The United Arab Emirates is a small federation of seven independent states and is located in the Persian Gulf. It is one of the world’s leading producers and suppliers of oil. After the formation of the Federation in 1972 the nation has evolved to become a major business and financial hub of the Middle East. The official religion is Islam and the official language is Arabic. 87% of the country’s workforce is composed of foreigners known and referred to as the expatriate population.

Since a larger number of UAE nationals are now entering the wok force there is a growing demand in the UAE for training programs to effectively train new recruits. Additionally as new technologies and methodologies get introduced in the country the demand to train professionals to utilize these new systems grows. With the surge in the demand for training comes the desire to implement and employ training programs which impart the desired skills in a manner which is both productive and effective.

This paper seeks to summarize three articles which deal with effective training programs in the UAE. The majority of these articles deal with online training programs which are gaining popularity in the country and can easily be used to determine effectiveness through reporting capabilities and online learning tests. The first article “English goes Global via Online Training” is written by Michael Sisk and was published in the periodical Bank Technology News in July 2008.

The article deals with the one of the most essential training needs that employers in the UAE face: Improving English Language Skills The article discusses how rapid globalization has increased the requirement for improved English efficiency in the Organization. The crux of the article talks about an e-learning tool to teach business English in Organizations known as Global English. Developed 10 years ago and used by more than 450 clients across the world Global English provides a scalable online solution to companies English training needs.

In the UAE this service is being increasingly marketed to Banks as banking acquisitions on a global level often create a multicultural workforce and the need to communicate in a common language. The most commonly accepted medium of communication in these circumstances is often English. Global English empowers bank employees to communicate better with the management and their employers. Global English offers a number of advantages to the management of an organization.

It is scaleable and cost effective for banks as they no longer have to arrange for formal classroom trainings with expensive English Language instructors. It is also available anywhere as compared to English Language instructors who may be difficult to find in some countries or cities. This online tool is available 24 hours a day and employees can also train from home if they login through an online platform. Also this software provides a more focused one to one interactive learning experience than what can be offered in a classroom setting.

The interactive nature of these learning programs enable the students to apply their learning to real life business situations such as apologizing to the customer. Global English has an excellent reporting capability which enables management to monitor how many employees are using the training program; how long they are spending on it; the improvement they have achieved and most importantly how productivity has increased due to improved English proficiency. The increase in productivity as a result of effective training is determined through a series of surveys.

The article cites how Emirates Bank a locally owned bank has effectively utilized Global English to improve the English proficiency of its staff. The Bank uses the online training software to train new local recruits. In line with the UAE Governments policy to recruit more UAE nationals in the financial sector the bank uses this online tool to improve English capabilities of Arabic speaking UAE national recruits in an attempt to enable them to communicate better with expat employees and help in transition of from expat employees in the future.

The bank reports that prior to the implementation of these programs it could only train 90 employees in a classroom setting but after the implementation it can train 500 students for the same amount of money because classroom time and teaching cost has reduced. (Sisk 2008) The Bank also reports that 85 percent of its new recruits successfully pass the program and that there has been a 50 percent improvement in the English level skills than there was using the old classroom setting approach.

The second article “Emirates Group selects Plateau Systems for enterprise-wide learning management” by Moussa Ahmad was published in Business Intelligence Middle East News in July 2007. The article deals with Emirates Airline one of the biggest entities in the country adopting a Learning Management system known as Plateau to achieve training effectiveness in the learning and development functions of its globally based workforce.

The Plateau system achieves greater effectiveness as a learning tool because it adopts a learner centric approach to training which enables employees to take responsibility of their own learning and development. This leaves the learning development professionals to focus more on enhancing performance and facilitating training. Some of the capabilities of the software include scheduling registration course delivery tracking scalability and ability to integrate with other tools. All these capabilities will be used to track and improve the companies training effectiveness and enhance performance of the employees.

One of the chief reasons that the company has given for the selection of this software is its strong customer satisfaction ratings as well as compliance with important industry standards such as SCORM and AICC. (Ahmad 2007) Plateau’s award winning training program has been implemented very successfully and with achieved significant training effectiveness in global organizations such as the American Red Cross, General Electric, Capital One Services and the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA)

The third article “Online Learning in the Arab World” by Nidhal Guessoum was published in the e-Learn Magazine in 2006. The article deals with factors that determine the growth and effectiveness of online training in the Arab World including the UAE. Some of the main factors that the article cites as having effected the growth and effectiveness of online training in the Arab world include the regions reliance on Arabic based learning language. In order for online learning to grow more rampant online training programs must operate in Arabic as opposed to English which many of them use at the moment.

The second factor is the reliance of these training programs on a digital infrastructure which is well developed in some Arab countries particularly the in the Persian Gulf Region but needs to be more rapidly employed in workplaces and schools. The article discuss the growing demand for online training and estimates the e-learning market in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at $14 million in 2006 with an estimated increase to$56 million by 2008.

It also estimates that online education spending in the Arab Gulf region will reach $240 million by the end of 2009 (Guessoum 2006), with Saudi Arabia and the UAE representing about 80 percent of the total. Population. The article also states that while Saudi Arabia leads in academic e-learning, the UAE leads in business e-learning services. The articles goes on to discuss how Government initiative has helped improve e-learning in the region and how UAE educational institutes such as the Zayed University and the American University of Sharjah have implemented it in its teaching methodology.

The article ends by citing two new hurdles to effective online training in the Arab World in general and the UAE in particular. One is the fear and ambiguity surrounding online examinations and how effective they are in gauging learning. The second is the distrust surrounding e-learning and sceptical attitude that learning electronically through online communication and interface will not yield the same results as face to face interaction.

Works Cited

Sisk Michael (July 2008): English goes Global via Online Training Bank.Technology News Retrieved May 5 2010 from the Website www. americanbanker. com/btn_issues/21_7/-357013-1. html Ahmad Moussa (July 2007): Emirates Group selects Plateau Systems for enterprise-wide learning management. Business Intelligence Middle East Retrieved May 5 2010 from the website www. bi-me. com/main. php? id=11292&t=1 Guessoum Nidhal (2006): Online Learning in the Arab World E-Learn Magazine Retrieved May 5 2010 online from the website http://www. elearnmag. org/subpage. cfm? section=articles&article=40-1

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