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Middle East and North Africa (MENA): Globalization and the Role of Culture

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 3

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Paper Authors


Gholam Ali Shaykhian Florida Institute of Technology

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Gholam Shaykhian has received a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Computer Systems from University of Central Florida and a second M.S. degree in Operations Research from the same university and has earned a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Florida Institute of Technology. His research interests include knowledge management, data mining, object-oriented methodologies, design patterns, software safety, genetic and optimization algorithms and data mining. Dr. Shaykhian is a professional member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

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Jinan Ziade Westcliff University

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Jinan Ziade, PhD, holds a doctorate of management in Organizational Leadership and information systems technologies from the University of Phoenix (UOPX), also a graduate Executive Transformation Certificate in Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Management from Georgetown University. Dr. Ziade is an Assistant Professor and a member of the Diversity and Inclusion committee at Westcliff University, teaching managing global diversity, corporate social responsibility and organizational behavior. Additionally, Dr. Ziade is a postdoc research fellow and a member of the Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research at UOPX. Dr. Ziade has published a number of journal articles that were presented at conferences (ASEE and ISCB). Dr. Ziade's research includes examination of cultural differences and leadership practices within global organizations. She also co-authored papers exploring MENA business culture. Dr. Ziade is serving as a Parliamentary Chair, also served as Program Chair of Guild volunteer at St. Jude Medical Center. Dr. Ziade developed a leadership practices model that provides a suitable framework and salient business strategy component for corporations seeking to expand successfully.

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Mohd Abdelgadir Khairi Najran University

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I, Mohamed Khairi, my bachelor degree in computer science. I did my Masters in system science from University of Ottawa, Canada. My PH.D was in “Master Data Management” from University of Phoenix. I have over 20 years of experience in IT industry - ten of them with Microsoft in Redmond, WA. Currently I’m assistant professor at University of Najran. In addition of teaching and Research I’m coordinator of graduation projects and field training for computer and information system college.

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The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) comprises 18 countries, including the Arab countries, North Africa, and Iran. With a total population of 432 million in 2007. Demographers expect the population to increase to 700 million by 2050 [60]. The World Bank’s (2012) projection for population growth was 600 million by 2025. MENA serves as an international focal point attracting foreign companies by offering opportunities for new business relationships [8][39][69]. The selected nations are the largest countries in the region by demographic and economic size and share the same or similar cultures. The MENA region as a whole contains two-thirds of the world petroleum reserves; however, multiple challenges besiege the region including political instability, social tensions, and an increase in population size [50][60]. Increased interconnectedness and interdependence of people and countries are bringing additional change in a new form of economic diffusion and social practices [71]. The new form of globalization is shaping the MENA into a new competitive global marketplace [12][39][50]. Dubai has acquired OMX; the largest advanced-technology option market exchange in Europe, and entered into a relationship with NASDAQ. The country offers an organized infrastructure with an unobstructed employment market, resulting in remarkable trade and industry growth [8]. Flottau [26] reported that Abu Dhabi International Airport has seen growth of 21.5% with a capacity of 56 million passengers in 2012. Planners designed Dubai airport to act as an international hub and the forecast for 2020 stands at 98.5 million passengers annually. Dubai has attracted 5.5 million tourists in the first half of 2012, an increase of 11.1%, as claimed by United Arab Emirate’s tourism department [26]. Dubai’s government claimed that the expansion of Dubai Mall, the world largest mall, would attract new luxury retail businesses and other business entities to expand their operations to Dubai [58]. According to Dubai’s Land Department, the Emirates have seen a return on investment increase of $14.4 billion worth of real estate investments in the first half of 2013 [61]. In the Gulf region of MENA, Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar airlines will be able to handle the rapidly increasing passenger flows by expanding the nations’ airports. Developers project expansion of Dubai-DXB in 2018 to grow from 60 million to approximately 90 million passengers per year. In Qatar, planners project completion of the new Doha International Airport (NDIA) expansion project by 2018. With an increased capacity of 50 million passengers a year, NDIA will cost an estimated $15.5 billion (New Doha International Airport, 2014). Investors in the education market have also shown strong interest in the MENA region, in which education has become an attractive business proposition. Economic analysts in Saudi Arabia expect education to be worth $96 billion in gross revenues by 2015. The Saudi Arabian government has increased its focus on education and healthcare and allocated 25% of its $219 billion budget for 2013 toward higher education and workforce training [5]. This paper discusses role of culture in globalization; specifically understanding religious differences, Islamic culture, and religious values that may influence business decisions in Middle East and North Africa (MENA).  

Shaykhian, G. A., & Ziade, J., & Khairi, M. A. (2019, June), Middle East and North Africa (MENA): Globalization and the Role of Culture Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33105

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