Reimara Valk - 0000-0001-6612-2391

Article Type

Research Article


The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of the socio-cultural concept ‘Wasta’ as well as religious values and principles in employee engagement in the hospitality industry in the United Arab Emirates, embedded in the country’s socio-economic, cultural and institutional context. This study investigates employee engagement through the theoretical lenses of Positive Psychology and Positive Organizational Scholarship. Drawing on data from semi-structured interviews and focus groups with 41 employees in the case study hotel in Dubai, findings from this case study research show that the manifestation of EE is influenced by a country’s religious and socio-cultural context.


employee engagement; hospitality industry; Middle East Gulf region; United Arab Emirates; Dubai