Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: A camel handler exercises his animal along the Nad al-Sheba camel track, in front of the Burj Dubai "New Downtown" construction site in the emirate of Dubai 02 April, 2007. Upon completion, Burj Dubai is expected to be the tallest tower in the world. AFP PHOTO/KARIM SAHIB

4 Lessons Jordan can learn from the Arab Gulf

Lessons Jordan can learn from the Arab Gulf

(feature image taken from The Epoch Times, photo credit: KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)

An HR manager I know was talking to me about a Career Day she had been to at one of the prestigious schools in Amman. The purpose was to orient young graduates on potential fields of university study to prepare them for their careers. What was most startling to my friend was the fact that the majority of those students did not even think of Jordan as the place to build their professional lives; their dreams revolved around leaving our beloved country and moving abroad, mainly to the Arab Gulf.

This episode got me thinking about those three words spoken like magic, synonymous with splendor, great riches and grandeur, three words that summarize an individual’s aspirations in life. The Arab Gulf. Indeed, such an attractive place to want to be.

Qatar's skyline during the evening.
Qatar’s skyline during the evening.

The Arab Gulf is best looked upon as a success story to learn from and emulate, making use of the great ideas applied there and transporting them here, for the making of an ever improving Jordan.

Here are few things we can learn from the Arab Gulf:

Infrastructure

The Dubai Metro
The Dubai Metro

Jordan’s population is rapidly growing, businesses are expanding and pressure is building to accommodate the needs of this progression. Some of the best infrastructure in the world is found in cities like Dubai, where the structure and foundation of social life there is of the highest standards.

Widespread public transportation including trams or subways, trains between districts, proper planning of streets to make them wider with additional car lanes, automation of all governmental applications so renewal of a passport or issuance of an ID can take place anywhere in the kingdom, all are ideas to enhance our infrastructure and help relieve the demands placed upon the country with its rising population.

Buildings Architecture

Finding a parking spot in Amman during the evening is a mission of its own. Image taken via Jordan Times.
Finding a parking spot in Amman during the evening is a mission of its own. Image taken via Jordan Times.

Amman has always been famous for beautiful, quaint buildings; however, we now see huge structures built with little attention paid to artistic planning and development. Houses and apartment buildings are built with only profit in mind; the number of apartments is increasing per building; ground floor apartments no longer enjoy the lush and spacious garden because it has been transported to below-street-level apartments, who in turn do not enjoy proper ventilation and mostly do not allow for any sun to enter. Buildings are erected too close to each other that privacy is entirely eliminated and achieved by shutting down one’s home with heavy curtains and shutters. Finally, the disconcerting “street as parking” phenomenon endures, seeing that builders choose to entirely ignore making proper underground parking or simply build it based on one car per apartment – a fact long ago disappeared, especially in Western Amman.

Office buildings suffer from lack of proper parking, smaller offices with small windows, and bland designs with basic box-like shapes.

Service Oriented Culture

Image via http://salemhusseini.wordpress.com

A noticeable gap is evident in the culture of “customer service”. In many cases the customer is a nuisance not to be focused upon properly, but to be served with the least effort possible. Furthermore, we have witnessed the decline in quality for many service providers who start out strong and powerful only to turn to mediocre shortly afterwards.

Switching our mindsets to a culture where there is joy and pride in serving people in a way that leaves him happy and satisfied will elevate our culture as a whole, and create a positive image of the kind of people we already are, known for ages as hospitable and generous.

Proper Employee Compensation

Image taken via http://www.dreamstime.com
Image taken via http://www.dreamstime.com

The number one reason Jordanians choose the Arab Gulf as a career location is because they believe their aspirations of a better quality of life can only be realized there. The private sector especially need to revisit their starting salaries for fresh graduates, noting that many of those have been stagnant for the past ten years despite the increased cost of life and rising rates of inflation.

Furthermore, career progression needs to be redefined to accommodate the speed with which the newer generation operates, in a world where exposure is at its highest, dreams are at their biggest and “patience as a virtue” has shifted to higher demands of speed and efficiency.

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All Jordanians can attest to the deep attachment they hold to Jordan, and to wishes of seeing it prosper and thrive. This kind of change begins with everyone, especially those in positions of power who can influence the path the country is moving onto. The Arab Gulf is a great example to learn from, and applying many of their successes will elevate our growth and fortunes.

 

About M Baddar

Mohammad Baddar is the co-founder of Humanity Can Wait. When he's not in Jordan, he's probably off somewhere in the region working.

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