Understanding UAE Business Culture: a Key to Reach Success in Doing Business in UAE

The business culture in one country is different from that in another country. UAE business culture, for example, is unique because 80% of the residents are expatriates, but the country complies with Islamic or sharia laws. Therefore, business activities and their legality revolve around Islamic principles.

Foreign business owners and investors who want to enter the UAE market need to understand the business etiquette in this country.

Understanding and complying with this business culture is one of the key successes in doing business in the UAE.

Key Points in UAE Business Culture

There are hundreds of thousands of registered businesses in the United Arab Emirates and many of them have foreign investors and owners.

All of the business players in this country follow the business culture that centers on respect, discourage corporate crimes, and promote women in the workplace.

These are some key points of business culture in the UAE.

Key Points in UAE Business Culture

  • Working Days and Dress Code

The working days in UAE are different from the working days in Western Countries.

The working week starts on Sunday and ends on Thursday, while the weekend is on Friday and Saturday. Employees usually wear a suit for men and women wear modest business attire.

  • Networking

Most Emiratis tend to build informal relationships before having a business relationship with others.

Therefore, new business players must socialize more and have informal relationships with Emiratis before talking about businesses. 

To build a good network, business owners and investors may contact OMIS, join a ‘majlis’ held by big businessmen in UAE, or attend regional trade shows.

  • Greeting People

Social status and respect are highly valued in UAE. Therefore, business players must address others by their appropriate title, such as said (Mr), Sayeda (Mrs), sheikh (chief), sheikha (female chief). 

The greeting is followed by a light handshake and then touching the hand to the heart. Men and women usually do not shake hands, except the woman is holding out a hand.

  • Business Cards

It is recommended to have simple white business cards with one side written in Arabic and the other in English.

The business cards must be handed with the right hand, handing them with the left hand is considered to be disrespectful.

  • Meeting and Negotiating

Business players must arrive on time in a meeting, but they must not talk about the business directly.

Most Emiratis love to talk about their family and other things before starting the meetings. In addition, meetings must be scheduled properly because Muslims pray 5 times a day.

Business Consultation on UAE Business Etiquette

New investors or business owners from outside UAE will need assistance to understand more about the UAE business culture.

To have a better understanding of this culture, they may contact UAE Business Consulting Company.

This company will not only help its clients to comply with the business etiquette in this country, but it also offers market consultation service. 

New investors and companies who plan to enter the UAE markets will be provided with market insights, strategic recommendations, and other data needed to expand their business in this country.

The business culture in UAE is not the same as the western business culture. To avoid a culture shock, foreign business owners and investors need aid from a business consulting company that will provide all the information related to the culture to them.