Business

United Arab Emirates,
Dubai

Introduction

Dubai has positioned itself as the liberal, tax-free transit lounge between Europe and Asia. After several slow years following the financial crisis, the city is back in business and attracts visitors as diverse as Lebanese entrepreneurs, moneyed Saudi princes and sunburnt British tourists with a penchant for partying. The first city in the GCC to build an urban rail network, Dubai is home to some of the Gulf’s finest hotels including the landmark Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa. The best time to visit is between October and May – unless you enjoy 40C heat.

More from Dubai PDF Version

Essentials

  1. It is prohibited to chew gum or carry take-away food or drinks on the metro.
  2. Don’t photograph local women unless you have permission.
  3. Friday/Saturday is the weekend. Don’t plan on doing any business on a Friday, it’s a day for rest and prayer.
  4. When introduced to a Muslim woman, wait for her to offer her hand. Some prefer not to.
  5. Don’t reject an offer of tea or coffee and always have more than one cup.

Two-hour tour

  • Bastakiya — An historic district of Dubai featuring a peaceful warren of old courtyard houses and windtowers.

    Bur Dubai

    Visit website
  • Alserkal Avenue — Dubai has become a hub for contemporary art, with many galleries showing provocative work from Iran and the rest of the Arab world.

    Al Quoz

    Visit website
  • Aerial city tour Seawings, Jebel Ali — The only way to get your head around Dubai is from the sky.

    +971 4 807 0708

    Visit website

Hotels

  • Independent and easy

    Bonnington

    Jumeirah Lakes Towers

    +971 4 356 0000

    Visit website
  • Dependable chain

    Shangri-La

    Sheikh Zayed Road

    +971 4 343 8888

    Visit website
  • Premium

    Zabeel Saray

    The Palm Jumeirah

    +971 4 453 0000

    Visit website

Dining

  • Fast breakfast

    More Café

    Mall of Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Road

    +971 4 395 0967

    Visit website
  • Business breakfast

    MAKE Business Hub

    Al Fattan House, Dubai Marina

    +971 4 392 9216

    Visit website
  • Working lunch with colleagues

    La Petite Maison

    Gate Village, Dubai International Finance Centre

    +971 4 439 0505

    Visit website
  • Lunch on your own

    The Pavilion Downtown Dubai

    Emaar Boulevard

    +971 4 447 7025

    Visit website
  • Afternoon tea

    Sahn Eddar — (Advance reservations essential)

    Burj Al Arab

    +971 4 301 7600

    Visit website
  • Dinner with colleagues

    Al Hambra

    Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah

    +971 4 366 6730

    Visit website
  • Private dinner

    Rivington Grill

    Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Burj Dubai

    +971 4 423 0903

    Visit website
  • Big dinner with partner/clients

    Nobu

    Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah

    +971 4 426 0760

    Visit website
  • Drink after dinner

    The Agency

    Madinat Jumeirah

    +971 4 366 6730

    Visit website
  • Late bite

    Zaroob

    Sheikh Zayed Road

    +971 4 327 6060

    Visit website
  • On the tiles

    Armani/Privé Lounge

    Burj Khalifa

    +971 4 888 3308

    Visit website
  • Mid-morning coffee

    Lime Tree Café

    Dubai Media City

    +971 4 325 6325

    Visit website
  • Need-to-impress-clients lunch

    Zuma

    Gate Village, DIFC

    +971 4 425 5660

    Visit website

Reading

  • Bookshop

    Kinokuniya

    The Dubai Mall, Sheikh Zayed Road

    +971 4 434 0111

    Visit website

Thank yous

  • Dates and delicacies

    Bateel

    The Dubai Mall

    +971 4 339 9819

    Visit website

Shopping

  • Something you can't get anywhere else

    Mosque alarm clock — Mosque alarm clock

    Classic City, Satwa

    +971 4 349 1012

  • Lost luggage - where to buy shirts

    Bloomingdale's

    The Dubai Mall

    +971 4 350 5333

    Visit website
  • Something for someone you love

    Bambah — Vintage jewellery and one-off clothing pieces sourced from regional and international collections.

    Jumeirah Beach Road

    +971 50 674 1754

    Visit website
  • Something for yourself

    Bespoke — Suit up with the help of Dubai’s oldest tailoring dynasty, the Parmar family

    DIFC, The Gate

    +971 4 363 7237

    Visit website
  • Something for the kids

    Camel dolls by The Camel Company

    The Dubai Mall

    +971 4 330 8117

    Visit website

Alternative diversion

  • Ski Dubai — Indoor ski/snowboard piste in Mall of the Emirates (plus penguins).

    Sheikh Zayed Road

    +971 800 534 7873

    Visit website

Transport

  • Taxis — Opt for taxis rather than renting a car (though Hertz has branches across the city; hertzuae.com, +971 4 206 0206). Some hotels provide guests with airport transfers in addition to their own services. When taking a taxi to destinations outside of mainstream malls, it makes good sense to jot down the telephone number of where you’re headed to give to the driver for directions. The cheap and clean Metro now has two lines, servicing the downtown area and stretching to the major malls: Dubai Marina and Jebel Ali. Use whenever possible, as Sheikh Zayed Road is often reduced to a crawl during rush hour.

Fitness

  • Good gym

    U Energy

    Gate Village, Dubai International Finance Centre

    +971 4 422 8721

    Visit website

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