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Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum: Cultural Diplomacy

Cultural diplomacy is a specific kind of soft power and public diplomacy that incorporates the mutual exchange of information, ideas, and cultural concepts for maintaining trusting ties between different parties. The primary goal of cultural diplomacy is fostering a mutual understanding of the national ideals of parties with an effort to develop extensive support for political and economic goals and objectives. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was the most prominent UAE diplomat and a true leader who often said that “honesty is the road to success” (qt. in Meah par. 33), so discussions about the cultural specifics should be based on honesty. When it comes to answering the question of what diplomats can do to enhance cultural diplomacy, he or she should be honest, attentive, and interactive with another party.

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As to be honest, Sheikh Mohammed was always advocating for open conversations with diplomatic partners to establish trusting relationships with the representatives of other cultures. By being honest, a diplomat will show his or her respect for other cultures. An honest diplomat is likely to be known as a person that has a keen eye for interesting aspects of foreign cultures and welcoming of others regardless of the background. This will help a diplomat to create and maintain a network of people involved in the practice of cultural diplomacy.


Attention goes hand-in-hand with the concept of honesty. During interactions, a diplomat needs to listen carefully to what other parties say and suggest to avoid miscommunication. Attention is important in the context of cultural diplomacy since the peculiarities of some cultures may be hard to understand. For instance, a British woman-diplomat may come across the tradition of UAE women wearing hijabs, and this may cause some issues. Therefore, to preserve trusting relationships between UAE and Britain, the diplomat should be attentive to the tradition and wear a hijab as a demonstration of respect and loyalty. On the other hand, UAE diplomats should also understand that the British culture is different and that any rules of dress code do not restrict women.


When communicating with others, it is essential for diplomats to be interactive and transferring the specific characteristics aspects of both cultures. According to the report conducted by Ali Alteneiji, the culture of the United Arab Emirates is grounded on religious values and rituals that communities practice in their daily lives (9). These characteristics are dramatically different from practices inherent to Western societies, so diplomats must be interactive and explain the traditions of their cultures.


In conclusion, the three mentioned aspects have been defined as diplomats to practice cultural diplomacy. Honesty, attentiveness, and interactiveness are key components that can ensure that the parties of the discussion about cultures build trusting relationships and facilitate the exchange of knowledge. In many instances, diplomats have to deal with the representatives of cultures, which they do not understand. To close the gaps and eliminate the existing barriers, diplomats are responsible for creating and maintaining an environment where they could participate in honest conversations and sharing of knowledge regarding the peculiarities of different cultures. Overall, there is room for improvement when it comes to cultural diplomacy since the modern diplomatic environment changes and evolves with each day.

Works Cited

Alteneiji, Ebtesam Ali. “Leadership Cultural Values of United Arab Emirates – The Case of United Arab Emirates University.” Sandiego Edu. 2015. Web.

Meah, Asad. “40 Inspirational Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum Quotes.Awaken the Greatness Within. 2016. Web.

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