People flock to Dubai to explore a new part of the world. Some call it New York of the Middle East, others the Arab Disney land. There are surely elements of luxury and splendor that visitors and residents feel. Hotels and restaurants are fancy across the board; golden edged architecture shines pretty much everywhere; soap in public bathrooms is never alone; you will always find hand lotion by its side to indulge your skin with. You’re surrounded by glamorous brands whether on people or on billboards, and everyone is trying to sell you something; a fancy good on a fancy tag. Cab drivers, bellboys, hostesses; everyone opens a door for you in their own way, and greets you with their own smile. And when you are just about to believe that you are the king, the reality hits you bad.
It is a place that enjoys an abundance of low wages service workforce, can hence overwhelm you with their presence in the most granular steps of your journey into the country, from opening your door as you land till closing it as you leave, but unfortunately fails to nurture a sense of creativity in your service.
If you have been into any restaurant in Dubai or any financial institution for example, and tried to have a special request that requires to break the routine or work around the ‘regular’ process of that place, you have probably stepped into the nightmare part of your experience.
The person that was supposedly at your service immediately jumps to being at the service of the system. And even if you argue with them for a day and a night, you will only get one answer: ‘Sir I’m sorry, but this is the process.’
After living in Dubai, you know there is only one reply you are supposed to have for this answer: ‘please call your manager.’
Surprisingly you will often see happy, relieved faces after you say that. Everywhere else in the world, this expression means one thing, and it is basically that you have failed at your job of serving me. In Dubai, your server will be delighted to call their manager as you may have saved them from getting fired.
Unfortunately people in servicing industries in Dubai are usually of significantly lower wages, relatively lower education levels, and consequently lower capabilities and power to take any decisions to facilitate your life. Whenever things don’t work, don’t stress yourself out. Just call the manager.
Until a new dawn comes on Dubai, where its companies learn to further differentiate themselves with a smarter, more innovative workforce that knows that you are the king and that the process should fit the king and never the other way around.