A recent government report showed that there are over 5,000 British companies operating in the UAE. BP, Shell and Rolls Royce are all successful clients of the area. The good news for those wishing to do business in the UAE is that it is a country that welcomes new trade, and is also familiar with expatriates. In fact, the majority of the UAE population is made up of expatriates, with around 120,000 from the UK.
The UK government has also listed the benefits of doing business in the UAE:
– diverse economy continually growing and expanding
– proximity to other Gulf markets – acts as an entry route to other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries
– important market for re-export into other countries
– no taxation on personal income and capital gains
– English is widely spoken and accepted as the language of business
The World Bank has also listed the UAE as 26th overall for ease of doing business in 2017 (up from 34th in 2016). The criteria included in this poll includes everything from dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, paying taxes and trading across borders.
However, even in a region much used to expats there are of course cultural differences that it’s important to observe. Here are more details provided by the UAE embassy.
Working hours: The official UAE weekend is Friday and Saturday. Hours of business vary and during Ramadan, working hours are changeable.
Language: English is widely spoken but it is considered good practice to produce any printed material in both Arabic and English.
Cultural Norms: Politeness is highly prized in the UAE. Arrive on time for meetings but be aware that you maybe kept waiting. This is not a sign of rudeness. Greet the most senior person in the room first and always accept a drink when offered to you. Once you have agreed on business, this verbal agreement is seen as a bond and you will not be expected to go back on your word. Be aware that you shouldn’t schedule meetings during Muslim holidays or prayer times.
Dress Code: Be conservative. Men should wear suits and women outfits that cover arms and legs.
Finally, there are always lessons to be learnt from working with clients across the world. See here to find out which ones to avoid in the UAE.
If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.