Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dubai - The Business Etiquette

Dubai - The Business Etiquette

While most of Dubai's modern ways have blended in with how business is done in the emirate, there are a few things to be remembered when you head off to the next meeting with Arab nationals in Dubai.
Amazing Dubai

First, if you are not an Arab national, don't wear the traditional Arab clothing. Dress to impress and a smartly conservative suit will suffice regardless of whether it's night or day. Avoid asking anyone about their punctuality, because in the Arab world, being late is not a big deal. The meeting will most likely start later than the stipulated time, so expect a few late arrivals. The traditional Arabic greeting is not expected from a foreign national, so there's no need to worry about it. A simple firm handshake will be enough. However, remember not to offer your hand in greeting to an Arab female, unless she offers her hand first.

Be respectful to everyone at all times. Avoid sitting with your feet pointing directly at anyone, as it's considered very rude. Outright criticism is heavily discouraged and any such comments should be done privately. No decisions are rushed, so you'll have to spend a few precious minutes chit-chatting and enjoying snacks.

While the above may seem to take a long time for business meetings, you might be caught off-guard when the pace picks up suddenly, as they do in business meetings in Dubai. Quite often, the late-to-start meeting will be concluded within 1/3rd of the actual allocated time. Lunch meetings are more common than evening ones and it should be noted no alcohol is served in public and a request for such beverages is considered insulting. Avoid politics too and if the subject comes up, don't take sides. No meetings or business processes will take place on Friday, so never suggest anything 'business' for Friday.


No comments: