Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

United Arab Emirates Related Abstracts

11 A Study of Challenges Faced and Support Systems Available for Emirati Student Mothers Post-Childbirth

Authors: Martina Dickson, Lilly Tennant

Abstract:

The young Emirati female university students of today are the first generation of women in the UAE for whom higher education as become not only a possibility, but almost an expectation. Young women in the UAE today make up around 77% of students in higher education institutes in the country. However, the societal expectations placed upon these women in terms of early marriage, child-bearing and rearing are similar to those placed upon their mothers and grandmothers in a time where women were not expected to go to university. A large proportion of female university students in the UAE are mothers of young children, or become mothers whilst at the university. This creates a challenging situation for young student mothers, where two weeks’ maternity leave is typical across institutions. The context of this study is in one such institution in the UAE. We have employed a mixed method approach to gathering interview data from twenty mothers, and survey data from over one hundred mothers. The main findings indicate that mothers have strong desires for their institution to support them more, for example by the provision of nursery facilities and resting areas for new mothers, and giving them greater flexibility over course selections and schedules including the provision of online learning. However, the majority felt supported on a personal level by their tutors. The major challenges which they identified in returning to college after only two weeks’ leave included the inevitable health and lack of sleep issues when caring for a newborn, struggling to catch up with missed college work and handling their course load. We also explored the women's’ home support systems which were provided from a variety of extended family, spouses and paid domestic help.

Keywords: Challenges, student mothers, supports, United Arab Emirates

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10 Science Anxiety Levels in Emirati Pre-Service Teachers

Authors: Martina Dickson, Hanadi Kadbey, Melissa Mcminn

Abstract:

Research has shown that anxiety and trepidation towards learning about science is prevalent among elementary school teachers in Western countries. It has also been shown repeatedly that pre-service and in-service teachers who show signs of anxiety towards science are; a) less likely to teach it at all, where they have some autonomy over this, b) less likely to teach it effectively c) ultimately that their students have lower attainment scores in science. It is therefore critically important to gauge pre-service teachers’ science anxiety levels early on whilst there are still possibilities to overturn some of the reasons behind these fears and avert these serious issues occurring later on. This study takes place in the capital of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) in the context of training local elementary school teachers. In the U.A.E., where Emirati teachers are already in the vast minority and attrition rates are high, it is important to offer as much support to pre-service teachers as possible. If pre-service teachers are graduating with high levels of science anxiety unabated, according to the research there is a very real concern that as generalist primary school teachers, their science teaching will be far from optimal. The aims of this research study were to ascertain the science anxiety levels of pre-service elementary teachers and to identify particular areas of their science anxiety, if appropriate. We surveyed 200 Emirati pre-service teachers and found that levels of science anxiety were directly related to their perceptions of performance in science exams, laboratory experiments and inquiry approaches to science learning. Whilst some studies have shown that science anxiety can decrease as students gain confidence in science knowledge by studying courses, we did not see this effect in our study. This is based upon a theoretical framework which holds that in some cases, science anxiety is related to lack of exposure to, or insecurity with science content itself which in some cases is alleviated by the students’ covering of material and greater confidence in the subject. Exploring this variable allowed us to explore whether students educated in schools influenced by the educational reform in Abu Dhabi have differing science anxiety levels from those who were educated prior to the reforms. We discuss the possible implications of these findings to the future teaching of science in Abu Dhabi public schools.

Keywords: Educational Reform, pre-service teachers, United Arab Emirates, science anxiety

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9 Employee Perception of Corporate Social Responsibility and Its Impact on Organizational Performance: Evidence from the UAE

Authors: Sherine Farouk, Fauzia Jabeen

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to examine the role played by ethical climate and CSR on organizational performance in public sector organizations. In particular, the research will shed light on the link between formalized ethical procedures and employee responses including corporate social responsibility, and organizational performance among public sector employees. Data was collected from 425 employees working in public sector organizations in Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates. Structural Equation Modeling will be used to test the proposed hypotheses. The paper contributes to the literature by being one of the first to study CSR and ethical climate within a Middle Eastern context, and will offer important implications for theory and practice.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, United Arab Emirates, organizational performance, ethical climate

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8 Innovation Management: A Comparative Analysis among Organizations from United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and China

Authors: Asmaa Abazaid, Maram Al-Ostah, Nadeen Abu-Zahra, Ruba Bawab, Refaat Abdel-Razek

Abstract:

Innovation audit is defined as a tool that can be used to reflect on how the innovation is managed in an organization. The aim of this study is to audit innovation in the second top Engineering Firms in the world, and one of the Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) companies that are working in United Arab Emirates (UAE). The obtained results are then compared with four international companies from China and Brazil. The Diamond model has been used for auditing innovation in the two companies in UAE to evaluate their innovation management and to identify each company’s strengths and weaknesses from an innovation perspective. The results of the comparison between the two companies (Jacobs and Hyper General Contracting) revealed that Jacobs has support for innovation, its innovation processes are well managed, the company is committed to the development of its employees worldwide and the innovation system is flexible. Jacobs was doing best in all innovation management dimensions: strategy, process, organization, linkages and learning, while Hyper General Contracting did not score as Jacobs in any of the innovation dimensions. Furthermore, the audit results of both companies were compared with international companies to examine how well the two construction companies in UAE manage innovation relative to SABIC (Saudi company), Poly Easy and Arnious (Brazilian companies), Huagong tools and Guizohou Yibai (Chinese companies). The results revealed that Jacobs is doing best in learning and organization dimensions, while PolyEasy and Jacobs are equal in the linkage dimension. Huagong Tools scored the highest score in process dimension among all the compared companies. However, the highest score of strategy dimension was given to PolyEasy. On the other hand, Hyper General Contracting scored the lowest in all of the innovation management dimensions. It needs to improve its management of all the innovation management dimensions with special attention to be given to strategy, process, and linkage as they got scores below 4 out of 7 comparing with other dimensions. Jacobs scored the highest in three innovation management dimensions related to the six companies. However, the strategy dimension is considered low, and special attention is needed in this dimension.

Keywords: Innovation Management, Saudi Arabia, China, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, innovation audit, innovation evaluation

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7 Language Literacy Attrition: An Empirical Investigation

Authors: Ahmad Al-Issa

Abstract:

Our world is now operating under the auspices of globalization with its attendant language of ‘global English.' In many parts of the world, the need for English is often accepted without much thought given to native languages. Indeed, this is the current situation in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with English encroaching into all areas of society, and especially forcefully into the education sector, where English as a medium of instruction (EMI) is on the rise. At the same time, Arabic literacy (i.e., the ability to read and write in Arabic) is declining among the UAE youth. Using a mixed-methods design, a study was conducted to gain insights into the use of Arabic by Emirati University students. The study examines how often Emiratis, males and females, use their native language (Arabic) in their daily lives, how they view their reading and writing skills in Arabic vis-à-vis their English literacy skills, and the extent to which they can demonstrate their literacy skills in Arabic. Clear evidence emerged showing that while Arabic as a dialect continues to be spoken on a daily basis, Arabic literacy is unquestionably losing ground. This was found to be motivated by educational, political, societal, and personal forces. These findings and their implications to language policy and existing bilingualism programs will be discussed. Suggestions for further research will also be made.

Keywords: Globalization, United Arab Emirates, Arabic, global English, literacy attrition

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6 Social Stratification in Dubai and Its Effects on Higher Education

Authors: P. J. Moore-Jones

Abstract:

Emirati students studying at the University of the Emirates, one of three major public institutions of higher learning in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have a wide demographic of faculty members teaching them an equally wide variety of courses. These faculty members bring with them their own cultural assumptions, methods, expectations, educational practices and use of language. The history of multiculturalism in the UAE coupled with the contemporary multiculturalism that exists in higher education Dubai create intriguing phenomena within the classroom. This study seeks to delve into students’ and faculty members’ perceptions of the social stratification that exist in this context. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews with both and analyzed from an interpretive perspective. Findings suggest the social stratification with is deeply-seeded in the multicultural history of the region and country are reflected in the everyday interworkings of education in modern day Dubai. The relevance of this research lies in that these findings can provide valuable insights into not only the attitudes and perceptions of these Emirati students might also be applicable to any of those student populations may exist.

Keywords: Social Stratification, United Arab Emirates, Dubai, intercultural competence

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5 Rear Seat Belt Use in Developing Countries: A Case Study from the United Arab Emirates

Authors: Salaheddine Bendak, Sara S. Alnaqbi

Abstract:

The seat belt is a vital tool in improving traffic safety conditions and minimising injuries due to traffic accidents. Most developing countries are facing a big problems associated with the human and financial losses due to traffic accidents. One way to minimise these losses is the use of seat belts by passengers both in the front and rear seats of a vehicle; however, at the same time, close to nothing is known about the rates of seat belt utilisation among rear seat passengers in many developing countries. Therefore, there is a need to estimate these rates in order to know the extent of this problem and how people interact with traffic safety measures like seat belts and find demographic characteristics that contribute to wearing or non-wearing of seat belts with the aim of finding solutions to improve wearing rates. In this paper, an observational study was done to gather data on restraints use in motor vehicle rear seats in eight observational stations in a rapidly developing country, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and estimate a use rate for the whole country. Also, a questionnaire was used in order to study demographic characteristics affecting the wearing of seatbelts in rear seats. Results of the observational study showed that the overall wearing/usage rate was 12.3%, which is considered very low when compared to other countries. Survey results show that single, male, less educated passengers from Arab and South Asian backgrounds use seat belts reportedly less than others. Finally, solutions are put forward to improve this wearing rate based on the results of this study.

Keywords: United Arab Emirates, Seat belts, traffic crashes, rear seats

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4 Establishing a Genetic Link between Fat Mass and Obesity Associated and Vitamin D Receptor Gene Polymorphisms and Obesity in the Emirati Population

Authors: Saad Mahmud Khan, Sarah El Hajj Chehadeh, Mehera Abdulrahman, Wael Osman, Habiba Al Safar

Abstract:

Obesity is a non-communicable disease that is widely prevalent with approximately 600 million people classified as obese worldwide. Its etiology is multifactorial and involves a complex interplay between genes and the environment. Over the past few decades, obesity rates among the Emirati population have been increasing. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of candidate gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), namely the fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) gene SNP rs9939609 and Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) gene SNP rs1544410, with obesity in the UAE population. Methods: This is a case-control study in which 414 individuals were enrolled during their routine visit to endocrinology clinics in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates between the period of June 2012 and December 2013. Several biochemical tests and clinical assessments along with a lifestyle questionnaire for each participant were completed at the clinic. Genomic DNA was extracted from saliva samples of 201 obese, 114 overweight and 99 normal subjects. Genotyping for the variants was performed using TaqMan assay. Results: The mean Body Mass Index (BMI) ± SD for the obese, overweight, and normal subjects was 35.76 ± 4.54, 27.53 ± 1.45 and 22.69 ± 1.84 kg/m2, respectively. Increasing BMI values were associated with an increase in values for systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, HbA1c, and triglycerides. The SNP rs9939609 in the FTO gene was found to be significantly associated with the BMI (p=0.028), with the minor allele A having a clear additive effect on BMI values. No significant association was detected between BMI and rs1544410 of the VDR gene. Conclusions: Our study findings indicate that the minor allele A of the rs9939609 has a significant association with increasing BMI values. In addition, our findings support the fact that increasing BMI is associated with increasing risks of other comorbidities such as higher blood pressure, poorer glycemic control and higher triglycerides.

Keywords: Obesity, body mass index, United Arab Emirates, FTO gene, rs9939609

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3 Regulation and Transparency: The Case of Corporate Governance Disclosure on the Internet in the United Arab Emirates

Authors: Peter Oyelere, Fernando Zanella

Abstract:

Corporate governance is one of the most discussed and researched issues in recent times in countries around the world, with different countries developing and adopting different governance structures, models and mechanisms. While the Codes of corporate governance have been weaved into the regulatory fabrics of most countries, it is equally critically important that their mechanisms, procedures and practices be transparent, and be transparently communicated to all stakeholders. The Internet can be a very useful and cost-effective tool for the timely and voluntary communication of corporate governance matters to stakeholders. The current paper details the results of an investigation on the extent of which companies listed in the UAE are using the Internet for communicating corporate governance issues, matters and procedures. We surveyed the websites of companies listed on the two UAE Stock Exchanges – the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange (ADX) and the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) – to find out their level and nature of usage of the Internet for corporate governance disclosures. Regulatory and policy implications of the results of our investigation, as well as other areas for further studies, are also presented in the paper.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, Regulation, Transparency, United Arab Emirates, internet financial reporting

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2 Determinants of Youth Engagement with Health Information on Social Media Platforms in United Arab Emirates

Authors: Niyi Awofeso, Yunes Gaber, Moyosola Bamidele

Abstract:

Since most social media platforms are accessible anytime and anywhere where Internet connections and smartphones are available, the invisibility of the reader raises questions about accuracy, appropriateness and comprehensibility of social media communication. Furthermore, the identity and motives of individuals and organizations who post articles on social media sites are not always transparent. In the health sector, through socially networked platforms constitute a common source of health-related information, given their purported wealth of information. Nevertheless, fake blogs and sponsored postings for marketing 'natural cures' pervade most commonly used social media platforms, thus complicating readers’ abilities to access and understand trustworthy health-related information. This purposive sampling study of 120 participants aged 18-35 year in UAE was conducted between September and December 2017, and explored commonly used social media platforms, frequency of use of social media for accessing health related information, and approaches for assessing the trustworthiness of health information on social media platforms. Results indicate that WhatsApp (95%), Instagram (87%) and Youtube (82%) were the most commonly used social media platforms among respondents. Majority of respondents (81%) indicated that they regularly access social media to get health-associated information. More than half of respondents (55%) with non-chronic health status relied on unsolicited messages to obtain health-related information. Doctors’ health blogs (21%) and social media sites of international healthcare organizations (20%) constitute the most trusted source of health information among respondents, with UAE government health agencies’ social media accounts trusted by 15% of respondents. Cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and hypertension were the most commonly searched topics on social media (29%), followed by nutrition (20%) and skin care (16%). Majority of respondents (41%) rely on reliability of hits on Google search engines, 22% check for health information only from 'reliable' social media sites, while 8% utilize 'logic' to ascertain reliability of health information. As social media has rapidly become an integral part of the health landscape, it is important that health care policy makers, healthcare providers and social media companies collaborate to promote the positive aspects of social media for young people, whilst mitigating the potential negatives. Utilizing popular social media platforms for posting reader-friendly health information will achieve high coverage. Improving youth digital literacy will facilitate easier access to trustworthy information on the internet.

Keywords: Social Media, digital literacy, United Arab Emirates, youth engagement

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1 Causality between the Construction Industry and the GDP in the United Arab Emirates

Authors: Hasan S. Mahmoud, Salwa M. Beheiry, Vian Ahmed

Abstract:

In light of the repercussions of the 2008 global economic crisis, the response of the United Arab Emirates economy and growth, and the vast construction activities that are undergoing, there is a need to investigate the relationship between construction activities and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This study aims to investigate the causality relationship between the construction industry in the United Arab Emirates and the GDP of the country in the last decade. For that, this study will investigate the relationship between the growth of the GDP and the growth of construction activities and their value addition to the economy. To ascertain this relationship, Granger Causality method is used to identify the causality between the time-dependent series.

Keywords: granger causality, United Arab Emirates, construction value addition, growth of gross domestic product

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