Orange County Visitors Association: Welcoming Our Middle Eastern Guests to Orange County

A video entitled ‘Welcoming Our Middle Eastern Guests to Orange County’ was recently released by Orange County Visitors Association (OCVA), in association with the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding, in a bid to educate local business owners, community members and professionals from the local hospitality, tourism and retail industries on how to optimise the experiences of Middle Eastern visitors to Orange County in California.

The video sheds light on cultural differences and teaches etiquette for communicating and interacting with Middle Eastern visitors.


Commenting on the initiative was CEO, OCVA, Ed Fuller: “As the first tourism promotional body from the United States to have a permanent presence in the Middle East, we felt it important to produce a cultural training tool in order for our friendly service industry professionals in Southern California to even better serve our increasing number of guests from the Middle East.

“It’s important that we bridge differences with mutual understanding in order to ensure Middle Eastern guests can fully enjoy all that Orange County has to offer. In this regard, the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding was the perfect partner in helping us achieve these goals and we are extremely grateful for all their assistance and expertise in making this video possible,” Fuller enthused.

Also commenting on the educational video was managing director, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding, Nasif Kayed: “Operating under the centre’s philosophy and motto ‘Open Doors. Open Minds.’, the centre strives to raise awareness and demystify the local culture, customs and religion of the UAE. With an overall objective to improve cross-cultural understanding and communication, we are delighted to join this project spearheaded by the Orange County Visitors Association. As an Emirati, their initiative to reach out to the people of the GCC in this way is greatly appreciated and I’m sure will result in many GCC nationals and expatriates increasingly visiting Orange County.”

The cultural training video is the second in a series produced by OCVA (the first video focused on highlighting cultural techniques in welcoming visitors from China). It covers topics spanning social and cultural norms and values to social etiquette for business relationships.

This newly launched initiative complements OCVA’s recently launched travel campaign which is exclusively for visitors from the Middle East.  The OC & ME campaign provides visitors with complimentary VIP personal shopper experiences along with thousands of dollars-worth of shopping discounts and bargains at Orange County’s leading shopping lifestyle destinations.

Also due to benefit Middle Eastern guests, the OCVA has recently launched an Arabic and English website along with social media channels specifically tailored for Middle Eastern guests.