Features of doing business

Pauline Familara
Pauline Familara
5 November 2022
Features of doing business

The Arab Emirates is one of the world’s largest business and financial centers, which has created ideal conditions for conducting business activities with citizens of other countries. Thousands of companies owned by foreign capital are opened here every year. But successful business in the UAE depends not only on your personal and professional qualities and persistence in achieving your goals. Knowing the peculiarities of doing business in the Emirates is necessary to build a profitable business based on religious traditions, Sharia laws, and local customs, which play a leading role in all spheres of life in the UAE.

What Percuilarities To Consider When Doing Business in The UAE

Suppose you open a company in one of the seven emirates of the UAE. In that case, it is necessary not only to be well-versed in all the intricacies of local legislation but also to take into account several peculiarities of doing business in this country, which may affect the results of your activity.

Peculiarities of conducting business negotiations

In contrast to the usual way of conducting negotiations for European countries, with a strict style, precise timing, and interactive presentations, a business meeting in the UAE

  • is held in a relaxed atmosphere, in the form of a friendly conversation with a cup of coffee. At the same time, appropriate humor and funny jokes create a positive atmosphere. The main thing is that they do not offend the religious feelings of your partners and their national dignity;
  • takes much longer without any restrictions. Negotiations in the Emirates are considered an important matter that cannot be resolved promptly. They are not expected to rush events and show impatience. Best of all, when meeting with business partners, potential investors, or clients, do not plan anything important for this day;
  • supposes transforming ideas into words in the process of communication. In the Arab world, the ability to speak beautifully, competently, confidently, and is valued more than any presentation with a demonstration of tables and slides. Therefore, it is essential to master the art of public speaking if you want to find business partners or conclude a profitable contract;
  • are consolidated with hospitality and courtesy and often end with a dinner invitation.

Any business meetings in the Emirates should be arranged and attended without delay, as Arab business people value commitment and punctuality with foreign partners.

If you are invited to a family dinner after the end of the negotiations, it is categorically not recommended to refuse it. After all, your refusal may be perceived as an insult.


In the Arab Emirates, a Muslim state, foreign citizens, especially business people, must adhere to specific requirements for their appearance so that nothing contradicts Islamic morality’s norms. You need to follow some simple rules:

  • do not wear traditional Arab clothes if you do not practice Islam – it is a sign of disrespect;
  • do not wear revealing clothes that contradict the norms of the Sharia;
  • men should wear business clothes of muted colors: western business fashion models are welcome, and the paint – preferably black or a combination of black and white;
  • business women can wear light suits and loose dresses with sleeves and without deep necklines. Skirts and dresses must have a length below the knees.

Choose clothes that match the weather, so you feel comfortable wearing them! At the same time, if the clothes and accessories are from well-known fashion brands, everyone will pay attention to your style.

Middle-eastern young adults wearing kandora walking outdoors in Dubai – Two businessmen meeting outdoors

Peculiarities of communication when doing business in the UAE

The exceptions of communication in the Arab Emirates, in business or private conversation, don’t allow:

  • Critics of religion (not only Islam but also other concessions), government (local or national), and women – the Arab world considers these topics sacred. If you allow yourself even a hint of criticism, you risk complicating the relations;
  • Private questions: you can only ask about the health of your parents and family;
  • Discussing business issues without a casual conversation on abstract topics (small talk) is considered rude.

Establishing good relations with partners and strong beneficial connections is the key to your business’s success since personal links help solve many issues in the UAE. Therefore, making a pleasant impression on the interlocutor in communication is essential.

The need to overcome the language barrier

Doing business in the UAE is impossible without knowledge of languages, not only Arabic, which is the official language of the country, or English, which is widely used in the business environment and the international community. You should consider hiring an interpreter if you do not speak these languages. At the same time, assume that more than 80% of the population of the Arab Emirates are expatriates and their significant part (40%) are people from India and Pakistan. And although English is the second language in these states, not all of them can speak it. You may need a translator from Hindi or Urdu to overcome the language barrier.

The possibility of developing the market of the Persian Gulf countries

Opening a company in the UAE provides good opportunities to enter the markets of the Persian Gulf countries, which form a single customs space with the Arab Emirates. A stable and fast-growing economy characterizes all these states, has well-developed logistics connections with the UAE, and is recognized as a good market for a wide range of goods.

Taking into account all the above-mentioned mental peculiarities of doing business in the UAE, you will be able to make it as profitable and successful as possible and expand your commercial activities to the markets of other countries in the Middle East. Well, you can get any help on company registration in the Emirates at Dynasty Business Adviser.

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