Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and is known for its rich culture and hospitality. Business etiquette in Abu Dhabi is highly influenced by Islamic customs and traditions. With the ever increasing trend of globalization, navigating the different aspects of cultures the world over is ever becoming a prominent issue and skill. This is as true as ever when it comes down to the world of business where even the slightest cultural mistake could jeopardize a deal.

Here are some key points to keep in mind when conducting business in Abu Dhabi:

Dress Code

Dress conservatively when doing business in Abu Dhabi. Men should wear a suit and tie, while women should dress modestly and avoid revealing clothing. It is also important to cover your shoulders and knees.


When greeting someone, it is important to use formal titles and surnames, especially when dealing with government officials or people in positions of authority. You should also shake hands with your right hand, as the left hand is considered unclean.

Business Cards

Business cards are an important part of business etiquette in Abu Dhabi. Make sure to have your business cards printed in English on one side and Arabic on the other. When presenting your card, use both hands.


Punctuality is highly valued in Abu Dhabi, so make sure to arrive on time for meetings. It is also important to show respect to your host by waiting for them to start the meeting and not interrupting them.


It is important to avoid discussing religion, politics, or personal matters during business meetings. Instead, focus on business-related topics and keep the conversation professional.

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Gift Giving

Gift giving is a common practice in Abu Dhabi, especially when meeting with government officials or business partners. It is important to choose an appropriate gift, such as high-quality chocolates, flowers, or a small item from your home country.


If you are invited to a business lunch or dinner, it is important to arrive on time and dress appropriately. Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking during the meal, as this is considered inappropriate in Islamic culture.

Final Thoughts

By following these guidelines, you will demonstrate respect for Abu Dhabi’s cultural traditions and build stronger relationships with your business partners. Hopefully they will empower you to show appreciation for Abu Dhabi’s culture and customs and increase your chances of building successful business relationships in the city.

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