Switzerland Tourism – Swiss Arab Network Workshop on 18th September 2014 in Geneva
“The participants enjoyed the presentation very much. It definitely gave us another insight into the Arabic culture and behaviours, even though some of us had already a certain knowledge. Especially the language lesson and the practical approach was beneficial for our day to day business. The learnings are a vital part to understand our guests even better. Thank you very much to all of you for your enthusiastic and inspiring speeches including the entertaining lesson.”
On the invitation of Switzerland Tourism Dubai, on 18 September 2014, Swiss Arab Network presented a three-part workshop to some fifty Hotel Managers in the Hotel Mandarin Oriental in Geneva on the topics of Culture & Mentality of the Arabs in the Middle East, Halal Food and Products and Arabic language particularities.
In her presentation, Jacqueline Erb addressed the origins of the Arab spirit and the characteristics of the Arab culture. She showed how the noble values of the Bedouins continue to play an important role in the Arab society and how recognition and appraisal of cultural differences are crucial to welcome the people from the Gulf States and to make them feel comfortable. She went into the characteristics of Islam and completed her presentation with ten tips for Hotel Managers –do’s & dont’s.
In the second part, Mounir Khouzami explained what Halal means for tourism, what is allowed and what is not. He showed that Halal in fact means a whole set of rules, influencing all aspects of life such as food, hygiene, clothing and more. Mounir showed that it only takes a little effort to express esteem in preparing just some basic items for Arab guests. Why not offer a bottle of Halal Champagne? Dates? Or why not to replace the Bible with a copy of the Quran – but please note that the Quran needs to be put in a clean place at eye level!
The third part was dedicated to the Arabic language, the system of Arabic names and other language particularities. In her lively manner Jacqueline motivated the audience to speak Arabic, while teaching them welcome greetings and some nice sayings that can serve as door openers.
Both speakers were assisted by a team of Swiss Arab Network experts, Farhan Tufail, Omar Lahyani, Sahit Cerimi, and Sofiane Ghorbel. Our words of appreciation also go to Slim Habli in Dubai who made the workshop possible and Khaldoun Dia-Eddine who supervised the event.