Business Culture in Dubai

Dubai is known for its fast-paced development, vibrant business environment, and cultural diversity. The city has become a global hub for trade, tourism, and commerce, attracting businesses and entrepreneurs from around the world. In this article, we will discuss the business culture in Dubai, including its values, customs, and practices.

1. Values

Dubai’s business culture is strongly influenced by its Islamic heritage, which emphasizes hospitality, respect, and integrity. These values are reflected in the way business is conducted in the city. For instance, Dubai’s business culture places a high value on relationships, and it is common for business partners to spend time getting to know each other before conducting any business transactions. Additionally, Dubai’s business culture places great importance on maintaining one’s reputation and honoring one’s commitments. In fact, a person’s word is considered a binding contract, and backing out of an agreement can be seen as a sign of disrespect.

2. Customs

Dubai’s business culture has several customs that are unique to the city. For example, it is customary for business meetings to begin with a formal greeting and an exchange of pleasantries. This is usually followed by a cup of Arabic coffee, which is a symbol of hospitality and a sign of respect for the guest. During the meeting, it is important to maintain eye contact and speak clearly and concisely. It is also customary to avoid any controversial topics, such as politics or religion.

Dress Code

Another important custom in Dubai’s business culture is dress code. While the city is modern and cosmopolitan, it is still a conservative society, and modest dress is expected, especially for women. Men are expected to wear business suits or traditional Arab dress, such as a thobe or kandura, while women are expected to dress modestly, covering their arms and legs. It is also important to note that public displays of affection are considered inappropriate in Dubai’s business culture.

3. Practices

Dubai’s business culture has several practices that are designed to facilitate business transactions and build relationships. One of the most important practices is networking, which is essential for success in Dubai’s business world. Networking events, such as conferences, exhibitions, and social gatherings, are common in Dubai and provide opportunities to meet potential business partners and clients. Additionally, many businesses in Dubai are family-owned, and it is common for family members to be involved in business decisions. This means that building relationships with the right people can lead to significant business opportunities.

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Another important practice in Dubai’s business culture is negotiation. While Dubai is a modern city, the art of negotiation is still important, and it is common for business partners to negotiate the terms of a deal extensively. However, it is important to do so with respect and courtesy, as aggressive or confrontational behavior can be seen as disrespectful.


Another practice in Dubai’s business culture is the use of intermediaries, or middlemen. This is especially common in the real estate and construction industries, where intermediaries can help navigate the complex regulatory environment and cultural nuances of doing business in Dubai. Intermediaries can also help establish relationships with the right people and facilitate negotiations.


Dubai’s business culture is a unique blend of tradition and modernity, reflecting the city’s Islamic heritage and cosmopolitan atmosphere. While the city is known for its fast-paced development and entrepreneurial spirit, it is important to understand and respect the customs and practices of Dubai’s business culture in order to be successful. Building relationships, maintaining one’s reputation, and negotiating with respect and courtesy are all key components of doing business in Dubai. With its strong values and customs, Dubai offers a dynamic and exciting environment for businesses and entrepreneurs looking to thrive in a global marketplace.

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