Over the past 15-20 years, Dubai has become one of the world’s most up-and-coming business districts. Thanks to its excellent location between the Asian growth markets of India and China and the western world as well - and its comparatively low tax rates don’t hurt either. Altogether, these factors are increasing the number of businesses setting up in the city.
As a result, many people find themselves having to take a trip to Dubai to do business, particularly if they’re involved in the financial services and oil industries, which are massive in the city. Although it’s a busy, bustling city, it can be a stressful experience if you’ve not planned your trip in advance. What should you consider before travelling to Dubai? Here’s our essential checklist:
How to travel
Transport links to Dubai are strong and only getting better. Visitors from the UK can fly to Dubai International Airport, which is the world’s busiest international airport, from Glasgow, London, Manchester and more.
Once you’re there, it is easy to get around on the Metro, which is probably the best underground transport system in the Middle East, but it’s also simple and inexpensive to travel around by taxi.
When to travel
Dubai can get very, very hot in the summer months – it’s not uncommon for temperatures to reach 40 degrees in July and August – and it’s worthwhile planning your business trip for other times of the year when it’s a little cooler, such as spring or winter, when the warmth is a welcome break from the chilly UK.
What to wear
Thankfully, because of the heat of the UAE, business dress is a little more relaxed than in boardrooms across the UK. That’s not to say that shorts are OK, but lightweight trousers alongside a button-down shirt and tie should do fine.
Women in Dubai should be aware of the city’s strict rules on revealing clothes and dress conservatively, but should also be aware of the often stifling heat.
Where to stay
Dubai is blessed with a number of hotels from some of the world’s most notable hoteliers, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when looking for somewhere to stay. The Burj Al Arab Hotel is, while expensive, one of the city’s most impressive hotels and a comfortable place to stay with many pleasant amenities.
If you’re staying for more than a day or two, you may find it enjoyable staying in your own rented apartment, which offers you the opportunity to explore the city and conduct your business on your own terms. For short-term rented apartments, My Dubai Stay is an excellent choice.
Where to eat
You’ll be happy to know that Dubai is full of tasty restaurants that serve a wide variety of cuisines. Be sure to try out a shawarma, which is a tasty snack that combines skewered meat, vegetables and dressing in a pita.
Homesick businessmen will never be far away from a standard American diner, but it’s well worth exploring the local eateries in the local area where you stay. Food is generally pretty cheap, but in the more upmarket hotels you will have to pay top-dollar for slightly less authentic fare.
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