Dubai is one of the most happening destinations for businesspersons. In the beginning, the economy of Dubai relied entirely on oil output; however, things have drastically changed now with oil output accounting for only 2% of Dubai’s GDP. The city is moving ahead in sectors like retail and wholesale, construction, and hospitality.
The hospitality that includes travel and tourism is an industry that has registered phenomenal growth in the past few years. With spell-bounding attractions like the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Marina Dinner Cruise, Dubai Mall, amusement parks, beaches, and more; this doesn’t come out to be a surprise. The footfall of tourists in Dubai, especially during the months from October to March is on an all-time high.
The primary reason behind the fact that businesspersons are interested in investing in Dubai is its free trade zones. Focusing on different industries like health care, media, etc. the expats operating in these free trade zones receive a 100% exemption on ownership and transportation taxes.
So, if you are an entrepreneur looking to undertake a business trip to Dubai, following are some things that you must know before your arrival at the Regional Hub Dubai International (DXB) Airport, which holds the title of being one of the best-connected airports to the major capitals of the world.
Dubai has a good network of public transport including taxis, buses, and metro. Upon your arrival at the airport, you can either catch an official taxi or get a metro. The Metro runs from Terminal 1 and 3 every ten minutes. However, on Friday mornings, the Metro is not available. Official taxis at the airport are cream in color. Those driven by females have pink slips.
Before you arrive in the city, you must know about the currency. Known as Arab Emirates Dirham (AED), the conversion rate is currently pegged at 1 AED = 0.27 US Dollars. Dubai has got all the major international banks operating under its hood. The bank timings in Dubai are from 08 AM to 02 PM with working days being Saturday to Thursday. You can easily locate ATMs in various parts of the city. As far as the question of credit cards is concerned, all major ones are accepted. Hence, as far as financial dealing is concerned, you won’t have a hard time in Dubai.
Will Language be a Barrier?
Not at all! A considerable percentage of the population of Dubai consists of expats. Hence, English is pretty common in the city. Even all the signboards in the city are in English and Arabic. Talking business in the city will be a cakewalk, as far as language is concerned, for English speakers.
Best Time to Visit?
Summers are pretty hot in Dubai with temperatures lying anywhere in the mid forty degrees Celsius. In winters, around the month of January, the temperature falls as low as fifteen degrees Celsius. The prime months for tourists, as mentioned in the beginning, are from October to March. However, if you are looking for attractive deals and discounted prices on hotels and you can bear the heat, then summers are the best time. As the footfall of tourists is pretty low during summers, you can get a great living space at low prices.
What are the working days in Dubai?
In the Gulf, the weekend starts on Friday and the working week is from Sunday to Thursday. Hence, before you commence or plan any kind of business meetings, you must take the working week into account.
Some of the Business Etiquettes to be followed:
- Never get to the point immediately during a business meeting. As a first, you must make your attendees comfortable through a little casual talk. Please note that this is considered customary in Dubai. Therefore, it is rewarding to be patient.
- Never turn down an offer for tea or coffee during a business meeting. Dubai takes its hospitality seriously and if you happen to refuse the offer; it is heavily frowned upon.
- Be nicely dressed in suitable business attire with arms and legs covered.
- Make sure you are aware of what’s happening in the city in terms of business affairs. For that, you can follow the twitter feed @TheNationalUAE. This is the twitter feed of the daily English newspaper in UAE, The National.
The Holy Month of Ramadan.
If you happen to be on a business trip in Dubai during the holy month of Ramadan, it is expected from you to respect the religious practices and local sentiments. Hence, do not indulge in public eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset. However, as far as your own private space is concerned, you can have your meals anytime. Since the Muslim population is fasting during Ramadan, if you indulge in public eating or drinking during that time, it is extremely frowned upon.
What about Alcohol?
Alcohol is available in Dubai. However, you will find alcohol only at licensed hotel restaurants, bars, and pubs. But, do not overindulge in alcohol. If you are caught in a drunk state in the public, whether driving or walking back home, you are bound to face legal action.
These are some of the questions and their answers that, as a businessperson, you might have in your mind before traveling to Dubai. If you have any queries, apart from the ones answered above, feel free to ask us by putting them down in the comments section provided below. We will be happy to answer your questions. Also, if you are a frequent traveler to Dubai and if you notice that something is missing in the tips provided above, please let our readers know about the same by shooting it down in the comments section.