The professional world of the U.A.E , and especially Dubai, is a very fast paced one indeed. I mean come on, we have the tallest building in the world Burj Khalifa, the largest mall The Dubai Mall , the fastest roller coaster at Ferrari World. You name it, we've got it (even obesity).
Everyone's used to larger, bigger, faster, shinier and more technologically advanced communications tools. (Including the iPhone4 and the Blackberry). In all parts of the world people want to look good. Now "good" can be used very broadly and by "good" i mean Fancy, Shiny, New, Up-to-Date, Busy, Important, Rich... I think you get my drift.
Don't get me wrong I LOVE the UAE, and I am one of the many people that also cares about the way people perceive me. I am very aware of how people are judged (or think they are judged) by the types of phone that I/we own.
Technology, commerce, trade... all this things have been picked up so quickly by a country as young as the UAE, that places alot of importance on instant gratification, that people have missed out on something very vital... Etiquette.
Some rules of thumb for all us blackberry users:
1. If you are in a meeting, put your phone away.
Not on the desk in front of you, and not just on silent. AWAAAY! Turn OFF the vibration, better yet... turn off the phone! Out of site, out of mind. If you are expecting an important phone call and the call comes through during the meeting, excuse yourself and leave the meeting, and come back when your done.
2.If you are in the office, or out socialising, turn off your notifications.
I'm sure you find it extremely annoying when your phone is constantly beeping away, as do others. It is extremely distracting. Change the profile to vibrate and keep it in your pocket.
3. When typing a BBM, SMS or an Email...
Avoid doing so within close proximity to strangers. They will feel uncomfortable for being tempted to snoop and you will feel hateful towards them for reading your emails. You could buy a screen protector.
4. Avoid eyeing your blackberry when chatting to a friend.
We are all guilty of this... how many times have I seen (or have been in ) a situation where people are glued to their communications devices when out with their friends... effectively outcasting themselves and their friends by NOT communicating to them.
5. Please please please please NO BROADCASTS.
I know that some of the jokes we receive are incredibly hilarious and possibly even a relief. But it is really annoying when you receive the same broadcast ten times from ten different people.
(Though I must admit broadcasts about new speed cameras are gladly received!)
Blackberries are great communications devices, and are excellent when you need to send an emergency email or if your out of the office heading to/from a meeting (not at a meeting!) they can be excellent help when looking for directions. However, you should try not to use it in excess. Especially when you stop physically communicating with people in favour of digital communication.