With the availability of international flights and teleconferencing capabilities, the world feels smaller than ever before. This makes connecting with others easier and increases the opportunities for forming international business deals.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a booming economy, rich with oil, minerals and tourism. Additionally, cities like Dubai draw international investors and business people. Since people flock to Dubai to purchase goods at low prices, your business could thrive there. However, before you seek to develop a working relationship with a construction company or launch a fast food franchise, there are some things you should learn before doing business in the UAE.
Respect the culture before starting your business
Starting a business typically requires patience, but when you want to work in a foreign country, you must first seek to understand the customs surrounding deals and strategic partnerships. Understanding certain cultural norms can be helpful in establishing trust in relationships.
Some things you should understand about Emirati culture include:
- Time is fluid – Rather than rushing to get down to business, enjoy the time spent drinking tea together first.
- Familiarize yourself with common Arabic words and phrases – You do not need to become fluent to communicate throughout the UAE. However, showing that you are trying to understand their language and culture can dissuade concerns related to your intent and respect for them.
- Show respect to traditions – Be willing to graciously accept hospitality and show interest in the well-being of others. And respect a woman if she does not shake your hand.
As you explore your potential business opportunities in the UAE, you may have much to learn. However, remaining open to working outside your comfort zone could help you establish lasting relationships which can lead to sound business deals.