Doing Business in the UAE

If something happens you have not been to the UAE and you are in business, you will be there in the next 10 years or so. In 2020, the business in the UAE is expected to double and reach the figure of 1.4 billion. What that means when you are traveling to any area is that you need to know the etiquette and what to expect.

Your Dress for Business

You need to remember that modesty is very important in the Middle East. You will want to make sure that you are not wearing any revealing clothing and you want to cover all of your limbs and your feet.
Suggested Clothing for Men: Always wear a dark suit as it is considered more professional when you wear darker colors.

Suggested Clothing for Women: Ensure that you are wearing a suit or a skirt that has a hem that is below the knee. It is not important to wear a headscarf unless you are visiting a site that is religious.

An Important Note About Culture: You may be approached by security guards if there is a discussion regarding your clothing not being conservative enough. You may have to return to your hotel and change into clothing that is going to be more conservative. Make sure that you pack conservative clothing so that you are ready for whatever may come your way.

Appropriate Greetings: Always make sure that you are greeting the most senior person in the room first and that you are always giving and receiving your cards with your right hand. If you want to make sure that you are always making a great first impression plan on having your business cards translated into Arabic.

Shaking Hands for Men: It is important for men to remember that when greeting a colleague, you always want to shake the right hand. The left hand in the Muslim world is reserved for grooming and is considered unclean while the right is reserved for business. It also is not uncommon for a male colleague to hold another male colleague while escorting him to a conference room and it does not have the same connotations in the Middle East as it does in the West. When it comes to greeting female colleagues make sure that you are not greeting them until you are greeted by them. It is not considered appropriate for there to be any kind of physical contact between men and women in public.

Business Greetings for Women: When you are meeting a male colleague for the first time it is important to make sure that you do not try to shake hands unless the male extends his hand first. If you are meeting a female colleague make sure that you wait for her to greet you first and then you may respond in kind. Many times, it is customary for there to be a kiss on the cheek between women on the left-hand side of the face.

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