We have been helping businesses set up business throughout UAE and this expertise has made us think about some of the misconceptions that are passed on to our clients before we met them. We are listing some of them so that you are clear on what to expect before you start your business in the UAE.
1. Underestimating the other Side: Foreign nationals simply tend to underestimate the Arabs and doubt their intelligence. Arabs are highly intelligent, highly educated and very savvy businessmen who have built great business empires through their hard work. You would be surprised at their clever negotiation tactics. Dubai which had been a sleepy fishing village is an international metropolis today, not without efforts.
2. Time Factor: The UAE is very flexible in their approach to timing and scheduling but it is not considered rude to be late or rescheduling a prearranged meeting. Don’t follow a rigid schedule while in the UAE and don’t expect the same here. To not get exasperated, be flexible with your travel plans and have lot of buffer time.
3. Your ideas will be accepted as is: The Arabs as we said are highly intelligent and sometimes envision projects beyond the scope of what you have in mind. So come with an open mind and be ready to stretch your thinking cap. It doesn’t mean that you have to accept all the crazy things uttered but be ready to think beyond the scope of your project.
4. Setting up a business with a Single Meeting: Arabs tend to think of the commercial aspects after getting to know the person. This can be frustrating if you are operating on a stringent budget and timelines. You might have to spend weeks in the country to let the other person know you and then discuss the business aspects of the relationship. Be prepared for multiple visits and several meetings before starting the business.
5. Warm Hospitality Implies Easy Negotiations: Arabs are very friendly and always generous and warm. But be prepared to counter a hard bargain. They might demand concessions from you in lieu of their position and expect a lot of give and take in the negotiations.
6. Business Leads Through Local Partner: While it is compulsory in most places to work with a local partner, do not expect the leads to flood because of the partnership. Local partnership should be done by looking at how your business compliments the partner company and what profit it can bring to your firm. As in every country, local partnership can become difficult to manage and bring a high maintenance cost if not chosen carefully.
7. Work gets done with a Single Meeting: The key to do business in the UAE is follow ups. Arabs prefer a face to face meeting but be prepared to follow it up with emails, calls or visits. Don’t just assume that the job is done by a meeting in person.
8. Penetrating many-tiered Organizations: The organizations in the UAE are usually many-tiered and if you don’t have an influential local, it can be difficult to penetrate. Make sure your team here has an experienced local who can get the job done for you.
If you have done your homework, your business plan should be solid and should give you the wings for a successful business in the UAE. If you need any help for Setting Up Your Business in Dubai, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to respond.