Doing Business In Dubai

Dubai is the capital of the Emirate of Dubai, one of seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is the largest city of the UAE and is seen as the global business, trade and transport hub of the Middle East.

Status and prestige play a significant role in Dubai. For that reason, all your presentation materials should be of high quality and well designed. It is to your advantage if you can show at least some materials in Arabic when dealing with local firms.

Use many visual elements such as films, pictures and graphics. Product samples that can be touched or handled are highly appreciated. The basic rule about the contents is: don’t skimp, but don’t overdo it either. Whoever has achieved something must not boast about it, nor must he constantly talk about his successes.

The Emiratis appreciate an elegant understatement. That means: You are welcome to show the image that you have gained as a successful company, for instance show a trailer about your firm.

Emphasize The Strengths

As well, constantly emphasize the strengths of your product and its specific uses to your clients in Dubai. The reason for that is the merchant culture that dominates in Arab countries. Your conversation partners want to know first of all where the benefits are for them. So during your preparation remind yourself constantly to keep it as simple as possible and leave out any complex examples of calculations or instructions for use. Should some people are more interested in certain details it is best to talk about that in private. Do not bore the whole delegation with overly specific knowledge!


If your host issues an invitation after the presentation that is in no way to be regarded as an agreement to the proposed deal. Very often it is nothing more than a pure gesture of politeness.

At first you should encounter such an invitation with caution. Say, for example, “Thank you so much, but I don’t want you to make a fuss over me.” Not until your Emirati business partner has emphasized several times that he is happy to invite you, is the offer meant seriously and should definitely be accepted. As a rule of thumb: accept only the third invitation.

Dubai is a hub for foreign business. Nevertheless, for successful business with local firms, you should know the Arab business culture well!

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