Relocating to Dubai can be an exciting adventure! Who wouldn’t want to move somewhere with no tax, a lot of sun and a jungle of glamorous skyscrapers? The weekend starts on Thursday night and it’s a great place to immerse yourself in new cultures, being one of the most expat inhabited regions of the world!
Life in Dubai
Nightlife is lively in the city, starting from around 9pm and finishing in the early hours of the morning, with exciting events a frequent occurrence. Alcohol is available in hotel bars, which run regular fun nights and special parties.
People are generally friendly and eager to make new friends in Dubai, and a lot of the population is made up by expats, so you can meet new people from all over the world! English is widely spoken and understood, so there is no language barrier to worry about.
The public transport is clean and affordable, and the taxis are cheap and plentiful.
During Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), Muslims fast from dawn until dusk. Many firms, including Western ones, shorten their working hours and close at 1pm. After the sun goes does, shops reopen, and don’t close again until after midnight.
Business in Dubai
An international business hub, focused on the Energy, Tourism/Hospitality and Financial Services sectors, Dubai is a melting pot for business cultures, but local practices are still observed and very important.
It is common for business cards to be handed out at the beginning of a meeting, so make sure you always bring a stack with you. It is good for your business card to be double sided, with the English version on one side and Arabic on the other.
Punctuality is considered a sign of respect, but meetings can often be interrupted by other guests or phone calls. Handshakes should be gentle, not too firm or dominant, and it is uncommon for men and women to shake hands.
Sensitive topics should be avoided; criticising a colleague or client is considered very rude. Public humiliation is disrespectful, so conflict and negative comments should be kept private.
Where to go, what to see
The Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest tower) is hard to miss, standing 828m high, it dominates Dubai’s skyline. The view from the observation deck (on level 124!) is breath-taking, and if you want to go even higher then visit the luxurious ‘At The Top SKY’ lounge (on the 148th floor). If you want to stay the night, the Armani Hotel is on floors 38 and 39 or for fine dining go to floor 122 for the At.mosphere restaurant.
To experience the best of shopping, visit The Dubai Mall. With over 1,200 shops, 150 restaurants, an indoor theme park, a huge indoor waterfall, an ice rink and the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, you’ll need more than a whole day to appreciate it all.
Another great attraction is Palm Jumeirah, one of the largest artificial islands in the world. This man-made island is shaped like a palm tree and its vast array of high-end hotels are favoured by both locals and tourists. The most notable of these hotels is the iconic Atlantis, which features underwater rooms and award-winning restaurants. There are also many private touring companies which offer the opportunity to sail around the island by yacht or speedboat, or you can catch the Palm Monorail that runs to Atlantis.
There is also a snow park! The 3,000 square meters of snow is fun for all ages, with ski slopes for all levels, snowboarding, a zip line and a comfy café. The park’s newest addition is ‘March of the Penguins’, a chance to experience interactions with a colony of Gentoo and King Penguins!
Yearly events/ festivals
December/ January/ February – The Dubai Shopping Festival – A great tourist attraction for visitors from all around the world. The discounts sometimes go up to almost 75%, but there are activities besides shopping for deals to enjoy, such as raffle draws, fashion shows and music concerts!
February – Dubai Jazz Festival – A great event for music lovers, with a chilled-out atmosphere and comfortable seating and seat-free zones.
March – Dubai World Cup – A lavish event showcasing the richest horse race in the world, full of big names and iconic outfits.
November/December – Dubai Rugby Sevens – A popular 3-day event that attracts the whole expat community. Everyone gets into the spirit: wearing their team colours, dancing, singing, and eating a lot!
December – Dubai Film Festival – The leading film festival in the Middle East. Every year it is used as an influential platform for Arab filmmakers and talent, and has even extended to present excellence from Africa and Asia at an international level.
Get in touch today to find out more about opportunities in Dubai!