10 etiquette advice for doing business in the UAE

Due to its advantageous geographical location, state-of-the-art infrastructure, a huge selection of hotels, exhibition, and conference venues, Dubai is ideal for business events. In addition, a powerful knowledge base has been created in the emirate, covering various sectors of the economy, including healthcare, education, technology, transport, clean energy, water supply, and space.

To successfully conduct business in this market, it is important to know its cultural characteristics. We will try to tell you about the subtleties of such cooperation.

Choose places for business meetings

The first meetings, as a rule, take place in the conference rooms and offices of a potential client or in the hotel where you are staying, where there are often beautiful lobbies and business spaces. When the relationship is established, and both sides are satisfied, then sometimes it will be possible to visit restaurants. To make more impression you may hire a car in the rental service to bring your potential clients to the exact location. Choose business cars for rent in Dubai and hire the option you like the most.

Calculate the time

Punctuality is important, but it is not always reciprocated. A colleague from the UAE can make you wait, but will not appreciate it if you stay late.

Be patient

Concluding a deal in the UAE will take quite a long time, this is due to the length of the approval period. Sometimes you have to wait for a year or even more to complete a deal and succeed. Receiving money from government clients also may take a long time, and this should be taken into account.

Maintain business relationships

No matter whether you are already running a successful business or just planning to launch a start-up, remember that clients from the UAE need a special approach. It is necessary to continue personal meetings even after the conclusion of the contract, and customers from the public sphere are “especially demanding”.

Do not give up on coffee

During business meetings in the UAE, Arabic coffee is often served. This is a very strong and bitter drink, which is sometimes seasoned with cardamom and served in cups without handles. Refusal to drink it (if there is no medical justification for it) can be regarded as an offense.

Be ready to bargain

Even though it is a wealthy region, there is still a lot of trading. To stay ahead of the competitors and simplify business processes, you need to have a unique product. Otherwise, you should offer customers three cost options, and they will choose the cheapest one.

Follow the dress code

Remember that the UAE is a country that requires a conservative style. A business suit is the best option for both women and men. The main rule for women when choosing clothes is to avoid open arms up to the elbow, open legs above the knee, and deep cleavage. And do not forget that it is considered ignorance for foreigners to wear national Arab clothes.

In addition, the weather should also be taken into account. The UAE is warm all year round, and since May it is also very humid.

Do not shake hands

In the UAE, it is better to avoid shaking hands, unless the interlocutor suggests it. In general, it is considered acceptable if a man shakes hands with a man and a woman shakes hands with a woman.

Download WhatsApp

This messenger is widely used for business purposes in the UAE. Clients can even send documents and screenshots through it.

Consider the language barrier

If there is a person in the team who knows Arabic, then this gives a great advantage, especially in the public sector. Nevertheless, a team that speaks only English is probably enough.

When planning to work or do business in the UAE, it is essential to remember that this is a Muslim country with its own rules and regulations. In order not to get into an unpleasant situation, it is necessary to get acquainted with the cultural features and rules of Arab business etiquette. We hope this article was useful for you.