How much of a culture shock is the Middle East?


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Moving anywhere will result in changes that can sometimes be hard to adjust to. A vastly different place can result in new residents feeling out of place and like they will never fit in. With more and more business opportunities becoming available in the Middle East, many new college graduates find themselves tempted to make the move. Here are some things to consider if you are considering a move to the Middle East:


Respect customs

Every country has different customs. The Middle East varies a lot by country. There is a misconception, for example, that women must completely cover themselves in the Middle East, but the truth is a lot more complicated than that. In Saudi Arabia women are expected to wear a burka or cover themselves well, while some other countries have much less strict codes. Life is a lot easier for those who pay proper respect to social customs in the country they are living in.

Interact with locals and embrace the culture

All too often expatriates limit their social group to other expatriates. This is unfortunate because the local people are generally very friendly. If you are going to live somewhere, it is best to immerse yourself in the culture and people so that you can begin to find your place in your new home country. Market squares and festivals are great places to meet local people. Don’t be too hesitant to try different foods and beverages – not everything that you are used to eating is going to be available all the time. There are many stereotypes that exist about the Middle East and many of them are exaggerated or entirely false. Keeping an open mind regarding people and customs means that you will judge others based on what you actually experience.


Arrange accommodation well ahead of time

Finding a great place to live can be challenging anywhere. Some westerners will want to make sure they are near a doctor that can accommodate their healthcare needs, while others might be concerned about educational opportunities.Fahad Al Rajaan, MD Kuwait Real Estate Investment Consortium has years of experience in the real estate industry. His real estate firm can help find a new home that is appropriate for you and/or your business. Having your accommodation in order well ahead of your arrival will help ease your transition into Middle Eastern life.

Keep in contact with loved ones

We are lucky to live in a time when communications are so much easier than back in the days of letters. International communication is not at all expensive anymore, so there is little reason to not stay in good contact with your friends and loved ones. Skype and other services make it easy to video chat or just send video messages. These types of technology can help people overcome the communications barriers created by significant time zone and work schedule differences. The words and support of those you care about can mean a lot as you transition to your new way of life.