11 Customs To Know When Doing Business in Dubai

Doing Business in Dubai? According to expatwomen.com here are a few things you need to know:

  • Avoid admiring an item to an excess, your host may feel obligated to give it to you. When offered a gift, it is impolite to refuse.
  • Often shoes are removed before entering a building. Follow the lead of your host.
  • Alcohol and pork are not consumed by those that observe the Muslim religion.
  • There are several styles of greetings in use, it is best to wait for your counterpart to initiate the greeting. Men shake hands with other men. Some men will shake hands women, however it is advisable for a businesswoman to wait for a man to offer his hand. A more traditional greeting between men involves grasping each other’s right hand, placing the left hand on the other’s right shoulder and exchanging kisses on each cheek.
  • The left hand is considered unclean and reserved for hygiene. Gesture and eat with the right hand. Do not point at another person.
  • Men walking hand in hand is a sign a friendship.
  • In the Muslim world, Friday is the day of rest.
  • Do not cross your legs when sitting, showing the bottom of your shoe or foot is offensive.
  • The “thumbs up” gesture can also be considered offensive by some.
  • Gifts are not necessary, but appreciated. If you do give a gift, it will be open in private.
  • Gifts to avoid giving include:

– alcohol
– perfumes containing alcohol
– pork
– pigskin products
– personal items such as underwear
– knives
– toy dogs or gifts that picture dogs
– images of nude or partially clad women (even in paintings or sculptures with artistic merit)


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