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  • Writer's pictureEmily Jackson

Tips for doing business in Dubai

We’ve made a short list of our top tips to do Business in the City of Dubai

Regardless of the weather, dress appropriately in Dubai. While Dubai is very cosmopolitan, always be cognizant of its roots in Islamic culture.

Not everyone in Dubai is a Sheikh. When a man puts on a white dishdasha, you never know who’s the assistant and who’s the owner. Maybe it's by intention.

Don't get to the point first. Your first meeting with a local Emirati may be a general, non-specific chat or even a garden stroll. When it’s time to talk business, your host will bring it up. It might not happen until the second meeting though.

Don't shake hands with everyone. Some traditional Muslim women may not feel comfortable shaking hands. It may be best to let her offer you her hand first. This applies in a business context, if she is running your meeting or is, in fact, your client.

Avoid hesitating in negotiating on prices. Negotiation is a part of our daily life, but when it comes in terms of business, it is extremely significant for your business success. No matter what, you will not be able to get your asking price every time in Dubai, so it is important for you to prepare yourself to do bargaining in an effective manner. It is the only way you will be able to earn more from your business in Dubai.

Do build your network. In Dubai, referrals and word of mouth are some of the best marketing tools. You will be able to find a vast majority of specialized networking groups in Dubai, who will help you facilitate with this in an appropriate manner.

Conduct meetings flexibly. Meetings are usually postponed or start late, so it is better for you to be flexible when it comes to your business. You can conduct your business meetings in lobbies of hotels as they can be the perfect place for meetings due to their ease of availability. However, if you are going to talk about financial issues, a private board meeting room like in Business Centers can be the perfect option for you.

Be updated with legislation. The rules are usually amended time to time in Dubai. Therefore, you will require a local trade license and visas for your entire staff to do business in the city. Fortunately, there are vast majorities of company formation professionals who can easily help you in this regard.

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