New york and Dubai
Course Pack March 2019


United States of America (USA) is a federal country of 50 states covering a vast area of North America. By total area, USA is the third largest in the world covering 9.8 million square kilometers with an estimated population of 350 million people as of 2016. The capital is Washington D.C. USA is a highly developed economy with the largest nominal GDP. It is ranked competitively high in several socioeconomic measures such as human development, socioeconomic performance, productivity, financial market development and many more.


The history of New York (one of the busiest economic hubs of USA) begins around 10,000 BC, when the first Native Americans arrived. By 1100 AD, New York’s main native cultures, the Iroquoian and Algonquian, had developed. European discovery of New York was led by the French in 1524 and the first land claim came in 1609 by the Dutch. As part of New Netherland, the colony was important in the fur trade and eventually became an agricultural resource, thanks to the patroon system. In 1626, the Dutch bought the Island of Manhattan from Native Americans. England, in 1664 renamed the colony New York, after the Duke of York (later James II u0026amp; VII.) New York City gained prominence in the 18th century as a major trading port in the Thirteen Colonies.


New York is divided into five boroughs – BrooklynQueensStaten IslandBronx, and Manhattan. The latter borough is where you will find most of the city’s top attractions, such as the Empire State Building, Central Park, Times Square, the Chrysler Building and more; and ferries to the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island depart from Lower Manhattan. For the best views of Manhattan, it is said one is to visit the Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Centre.


New York City is about 300 square miles in size. In the city, one mile is roughly equal to 20 streets, with one avenue equivalent to three streets in length. During your walk in the city, you will notice that the Village and SoHo lack the super-tall skyscrapers that other sections of the city have. This is because the middle of the city is situated on soft soil that is not conducive to skyscraper construction. According to, “The southern tip and center of the island are virtually solid granite.” Because of this geologic arrangement, Manhattan’s tallest buildings are located in these two large “rocky” areas.”



United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an Arabian Peninsula country situated along the Persian Gulf. As a former British Colony, the country had its independence in 1971. UAE, once a fishing and pearl industry country, has grown from a quiet backwater to one of Middle East’s enviable and most important economic and recreational destination since the discovering of oil about three decades ago. It has seven federation of emirates with Abu Dhabi as its capital. UAE borders Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south. It also shares maritime borders with Qatar and Iran. The estimated population of UAE stood around 5.95 million (as of 2016), of which 88% are immigrates and predominantly Muslims. Arabic is the official language.


UAE has an open market economy with very high per capita income. The government over the years has increase spending on job creation and massive infrastructure developments. The country practices some level of free trade zone policies that offer 100% foreign ownership and zero taxes to attract investors. For the past few decades, it has been attracting huge investments in high technological industries and services. The discovery of oil in commercial quantities and the opening up of the country’s economy have attracted substantial proportion of foreign direct investment, with others choosing this Persian Gulf state as their preferred tourist destination.


Dubai, UAE’s largest, most populous and luxurious city, located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf, is home to beautiful shopping malls, ultramodern architecture and nightlife scenes. The city has become iconic for its skyscrapers and has attracted global attention as one of the internationally competitive destinations for businessmen (and/or businesswomen) and tourist alike


As global leaders, it is vital to understand business and socio-economic culture of countries around the world. This course is on-field learning which will expose students to a unique experience covering the following key issues:


  • Review the history, social-cultural background, and political economy of USA (New York) and UAE (Dubai).
  • Overview of USA (New York) and UAE (Dubai)’s economic performance.
  • South African corporate investments in USA (New York) and UAE (Dubai).
  • USA (New York) and UAE (Dubai) economic success and challenges
  • Degree of USA (New York) and UAE (Dubai) interest in South Africa and the Africa continent.
  • Nature of global investment in USA and UAE.
  • Influence of UAE and North America’s investment in South Africa.
  • Arab and American employees’ values and behaviours.
  • Assess the risks and opportunities of doing business in USA (New York) and UAE (Dubai).
  • The central role of politics in doing business in these countries.
  • Private enterprise and the specific challenges facing start-ups.
  • The special and evolving characteristic of USA and UAE capital markets and related risks
  • The emergence of an increasingly powerful middle class and its impact on the consumer market and corporate social responsibility.

This study tour will expose students to different economies and cultures in various destinations. It is designed to expose the student to different organisations in USA (New York) and UAE (Dubai) including business schools, government agencies, state owned enterprises and private corporations.


At the end this course, students will be able to:

  • Develop contemporary knowledge about business practices in USA (New York) and UAE (Dubai) which will assist them to appraise the basics and standard protocol of interactions with the business environment in these countries.
  • Critically assess the economies of USA and UAE and determine their strengths and weaknesses for doing business.
  • Compare and contrast different cultures and the way of life in USA and UAE as in relation to South Africa and Africa as a whole.
  • Evaluate and analyse business models of selected companies in USA (New York) and UAE (Dubai).

Curriculum tied to the Context in South Africa
The study tour draws on diverse experiences of South African companies in various markets. Here, the extensive use of company site visits shows comparisons between the company’s operations in USA (New York) and UAE (Dubai) with South Africa.


Curriculum tied to Context in African and other Dynamic Emerging Market Economies
The overarching objective is to identify opportunities for growth of the African continent, especially in the midst of the US-China trade war and the associated drop in commodity and asset prices. The focus is to map these global issues to the level of individual African countries and major firms therein, thus enabling students to begin to address these issues at management level.


With the use of company and institution visits, the study tour addresses the optimality of overall resource allocation in economies and its role in economic systems such as free markets and command economies and mixtures thereof in USA (New York) and UAE (Dubai).


Entrepreneurial Action
The institution and company visits provide insight into innovation and entrepreneurial action and (managed) risk-taking, thus enabling students to make decisions at a management level.


Critical Engagement
By focusing on examples of successful and unsuccessful business ventures in Africa and emerging markets, the course enables the student to acquire a better perspective on foreseeable and unforeseeable consequences of action and business decisions.

Course assesment and assignments

Learning Contract

Please note, all visits and events on the global study tour are MANDATORY. Please refer to the standing orders regarding the tours. As a student, you should review the Learning Contract and ensure you are fully aware of the methods and implications of the assessment approach as mark allocations cannot be changed retrospectively. If you have any concerns about the assessment, you should raise this with your tour leader at the start of the course.


The Importance of Preparation for the Study Tour

The above readings should be read before departure. Students should also research on the companies that will be visited. The scope of this course covers a wide range of topics, thus a variety of readings have been carefully selected to provide different perspectives. It is essential that students focus on these readings and embark on company research. Appended with the readings are the links for ease of access. However, should you encounter any problems with the links provided consult the WITS library e-journals catalogue or consult the WBS Librarian.


Teaching Methods

Teaching emphasis in the MBA Global Study Tour is experiential and involves on-site action learning. The tour itself would entail visits to one or more destinations to provide broader international learning exposure for the student. Students should keep a learning log on insights that they gain from each business or organisation that they visit, and these logs are used for debrief sessions during the tour as well as to compile a post-study tour assignment on what they have learnt.


Copyright Statement

The articles, readings and cases included in this course pack have been copyright approved.

The Course Assessments will be Weighted as follows

  • 60% Individual Assignment.
  • 40% On-field Syndicate.

Please Note
A student is required to sign and attach the WBS Plagiarism Declaration to each assignment submitted.

These assignments relates to the following MBA themes
Context in African and other dynamic emerging market economies, sustainability and entrepreneurial action.


Based on the above MBA core themes, students will be exposed to experiential and on site learning, thus students will need to contextualize the selected country and company in line with strategic management decisions.


Choose ONE of the following assignments:


  1. Provide a PEST ANALYSIS of a South African company entering into USA (New York) OR UAE (Dubai).


  1. Provide a country risk profile for a company of your choice.


  1. Formulate a Business plan for a South African idea that will be viable in USA (New York) OR UAE (Dubai).


  1. Discuss your “take home learnings” from the trip:
  2. Discuss what you have learnt from the amazing race; what was new or different from what you have experienced before. Please include pictures to illustrate this.
  3. Please discuss each business meeting: Give some background information about the company and the environment that it operates within. Please highlight your key learning points from each meeting (at least 3 per meeting).
  4. Please discuss any other key learning points that you gained from going on this trip. (This can be anything you learnt either about yourself, the country, the people, your fellow travelers or anything not covered in the two points above.



  • The presentation can be in any format you desire, be it PowerPoint, word or any other format you wish to use;
  • A minimum of 2000 words is required;
  • Please submit a hardcopy to Karen Trent in the International Relations Office (IR Office, ground floor, Outeniqua House) with plagiarism declaration by 13h00;
  • Use 1.5 line spacing and 12 point font (Times New Roman);
  • Please ensure that you reference correctly as per WBS guidelines.


Penalty for Late Submission
For every calendar day, or part thereof, that the assignment submission is late, 10% will be deducted from your mark.

The purpose of this assignment is for you to think quickly on your feet. It is fun and interesting. You will be put in a syndicate group and will need to work as a team. The purpose of this assignment requires you to think out of the box and familiarise yourself with the environment. As a suggestion, download maps, know the history of the country, all online attractions and all modes of transport.


At the end of this exercise, each syndicate group must provide the following:

  • A brief report on the success, challenges and lessons learnt during the exercise (maximum 500 words).
  • Pictures of the locations visited and any other thing of interest relevant to the task.
  • A short video summarising the core of the assignment (professional editing not needed)
  • Provide receipts for the use of public transport and/or special facilities during the exercise.


  1. Provide all the above (except receipts on a memory stick).
  2. The tour leaders will provide details of the assignment.


  • Submission Deadline
    To be determined by lead academic/tour leader
  • Return Deadline
    To be determined by lead academic/tour leader
  • Mark allocation
    40% (Criterion will be provided on the day of the field-based assignment/Amazing Race)
  1. Ulrichsen, K.C., (2016). The Gulf States in international political economy. Palgrave Macmillan.
  2. Bogart, E.L., (2016). The economic history of the United States. Wentworth Press.
  3. Burner, D., Bernhard, V., Kutler, S.I., (2005). Firsthand America: A history of the United States. Wiley-Blackwell.

Additional Info and COntact Details

Dress Code
Kindly bring formal wear and business cards for company visits. The following dress code applies:

  • Conservative suits for men with subtle colours are the norm;
  • Women should avoid high heels and short-sleeved blouses;
  • Both men and women should wear subtle, neutral colours;
  • Casual dress should be conservative as well;
  • Men and women can wear jeans. However, jeans are not acceptable for business meetings.


Additional Information
Do not forget your travelling documents and electronic chargers. Obtain the relevant adaptor when travelling outside South Africa.


New York: Park Lane Hotel
Hospitality reception each evening between 17:00 – 19:00, includes:

  1. Hors d’oeuvres
  2. Wine, beer, bottled water, soft drinks and snacks


Additional amenities included:

  1. High-speed wireless Internet for up to 6 devices
  2. All local, long distance and international phone calls
  3. Unlimited use of our 24/7 Fitness Centre with treadmills, bikes, elliptical machines and free weights
  4. Unlimited use of our Business Centre
  5. Luggage Storage until 11:00 pm


Kindly consult these online resources for a few tips:

New York Weather.

Dubai Weather.


Travel Tips

New York city tips.

50 essential tips for first time travellers.

Dubai travel tips.



Google maps.

America atlas.

Middle East atlas.


Free WiFi.



New York 333 East 38th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10016

+1 (212) 213-4880
+1 (917) 200-8396



Khalid Bin Al Waleed Street
(also known as Bank Street)

3rd Floor, New Sharaf Building, Bur Dubai

Phone: + 971 4 397 5222


Email Contacts
Consul – Ms Geeta Daya


Consul – Ms Amy T Baard


Vice-Consul – Seelan Moodley


36 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019, USA

+1 (212) 371 4000



Building A, Al Seef, Dubai Creek-Dubai, United Arab Emirates



+ 971 4 707 7077



Dr Reene Horne

Lead Academic


+ 27 7 957 68754


Maurice Omane-Adjepong

Assistant Lead Academic


Dr Renee Horne


Dr Horne is an International Political Economist. She joined WBS in September 2013 as a Senior Lecturer in Economics and Business in Africa.  She is also the WBS Director of International Relations, a non-executive Director for the South African Supplier Diversity Council (SASDC) and a member of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa. Dr Horne is also a Senior Associate at the University of Johannesburg, School of Leadership.


Dr Horne holds five degrees, three degrees (BA – Law, Hons, MA) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and two degrees (MSc and PhD – IPE) from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her area of interest are: Business in Africa, BRICS economies, Macroeconomic Policy and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment.


With more than fifteen years’ experience as an award winning political journalist, war correspondent, editor and political economist, Dr Horne has been acknowledged by government, business and academics as an expert political economist and journalist on Sub Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Internationally, Dr Horne has advised governments, media and business on the political and economic policy of South Africa, Iraq, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Uganda. She has worked extensively in regions and countries such as East Africa, Southern Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the United States and Brazil, etc.


Dr Horne has worked with institutions such as Transparency International, Delta Economics, Royal Africa Society, Exclusive Analysis, Royal United Services Institute, BBC, SKY, ITV, SABC and the World Entrepreneur Society. During this period, she interviewed politicians and high profile personalities such as South African Presidents, Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma, former Finance Minister, Trevor Manuel, former Palestinian National Authority (PNA) President, Yasser Arafat and former Israeli Prime Minister, Shimon Peres.


Since 1994, Dr Horne has been a lecturer and guest speaker on Political Economy and International Relations in Africa and the Middle East at numerous institutions such as SOAS, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the University of Rhodes and Johannesburg University, John Hopkins University, and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington DC. Passionate about enterprise and skills development, she was also the Head of the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Unit.


Maurice Omane-Adjepong

Mr. Maurice Omane-Adjepong is currently a full-time second year doctoral research candidate at the Graduate School for Business Administration, University of The Witwatersrand. Until joining Wits University, he was a full-time lecturer at the Department of Economics and Statistics of Garden City University, Kumasi, Ghana.


He also tutored professional courses (quantitative techniques, optimization techniques, etc.) as part-time lecturer at Career Spring Institute, Kumasi, Ghana. Maurice obtained his Master of Philosophy in Applied Mathematics (with distinction) at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.


He is a member of International Association of Official Statisticians, the Nederland Association of Statistics and Operational Research, South African Statistical Association, and Golden Key International Society. His main research interest is on volatility modeling, market integration and forecasting, and application of statistics in development economics and finance. As a young practicing academic, Maurice has to his credentials a number of publications in ABS and ISI rated journals such as South African Journal of EconomicsApplied Economics Letters, and Physica A (Statistical Mechanics and its Applications).


He is currently working on a number of research topics including fractality and the co-evolution of sub-Saharan African (SSA) and global markets dynamic behaviours.


His PhD thesis dives into assets and commodity markets of BRICS. In his few years of academic practice, Maurice has garnered some levels of experiences from senior academics and students of different social and geographical backgrounds. He is modest, conservative and shares a Pan Africanist ideology.

Company visits and activities

  1. Henry Schein
  2. Sotheby’s
  3. Image photography
  5. Dubai Stock Exchange
  6. AdvaComm Associates LLC
  7. Nakheel
  1. UN Headquarters Guided Tour
  2. The Wall Street Experience
  3. The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
  4. Desert Safari

Student Commitments

Legal Declaration of Indemnity, Undertaking and Consent
  1. The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (hereafter referred to as ‘the University’) has insured itself for its liability arising from the acts and omissions of persons acting on its behalf, and that its registered students, staff and individuals who are subject to the University’s rules, regulations, policies, procedures and standing orders as amended from time to time are insured during the course and scope of their registered courses and/or within the scope of University’s business. This is subject to the proviso that the University’s maximum liability will be limited, whether for a single or multiple events, to the extent that is covered thereof;
  2. When the University arranges for me to travel to locations which are outside of the University’s precincts, and when traveling in vehicles which do not belong to the University’s and/or are not driven by University staff, I will enjoy only such cover as referred to in Section 1 above, provided that I depart and travel from the University’s precincts and return to it from an excursion arrange by the University, on a route agreed upon in advance by the University;
  3. In cases where no fault can be attributed to the University, I hereby indemnify, absolve and hold harmless the University, its officials, employees, students and invitees in respect of any damage the property, death or bodily injury to/of myself and/or third parties, whether on/off the University precincts, or whilst engaged in any related activity to the University abroad; and
  4. I understand that I attend and participate in the WBS Global Study Tour in various designated countries around the world during specified periods in 2019 at my own risk where the event falls outside the cover provided to or by the University.
  5. I acknowledge that I have read and understood the contents of this indemnity in every respect.
This document is applicable to all modes of delivery of the Global Study Tour from 2017 onward. 

Assessment Policy
All assignments, including the attendance of the Amazing Race and all scheduled visits to businesses, other organisations and cultural activities, is compulsory.

Failure to comply with this policy will result in an automatic failure off this course. A record of attendance at each prescribed tour activity will be kept by the Tour Leader and will be submitted to the International Office as a formal record for student assessment. Should a student fail (including as a result of non-attendance and failure to participate), the tour will have to be repeated.

A candidate who has not completed all the requirements for this tour by the end of the minimum period of study and who is permitted in terms of Senate Standing Orders to continue will be required to register again for this tour at the beginning of the following academic year and pay the relevant fee.

Registration for the Global Study Tour
A candidate is required to register and pay in advance for the Study Tour in order to be admitted to complete the course.

If a candidate wishes to amend his/her selection of destination, a prescribed period of time will be permitted as indicated by the Global Study Tour Coordinator. However, no changes to selection of destination will be entertained once confirmed.

International Applicants
Applications from international exchange and immersion students are welcome. All international students need to conform with the University’s requirements and the South African legislation that pertains to such students.

Credits towards MBA or MM to other degrees
Students may be granted credits for this tour at international partner schools however please note that the granting of credits is based on the credit weighting exchange between the WBS MBA and other international programmes.

Pass mark for this course
In order to pass the study tour, a student must obtain a minimum of 50% as a final mark subject to the subminimum rule.

Students must register for the Global Business Study Tour (BUSA 7442A) in order to pay the travel component cost for the study tour. Students will be advised as to the Rand value that has to be paid for the study tour of their choice. The deadline for the choice of study tour and payments will be communicated to students by the School’s International Office. Failure to pay the full fee for the Global Study Tour in advance or failure to attend the tour for whatever reason will still hold the student liable for the full amount as indicated for the selected tour package. Please note that fees may not involve the same costing as certain travel destinations are cheaper than others. Also note that whenever indicated students will be responsible for their own transport and cost of meals and incidentals on each tour. Tour leaders do not carry additional funds to allow for students who do not make personal provision for their own expenses.

Allocation of Marks
The mark composition for each assignment will comprise a combination of marks awarded for assignment projects and field work, both individual and syndicate work. The mark allocation for the course is detailed in the course pack.

Syndicates may apply to have non-performing members excluded from the syndicate mark for their assignment, or have a portion of the total mark allocated to the non-performing student.

Publication of Final Course Results
The results of the global study tour will be published by the Faculty Office as soon as possible, normally within four weeks from assignment submission.

Disputes and Grievances
Any disputes or grievances that arise as a result of the application of, or failure to apply, the provisions of these Standing Orders should be managed within the Faculty’s existing appeals and grievance procedure. Problems should always be resolved as close to the source as possible. The grievance procedure policy and applicable forms are available from the Faculty Office.

Code of Conduct
All students will abide by the daily dress code as indicated by the Tour Leader depending on the daily schedule of events and places visited.

Students are also advised that whilst they are encouraged to enjoy the tour, they are reminded that they are participating in a Wits Study Tour programme and are not traveling for their own leisure purposes. As such, the prime focus is on teaching and learning and at all times students will need to participate in all prescribed activities and field visits.

Students are advised to heed the guidance and instruction of the designated Tour Leader on each trip. In addition, students are advised to serve as professional ambassadors of Wits University and the Wits Business School at all times whilst on tour. Students are also advised to download a copy of the Wits Student Code of Conduct to familiarise themselves with the policy.

During visits, students are to ensure that all mobile phones are switched off.
Students are to be punctual for all visits, failure to attend a visit without a valid reason will render your attendance as incomplete.

Failure to adhere to the above could result in a disciplinary action being lodged against the student.

Recording of Global Study Tour Activities
Business visit sessions may only be recorded (by audio, images or video) with the express written permission of that organisation. Students will be required to agree in writing that:

    • recordings will only be used for purposes of their own private study and revision;
    • recordings will not be copied, shared, communicated, published or distributed in any format whatsoever and using any medium whatsoever, unless requested to do so by the lecturer;
    • unedited copies recordings will be provided to the lecturer if requested to do so; and
    • Copyright of all recordings remain the property of the University.

It is noted that infringement of any of these conditions may result in disciplinary action being taken against the student.

NB: To be completed and returned to before you leave.