Every Expo is an extraordinary event worthy of attention, worth a visit and worth to participate in. This Expo will be an event of records in all aspects, as it will feature more than 190 countries, the highest number so far.
The Expo functions as a platform for cooperation, strengthening of national brands and for cultural exchange. But it is also a fun experience that is unlike any other tourism adventure due to its content and extravagance.
If you have always wanted to visit Dubai, this is the best chance for an unforgettable adventure. The city will become the centre of the world during Expo 2020, a breathtaking intersection of people, cultures and ideas, some of which will likely change our lives.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the most open of all Gulf countries to accepting Western cultural patterns. Nevertheless, the country takes great pride in its traditions, which should be honoured to the maximum possible extent.
Intensive personal contacts are vital to doing business in the Arab world. Business representatives in the UAE prefer to do business in person. Therefore, a good personal relationship and trust are the foundation of any successful business relationship. It is key to get to know your business partner and make sure more meetings are scheduled to build trust and respect.
In order to make it onto the UAE market it is best to connect with persons who already have a network of acquaintances in the country and establish the first contact with your potential business partner this way. Because business representatives in the UAE prefer to do business with people they know, such an introduction is very welcome.
Family and friends come first, which means that meetings could get cancelled if the partner has obligations with their family or friends. It is vital to be on time, punctuality is expected. But on the other hand, you need to show understanding if your Emirati partner is running late. There is a strong vertical hierarchy in UAE companies. Most businesses are owned and managed by a single person who also makes all the decisions.
One's status depends on age, wealth and family connections. Who you are and who your business partner is is often more important that your achievements. It is very common for multiple family members to work in a single company.
Because status plays a key role, it is essential to acknowledge that and use the appropriate addresses. If you are unsure about the status of the person you are about to meet, inquire beforehand or ask the person who will be introducing you. When meeting a group of people, it is important that you first shake hands with the oldest persons. Usually, the oldest person also has the highest status, but this is not always the case.
For every UAE citizen there are about seven foreign residents living in the country. As a general rule, the most senior positions are held by UAE citizens, who stand out from foreigners because of their traditional wear.
"As-salamu alaykum" (peace be with you) is the traditional greeting, to which you respond with "Wa alaykum as-salam". Each person is to be greeted with a handshake, but you may only offer to shake a woman's hand if she does so first.
Introductory meetings are meant to form acquaintances. They are slow-paced and relaxed, usually accompanied with a cup of coffee or tea. These meetings take time.
UAE residents are rather conservative in their style of dress and visitors too should choose their clothing carefully. Women wear clothes that cover their entire body. Female tourists in the UAE must respect the dress code and not wear shorts or cropped tops, except at the beach or at home. Men dress according to occasion. A business suit is required for meetings, and the same rule also applies to women. Accessories are important and must be of top quality.
Drinking alcohol in public is prohibited.
It is prohibited to take pictures of women and you must always ask permission before photographing a man.
In general, in Gulf countries great importance is ascribed to Islam, dignity, pride, social status, honour and reputation. Family loyalty is the highest value and family interests take precedence over individual interests.