For those who require removals to Dubai, the chances are that you will be invited to a business meeting, or to someone's home for dinner, during your stay in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Many westerners find the lifestyle in the UAE takes some getting used to, but the more you know about business and customs etiquette, the quicker you will adjust to your new surroundings.
To help you, we've compiled a brief guide to living in the Emirates so your removals to Dubai goes smoothly from start to finish and you enjoy life in your new home. Meanwhile, if you are moving to Dubai, you will want to hire a removals company that offers the best possible service. Greens has 40 years' experience in world-wide removals, including removals to UAE. We are British Association of Removers (BAR) registered for international removals and, alongside removals of household goods and valuables, we will also assist with customs requirements and paperwork.
If you require removals to Dubai, here's Greens Removals guide to business etiquette in the UAE as well as general rules and customs you should be aware of for everyday living in the Emirates.
Business Etiquette in Dubai
Dress code – It is acceptable to wear western clothing in Dubai, but it is important to dress conservatively at all times. In a business meeting, informal but smart is acceptable. Women should wear clothes that cover arms and legs; this could be a conservative suit or button up blouse and either dark trousers or a knee length skirt. For men, trousers and a long sleeved shirt are ideal.
Meeting Clients – When you meet clients, always shake hands using the right hand and address people using their correct titles. It is also important to have a chat first before launching straight into a business discussion. When you do, keep it general and ask about a person's health, and their sons, but steer clear of asking about other people's wives as this can be taken in the wrong way. People do take calls during business meetings, so do be aware of this as this wouldn't be considered rude. When you agree to something in a business meeting, bear in mind that a great deal of emphasis is placed on verbal agreement, so make sure you mean what you say.
Business Cards – If you are moving to Dubai, you won't be expected to know Arabic as English is widely used. However, if you know a few words, or even one or two phrases, this will get you far as it will always be appreciated. For politeness, print your business cards in English and Arabic (English one side and Arabic on the other) and when you hand over your card, do this with the Arabic side facing upwards.
Working Week – The weekend in Dubai is generally Friday and Saturday, although this isn't the same for every business. The day usually starts at 8 am and finishes at 7 pm, with a break taken between 1 pm and 4 pm. Friday is a Holy Day, so avoid arranging business meetings, or making telephone calls, on this day. It is also important to remember the working day is shorter during the festival of Ramadan.
Dinner Guest in Dubai
Accepting Invitations - If you are invited to someone's home for dinner, it's important to accept and get to know your hosts. When you arrive at your host's home, always take off your shoes at the entrance (so make sure your socks are clean and spotless in advance). Another thing to bear in mind is that it is not unusual for women and men to be separated during the meal, so don't be surprised if this happens.
Dinner Manners – Always eat and drink using only your right hand (as the left hand is considered dirty). It's polite to accept the food and drink you are offered, and even if you think you won't like it, at least try a bit. Also, avoid crossing your legs or showing the bottom of your feet as this is rude and offensive.
At Your Host's Home – What is vital to remember is to avoid admiring an item in someone's home; this is simply because, if you do, it is customary for your hosts to offer it as a gift. You will then be expected to give something of similar value in return (so it's probably best to avoid admiring a valuable piece of furniture, or work of art, unless you have something of equal value to give away).
Day to Day Living in Dubai
Dress Code – Although western dress is acceptable, wearing revealing clothes isn't, so the key is to dress conservatively. Wearing swimwear or bikinis is only acceptable at the beach and you should dress modestly in all public places. If you visit a mosque, you should always cover up and wear a headscarf.
Greeting People – Men should avoid prolonged eye-contact with women, and men are required to stand when a women enters the room. If you are introduced to a member of the opposite sex, and are in any doubt about how to greet them, take their lead first. This is not meant to be offensive, as some women - and also some men - will refuse to shake hands with a person of the opposite sex, strictly for religious reasons.
Visiting Friends – If you are intending to visit someone's home, make sure this is arranged well in advance as it is not acceptable just to turn up on spec, especially if there are women in the home.
Alcohol – Another top tip is not to drink alcohol in public places, and don't offer an Arab a drink unless you are absolutely sure they drink alcohol. Also, avoid asking for wine with a meal at a business lunch, and steer clear of asking for an alcoholic drink at someone's home as this could cause offence.
For removals to Dubai, Greens are happy to help with any queries you may have. Just contact us today for a free, competitive quotation.