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What are the important things to know about working with partners based in Dubai?

We have potential opportunity in Dubai. I am wondering if there is anything I need to know for best work practices. Anyone done deals there with some insight or advice for winning over a potential awesome client? Any pitfalls or things I should watch out for?

8 Replies

Bon Franklin
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Bon Franklin Entrepreneur
Co-Founder of Morphid
Here's a tip. Don't do business with people who are only able to pay you well because their collective wealth is a result of the pervasive use of slave labor. I mean, unless you don't mind having that on your conscience. Your call.
Ahmad Zahran
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Ahmad Zahran Advisor
Non-Linear Thinker | Strategist | Entrepreneur
Bon let's leave the racism aside please. Dubai is actually a very beautiful and business friendly place bar a few rare exceptions. I've lived there on-and-off for over 15 years.

Alison, ping me with some more info about your project and I'll happily give you insights into the culture. There are just so many different types of clients/businesses that I wouldn't be able to give you any advice without knowing more about your particular case.
Bon Franklin
0
0
Bon Franklin Entrepreneur
Co-Founder of Morphid
Feel free to point out where I identified any racial predeliction by anyone in Dubai to this behavior. You are calling me a racist and I made no such statements to justify it. I request an apology from you, Ahmed.
Kate Hiscox
1
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Kate Hiscox Entrepreneur • Advisor
Boss at Venzee
Bon - Alison asked for tips on how to do business there, not whether she should. I imagine she has already been through that part of the process =)
Béla Tibor
1
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Béla Tibor Entrepreneur
Property, Facilities, Business Models, Innovation
Hi. I spent some time working in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. My read on it is:
On the corporate level, depending on how strategic and capital intensive it is, decisions are typically made out of sight by the emirati financial backers, others - I suspect you would fall into this - can be made from within the corporate structure.
On the individual level, there are wealthy and well paid emiratis, highly paid expat consultants (far fewer after 2009) and then the largest group of low wage workers.
I can see your products appealing to corporate marketing, local/international business people and of course the trend conscious wealthy locals.
Happy to chat with you if interested
Alison Lewis
0
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Alison Lewis Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO/Creative Director
Thank you guys. I'll send an email directly.
Adriano Ferrari
0
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Adriano Ferrari Entrepreneur
Founder at GingkoApp.com
One more tip:
Be patient. They often say "Bukra, insha' Allah", which literally means "Tomorrow, God Willing", but actually means "Whenever I get around to it.

Depending on who you're working for, deadlines and timelines might be more lax than you'd be used to over here. In this regard, it helps to know who the real decision maker is, because anyone below that person will likely stall (then again, is that really different from here?).

(Background: I was born & raised in Kuwait, and had many trips to the Emirates, including one business deal that fell through)
Vinay Menon
0
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Vinay Menon Entrepreneur
Founder at Mera Tiffin
I have a friend who has moved to dubai and is now employed with a creative agency in dubai. She had this to say about Dubai small businesses, mostly everybody has a designer on board. Interesting! Emiratis should be creative folks to work with.
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