The United Arab Emirates has a diversified, multicultural community that is contemporary, making it an ideal place for economic expansion. Although many foreigners presently live in the United Arab Emirates and the country is transitioning toward a more Western outlook, it is crucial for anyone conducting business in the UAE to be aware of and respectful of cultural differences.

Businesspeople in the UAE frequently prefer in-person meetings over phone calls or emails. This is especially true when establishing a business deal with a company in the UAE as an exporter. Make sure you contact the business decision-maker when requesting a business meeting. You two might be introduced by a mutual contact.

In the UAE, a handshake is the standard way to welcome someone. Give each person a personal greeting. It’s customary to wait until a woman offers her hand before shaking her hand.

During business meetings, it is traditional to offer coffee or tea as a symbol of hospitality.

Spend some time laying the groundwork with a UAE partner. To build trust with your potential partner, you may need to visit the location several times.

Even though English is widely spoken in the UAE, it is useful to be able to communicate in Arabic since it is the official language of the country. Before traveling to the country, you might want to have your business cards translated into Arabic.

It’s normal to exchange business cards right away after introductions during business meetings and when taking part in exhibitions. Natives of the UAE may hand over these with both hands. Since the left hand is considered unclean, take the card with your right. Do not put the card away right away; instead, leave it on the table.


One aspect of successfully expanding your business in the United Arab Emirates is comprehending the fundamentals of conducting business there and the local cultural norms. Making the most of your trip to the United Arab Emirates can be assured if you are aware of these key differences. Getting legal, tax, and compliance guidance is also crucial before starting your business operations in the UAE. Based on Unity Partners’ local expertise and experience in a variety of industries, our professionals can give you useful advice. To find out more about our services, get in touch with us.

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