Doing Business in Dubai

Feb 14 2016

Doing Business in Dubai

If moving to Dubai and work there prepare that there are different ways to do business. The culture differs a lot so the set of rules is quite another.

You’ll meet many other expats while doing business in Dubai – so the mix of nationalities creates a unique business environment. But it’s critical to learn the local business culture taken from Islam and Arab culture.


Immaculate appearance matters here: Arabs think about their clothes a lot. It’s better here to appear ‘overdressed’ than to bummed to look too casual. Modesty is also needed: men and women should always cover shoulders, arms and legs – to avoid offending people around.


Etiquette is the most important in Dubai – the impression builds on how you address others. You shall use Sheikh (chief) (or Sheikha for a woman), Sayed (Mr.), Sayeda (Mrs.), etc. in any case. When arriving to a business meeting or meeting colleagues always say first ‘hello’ to the oldest / most senior person first.

It’s ok when a handshakes takes a long time – better wait for the other to finish it. If a man is introduced to a woman he shall wait and check first whether a hand is extended. And as for Western women, when being introduced to a Muslim man she also may wait to see if he offers a handshake.

Plus, always compliment hosts on their hospitality, it’s a must.

Business schedule

The working week is a bit unusual – Sunday through to Thursday, but due to culture mix it’s also often hard to get anything done on a Sunday. By the way, may sound funny, but is true for sure: expats are expected to be punctual, even if locals aren’t much.


Usage of the left hand: NEVER – either to eat or to shake hands or hand anything to anybody else. Left hand is assumed to be unclean.

Few words regarding hospitality: you should never say no to an offer of a beverage or any other display of hospitality – that may be thought as offence.

One more tip – do not back away while having a talk or a conversation with anyone. Since locals have much less personal space area, so they may be shurt if see you acting surprised.

And surely – no physical contact with Arab women for men; even enquiring after someone’s female relatives probably would be considered as inappropriate and not good – so first better ask after family overall in polite conversation.

And you probably already know – NO showing the bottom of shoes when sitting.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Switch to mobile version

Subscribe To Our News

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

SAPE ERROR: Нет доступа на запись к файлу: /home/ostrnum/! Выставите права 777 на папку.