Cross cultural project management characteristics between Australia and the United Arab Emirates

Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Published Version.

Cerimagic, S. (2010). Cross cultural project management characteristics between Australia and the United Arab Emirates. Paper presented at the Construction, Building and Real Estate research conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS): COBRA 2010, Paris, France.

Access the conference website.

© Copyright RICS, 2010




The massive infrastructure and building works expansion in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) region in the last decade resulted in the recruitment of many expatriate project professionals in various capacities. This expatriate recruitment has contributed to a high turnover of expatriate staff in the UAE, when compared to their countries of origin. There has also been a rapid expansion of international businesses to the UAE; many Western corporations have extended their operations to the Middle East. Consequently some problems can arise because many expatriate managers cannot adjust to a foreign environment and hence many projects are more likely to fail.

The aim this paper is to discover whether Australian (and other) project managers in the UAE are appropriately prepared and cross-culturally trained for their overseas assignment, and whether that cross-cultural training is helpful to successful practice and to their training.

Australian project managers have undertaken a 49 question survey to identify and evaluate key factors relevant to the UAE environment. Preliminary findings in the paper indicate that understanding the factors that improve expatriate performance in international environments has become a vital human resource issue. The success of expatriate project managers is greatly influenced by appropriate preparation before their departure.



This document has been peer reviewed.