arabs in business. Useful reading for any westerner working in the Gulf or doing business with the region. The style is sometimes a bit academic though.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very informative and easy to read. Well laid out and easy to navigate. I would recommend this as essential reading to anyone new to the Gulf region
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book that is very practical 2 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a great book and that gives very practical advice. Read it in one sitting and it has given me lots more to research.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dont they know its Friday - Cross-cultural considerations for business and life in the Gulf. Jeremy Williams 23 Aug 2009
By LB Bowtell - Published on
This book was recommended to me by a colleague and I must say it is the most invaluable book I have read to date. I have recently relocated to the Gulf with my family for work and this book has been invaluable on so many levels. It is easy to read whilst being very authoritive. Whilst Gulf assimilation can be very challenging, this book allows you to sit down and read a little at a time, its layout and natural flow makes it quite an easy read. Better than thousands of dollars spent on business coaches and specialist relocation experts that don't even work or ever lived in the Gulf. I highly recommend this book

Lachlan Bowtell - Regional Manager Middle East North Afirca
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Patronising 20 Feb 2009
By LW - Published on
The thing about this book is that, yes, whilst the general learning points about living and doing business in the Gulf are valid, useful and interesting, the author presents these in a stunningly patronising manner. The generalisations drive the reader crazy. Western visitors to the Gulf are portrayed as clumsy, rude, insulting people with no manners and no common sense, on the other hand, ALL Gulf Arabs are perfectly balanced, all-knowing entities who glide through life never putting a foot wrong. It's OK for a while but by the end you are utterly sick of it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on Middle East 21 Nov 2012
By Bryan Rider - Published on
Written in a very objective format. Great insight for learning how to do business in the Gulf. Worth its weight in gold.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important primer for expats 30 Aug 2013
By Ronald George - Published on
"Don't They Know It's Friday" by Jeremy Williams serves as perhaps the only cross-cultural guide book of its kind to a visitor to the Gulf. Several Gulf countries are "emerging" countries and as such it is easy for the Westerner to expect similar levels of social systems and standards as it exists back in their country. Reality however is different.

The book provides numerous commentaries on the Middle East geography, working styles, food, clothing, body language, money/banking, law and more. It has a suitably presented background on the all-encompassing Islamic influence in the Gulf 'way of life'. I particularly enjoyed the author's treatment of how one should diligently tailor their attitudes in the Gulf and how uncompromising, impatient attitudes can lead to frustration and even business failure.

While the book can be seen as patronizing to the first time Gulf visitor, I think it does well in presenting a cautionary education to general readers without assuming the knowledge and experience of anyone in particular. The author's 35+ year career as a diplomatic officer saw him stationed at several Gulf countries. Without arrogance, however, he has managed to compile the guide after consulting others, including Gulf scholars of law and Islam. In that regard, this isn't really the opinionated views of one man.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't They Know It's Friday? 5 Jun 2007
By cortezhill - Published on
This handbook is an essential guide for anyone wishing to do business in the Middle East, whether as a resident expatriot or visitor. It not only focuses on Gulf business practices, Arab culture and behavior patterns, but also prepares the reader for the many life-style changes which may be experienced. It includes a comprehensive section of Islam and discusses its effect on daly life in the Gulf, thus dispelling many of the myths associated with the region.
--- from book's back cover
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