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Business Travel to Dubai — What You Need to Know

Business Travel to Dubai — What You Need to Know - Coming Soon in UAE
5 December 2019

When planning your business trip to Dubai, there are several important nuances to keep in mind.

The UAE as a whole and Dubai, in particular, is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world in terms of economy. There are many opportunities for investment and business development, useful contacts and a favorable business environment here. In this country you will find high-level hospitality and many ways to develop your business endeavors.

Visa

A visa is required to enter the country. Therefore, before you go to Dubai, you need to check whether you have it and whether your passport will be valid at the time of the trip. But with many countries, the UAE has concluded an agreement and citizens of such countries can obtain a visa upon arrival. To do this, you need to go to the immigration control desk at the airport, where the visa will be stamped into your passport for free. This can be a 30-day or 90-day visa. If the country is not included in the list of countries whose citizens receive a visa upon arrival, you will need to apply for a visa, and for the convenience of visitors to the country this can be done online.

Climate

When planning a trip, take into account that the climate in Dubai is not just hot, but very hot – it is one of the most difficult cities in the world for life in this sense. In August, the temperature can exceed + 40°C and is usually at around + 35°C. But in winter, the temperature is more comfortable and does not cause such inconvenience. So, if possible, you should come here in November-December and April-May, so you will get the most pleasant experience of living in the city.

 

Business Travel to Dubai

Money

  • The official currency of the UAE is the dirham (Dhs or DH), often you can find its official designation as AED (Arab Emirate Dirham).
  • One dirham is 100 fils. The dirham is linked to the dollar, at a rate of 1 U.S. dollar = 3,6725 dirhams.
  • The estimated exchange rates of other currencies may slightly change on a daily basis.

Credit cards are widely used in the country, you can pay with them almost everywhere, in a restaurant, hotel, etc. Also, you can find ATMs everywhere. And if necessary, you can visit banks, including international ones, for exchange or cash withdrawal operations, as well as other financial transactions.

Traditions

Guests from other countries should consider some of the cultural features of the UAE. This is a Muslim country with its own original traditions, respect for which is a tribute to the hospitality of the country’s inhabitants.

Dubai has adopted a more modest way of dressing and acting. Guests of the city do not have to adhere to any strict rules, but it would be better not to bring beach style to a business meeting. For men, long trousers are required, and for women, decent clothes covering the knees and shoulders.

It is also worth considering that negotiations can be conducted at dinner or over a cup of tea or coffee. Rejection of the proposed meal or drink can be perceived as rudeness, as well as the inability to maintain a conversation at the dinner table. It is worth respecting hospitality and, first, discussing common issues with interlocutors, and then moving on to business negotiations.

The language of business communication with the participation of foreign partners is widely regarded as English. But it will be polite to learn a few phrases in Arabic, for example, greeting and farewell. Also, a business card is usually made in two languages, Arabic and English.

Public behavior is also important. Especially do not forget that the country has restrictions on the sale and drinking of alcohol. It can be bought by tourists in special venues, for example, in hotels or bars, but you should not drink alcohol in inappropriate places, for example, in shopping centers or on the street. The same goes for smoking. 

Bans are tightened if you visit Dubai during Ramadan. Since the majority of the population fasts, guests who are not observing the fast are invited to eat food in special enclosed spaces, for example, in the hotel restaurant behind closed windows.

 

Business Travel to Dubai — What You Need to Know

Working hours

Working days in Dubai do not always coincide with other countries. The working period is considered to be the time from Sunday to Thursday, and on average hours from 8:00 to 17:00 are accepted as working hours. Although Friday and Saturday are the official days off for public sector organizations, many companies operate from Saturday to Thursday. Friday is a day of rest and prayer, so business meetings or negotiations are almost never planned on this day.

During Ramadan, business meetings may be shifted to evening hours after the end of fasting hours. Also, many companies work only part of the day at this time and close after lunch.

Transportation

Public transportation in Dubai is controlled by the Road and Transport Authority (RTA). You can read about it in details here.

You can use a taxi to get from the airport to the city center. This is one of the popular ways to get around the city. Taxis can be found in any major tourist spot. Special taxis for women are also available. Taxi service in Dubai is regulated by the state. The minimum payment for the trip is AED 12, the amount will depend on the distance of the trip, but in general, a taxi is not too expensive compared to other major cities in the world. In addition to taxi services, you can also use the services of Uber or Careem (a service that also belongs to Uber since 2019).

Guests can take a ride on the Dubai Metro, which connects all the main areas of the city. The Dubai Metro operates from 06:00 AM to 11:00 PM Saturday to Wednesday, from 06:00 AM to midnight on Thursday and from 10:00 AM to midnight on Friday. A ride on the Dubai Metro will cost you around AED 3, but it also depends on the number of zones which you will be crossing (but usually do not go beyond around AED 10 per trip).

The city also has a developed network of buses, they travel at short intervals at any time of the day and connect remote areas of Dubai. Also, the Dubai Tram and such an unusual form of transport as water taxis are provided for the use of city guests. If you plan to travel a lot by public transport, then it makes sense to purchase a special NOL payment card, which can be easily recharged in many transport hubs.

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