Abou Dabi — أبو ظبي

The capital of the United Arab Emirates has a population of 1.5 million. Situated on the northeastern part of the Persian Gulf in the Arabian Peninsula. It is on an island close to the mainland. Abu Dhabi has known a rapid development and urbanization with a high income average of it’s population. The city is an advanced metropolis and a major cultural and commercial center. The city accounts about two thirds of the U.A.E economy. It is the fourth city with the most expatriates.

What you need to know before going to Abu Dhabi,

To greet someone in this country you have to greet the most senior person first. It is a sign of respect that is set in the Muslim culture. You can say:” assalamu alaikum” which would mean “Peace be upon you”. For men, when greeting a man for business handshakes are always used and may or may not last quite long. Don’t be surprised if they walk around while shaking your hand to lead you somewhere. Again for men, it is best if you don’t shake hands or any other form of physical contact with women, no touching between men and women in public is aloud. If you are a woman and you are being introduced to a man wait to see if he extends his hand. If you are meeting another woman, wait for her to greet you but often a kiss on the left cheek is acceptable.

In the U.A.E business comes after the relationship building and the trust development. It’s very important for them to know with who they are doing business. Ask about health and family. Status is also very important for them so address them by their right title. If you want to make a good impression you should try learning a few Arabic key words. When it comes to meetings make sure to arrive on time, punctuality is expected even if they may be a bit late. Coffe or refreshments are served during meetings and you should accept because it will be considered rude if you don’t. Decision making can be slow and bureaucratic formalities tend to add to the delay, be patient because if you get mad or lose temper the trust will be gone and you will be considered un worthy to do business with.

When invited to a home for dinner be sure to take your shoes off. It is appropriate to bring something, you don’t have to but it will be a nice gesture, just don’t bring alcohol. You won’t drink alcohol for it is a Muslim country, Alcohol is served in hotels and local restaurants. Never refuse food because they consider that as rude. Eat with your right hand only, the left hand is for bodily hygiene and it’s consider unclean.

Human rights organizations have heavily criticized violations of human rights in Abu Dhabi. As with other parts of the UAE, foreign workers are not given proper treatment and many companies (both government and private) have yet to improve things.

Once in Abu Dhabi, you can visit the beautiful mosque of Cheikh Zayed, the Emirates Palace and even go on the last floors of the tallest buildings to take pictures at the restaurants to enjoy the once in a lifetime views. There is also the beach and the worlds biggest malls. You can also go to the Ferrari World which is an attraction park.

Safe travels and please let us know how your experience is!