All you need to know going on business to Abu Dhabi

We drew up a business protocol guide to Abu Dhabi.

To help those who will go to Abu Dhabi for an event or on business, we drew up a business protocol guide to Abu Dhabi, with the help of our protocol experts, Susana Casanova and Cristina Fernandes.

. Distinguished city, Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital, has been experiencing an impressive development, without losing its cultural and historical identity. The Al Nahyan family rules Abu Dhabi since 1793.

. Abu Dhabi is the largest and most populous city in the UAE. Note, however, that only 20% of its inhabitants are native, with the remaining 80% being expatriates, mainly Asians, Africans, Australians, Europeans and North Americans. The combination of international influences with the local culture of Islamic tradition creates an interesting and unique multicultural climate. Arabic is the official language but the use of English is widespread.

. The official religion of the UAE is Islamic and Fridays are holy days. The usual working hours in public institutions is between 8am and 4pm, but during Ramadan months variations may occur, especially in businesses and commerce.

. The local currency is the dirham, but there is an extensive network of ATMs and bureaux de change. Credit cards are widely accepted.

. UAE natives usually dress traditionally, men using the "kandura" and women "abaya" and "sheyla", with "hijab" and "niqab" or "burka". Westerners should present with classic and elegant clothing, taking into account, however, the balance between very

hot climate and local culture. Necklines, short skirts, shorts, bared shoulders should be avoided, particularly in the Ramadan period. To visit mosques, women should cover skin and hair.

. The most appropriate behaviour is to act according to the precept that, being in a foreign country and in a very different culture, respecting the culture and its rules is a revealing attitude of greater common sense and consideration. For example, in a mosque, never walking in front of who is praying. Also not taking photos at random, being advisable to ask permission to photograph people, public and military installations, airports and ports.

. Establishing trust relationships is critical to the development of a negotiating process, so no details should be left to chance. For example, the seniority status must be respected, as well as age.

. It is advisable not to speak or laugh out loud and gestures should be restrained. Punctuality is key. The social and professional position is critical and should also be recognised by the correct use of titles. Name order is the same as westerners, initially the first name and then the family name. For example, the terms "Sheik / Sheika" indicate a government position and the word "Sayed" is equivalent to Mr. "Bin / ould / ibn" means "son of". Academic qualifications must be respected. Note that a married woman does not take her husband's name.

. Proper greeting is the handshake, but it can not happen between a man and a woman, so foreigners should not take initiative. Social space should be preserved.

. Bonuses are expected for all those who provide a service. In a restaurant, it is assumed a 10% tip.

. In Abu Dhabi, cleanliness and order are a constant. Cleaning is associated with the concept of purity. The UAE is one of the world's countries with lowest crime rates.  

Tags: Protocol