If you’re planning to do business in Dubai, here are a few Dos and Don’ts to get you started.

If you’re planning to do business in Dubai,  here are a few Dos and Don’ts to get you started.

Dubai is built with loads of impressive buildings, an endless number of cranes dotting the skyline, non-stop sun, and plenty of opportunity. It even has a Minister for Happiness. You may have already heard all this, but what about the nitty-gritty of living and doing business here?

Everyone has an opinion on Dubai, but the key is to get the right business advice, directly from those who spend every single day helping businesses make that leap.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Image credit: Shutterstock

DO: Dress right, play nice and smile

Dubai residents love their brands, but before we fall into the stereotype, it should be noted that people here have also become very savvy about subtlety and sophistication. And while Dubai is very Western in some regards, it has strong Islamic roots. Add these factors together and it’s clear that whether you’re male or female, being smart, stylish and modest in your dress is a must.

It is important to be happy and exude positive energy in the social, entrepreneurial and even corporate circle of Dubai. No one moves here to immerse themselves in gloom. So top your outfit off with a smile.

When dealing with Emirati people, it is customary to treat any introductions in meetings with utmost respect. You might not immediately know the ranks of the people in the meeting room, so best be aware of etiquette when it comes to addressing people and social interaction: For example, never shake hands with the opposite gender unless they extend their hand first, and always use your right hand.

Finally, don’t dive too quickly into business matters. While you may be in a hurry, spending some time to enquire about a person’s day, health, and family will pay dividends. And guess what, when the favor is returned you may just feel a bit brighter and more upbeat yourself. So a good tip is to wait for the other party to start the business chat and keep any European corporate bluntness at bay.

DO: Go out there

You will not get very far with email introductions and online transactions. Dubai is all about in-person networking events and meet-and-greets. a small network within each particular industry, so close personal relations are key.

Word-of-mouth is also very strong here and making as many positive contacts as possible is key to expanding both your skills and client base. So join groups, networking sessions, conferences and always have a business card handy– with an Arabic language side printed as well.

DO: Research, research, and then research some more

This is a must: before you roll out your brilliant new company venture in the UAE, you should have sound knowledge about the region. Extensive research by yourself or a consultancy can really help in understanding the business conditions found in each different industry.

DON’T: Boast about your achievements

Dubai has become overpopulated with show-offs who claim to have the first, the best, the only, the biggest, the wildest. Don’t add to the noise.

The city is now leaning towards modern minimalism, clean design and elements rooted in taste and humility, and quality over quantity. So when disseminating any business collateral –from pamphlets to online event invites– try to market yourself without using overused Dubai clichés.

DON’T: Expect meetings and negotiations to go as planned

Patience is the most valuable virtue you can build throughout your life and work in the region. Lengthy group meetings can be somewhat chaotic at times: people will often check their phones during discussions, join unannounced and proceed to alter the conversation, or simply show up late. Don’t let this affect you. You rather just go with the flow and think carefully before you speak.

DON’T: Forget your manners

Emiratis and other Middle Eastern business people working in Dubai love a good joke as much as anyone and can be uproariously funny. But profanity is a total no-no in the Muslim professional world, so avoid R-rated language and making disparaging comments on Islamic culture– a person could be fined, jailed or deported.

DON’T: Forget to take it easy

So you have found yourself in the middle of the fast lane, unhampered by anything but your own confidence level. You’re relishing the competition with some of the most active entrepreneurs in the world, taking advantage of playing in this big pond where the major players uniquely actually all still know each other. So be polite. Take a deep breath. Focus on your goals. That’s the joy of new markets– no repetition, no boundaries, and a huge number of people with faith in their ability to thrive.

So if you’re looking to startup or grow your business, don’t forget the thumb rules.

Original source: Entrepreneur.com


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