Living In Dubai

What Global Businesses Must Know About Living in Dubai

Comments (0) Doing Business in Dubai, Dubai Culture

Living in Dubai is so much more than deserts and the Burj Khalifa. Those are  lovely, nonetheless, every day life is more about cultural norms and accepted etiquette.

I’ve already shared how doing business in Dubai is very different from that in the Western world.

Today I want to talk about how living in Dubai is also very different.

With an increasing number of global businesses setting up offices in Dubai, it is vital that they communicate with their expat team what they need to know about living in Dubai to make the transition easy and effortless for everyone.

Living in Dubai: 5 Key Things You Have to Know

1. Public displays of affection aren’t the norm.

while you may hold hands with your husband, kissing and hugging isn’t culturally appropriate. Similarly drinking alcohol in public places is prohibited so don’t even think of strolling down a street with a can of beer in your hand, like you’d do in Australia or in the States.

2. Renting an apartment will mean that, in most cases, you will need to pay rent for the entire year, upfront.

Employees may want to discuss initial rental payments with their company since it can be a big chunk of cash.

3. Clothing must always be modest when in public.

Yes, even when you go to the beach. Business formals, as I shared earlier, are a given for all business meetings.

4. Respect rules above everything else.

Dubai and Emirate culture is all about respect. Respecting one’s elders, the culture, values, property and of course, their processes and legislation. Respect is key to being a global citizen and living in Dubai highlights it more so.

5. Take time to understand how everyday trade works.

That means learning about all aspects of the working world, including banking, healthcare, taxis and even, politics. This is key for cultural immersion and to make everyday life in Dubai effortless for you.

Life in Dubai is no different from life in any major megalopolis and yet so unique in its own way. Knowing the basics and learning the cultural nuances that give Dubai its unique flavor will make transitions much easier for expats.

If you’re a business considering setting up offices in Dubai, make it simpler for your employees to make the move here.

I’ll be happy to chat with you about working and living in Dubai so, drop me a line at

Meanwhile, tell me what are some of your key questions about life in Dubai?

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