Dubai has one of the most modern and fastest-growing commercial sectors in the world. In recent years, Dubai has invested in a massive investment program, making it a key business hotspot in the Emirates. Due to its conducive environment for business, many global brands, entrepreneurs and businesses are rushing to cash in on the development and also be part of the progression.
Despite the fact that Dubai has firm footing in the 21st Century, it also has its own traditions, methods and customs when it comes to doing business. If you want to set your enterprise up for success in Dubai, it is important that you understand and adapt to the local customs. Keep an eye on trends and developments with Swisslinx. Dubai also happens to be home to a large community of expatriates who have a large influence over how business is done in the nation.
If you are going on a business trip to Dubai, we have compiled a few useful tips that can help you have a fruitful and successful trip.
How Should You Greet Your Hosts?
The business etiquette in Dubai is quite formal. On arriving and meeting your hosts, you should shake hands or place your right hand when greeting women. Handshakes are the standard form of greeting when dealing with men. However, wait until a hand is offered. The exchange of business cards is part of the business protocol in Dubai. If you are going for a visit, ensure that you print a lot of high-quality cards to share with the people you will meet.
Avoid Making Business Appointments on Friday
With a high Muslim population, Fridays in Dubai are considered to be a day of rest and prayer. However, on traditional weekend days in Christian countries such as Sunday, business in Dubai goes on normally. When going on a business trip to Dubai, you should avoid setting appointments or meetings on Friday. In this country, normal business hours typically start from 8 am – 1 pm and 4 pm – 8 pm from Saturday through to Thursday. Banks typically remain open from 8 am – 1 pm from Saturday to Wednesday. However, there are certain banks that also open from 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm.
Ensure You Familiarize Yourself with The Language
To make a good impression on your hosts, it is best that you learn basic Arabic phrases such as the standard greeting, ‘as-salaam aleikum’ which means ‘peace be upon you’. Though most business in Dubai is conducted in English, you can earn yourself more favor from your hosts if you demonstrate that you took the time to learn their language.
The clothes that you adorn when meeting potential business attires should be conservative and formal. Instead of wearing flashy attire that will not impress your hosts, it is best that you dress simply and elegantly. If you are a woman, you should avoid clothes that have a low neckline or skimpy skirts. Men should avoid tight clothing as it is frowned upon in the Arab culture. Tight clothing can also be very uncomfortable considering the high Dubai temperatures.
How Should You Do Business During Ramadhan?
The month of Ramadhan is very important in Dubai as it is the period of fasting for all Muslims. During this month, you will likely see changes in the everyday life in Dubai as well as in the way business is conducted. The month of Ramadhan usually falls in the ninth month of the Muslim calendar.
During this month, people still do business in Dubai. However, business operations usually adapt to the spiritual nature of the month. If you are travelling to Dubai during this holy month, be ready to shift your meetings when your hosts are available. If you are planning for any business dinners, you should plan to meet your hosts after Iftar. This refers to the time when Muslims break their fast. If you are in Dubai during this month, ensure that you first check the hours of operation of the businesses that you are visiting as most enterprises close shop after 1 pm or 2 pm.