UAE business ethics, learn about the basic etiquette to work in the Emirate

Walaa Alaghbar
Published 1 year ago on 26 June, 2023-2321 views
UAE business ethics, learn about the basic etiquette to work in the Emirate

In order to start a new business project outside your country in Arab countries such as the United Arab Emirates, which has been characterized by a flourishing scope of work in it recently and attracting labor from all over the world due to the availability of good job opportunities, you must first be concerned with business ethics in the United Arab Emirates and commitment with the culture of its people, their culture and their values. Business ethics in the UAE may differ from home or from what you observe in any other country due to the fact that it is a conservative and Muslim country.

So what are the types of UAE business ethics? And what is the code of Arab ethical business? The following article will be the window through which we will learn about business ethics and culture in the UAE.

What are UAE business ethics?

UAE business ethics or business etiquette refer to the moral principles and values that guide the behavior of businesses and individuals in the United Arab Emirates. UAE management and business ethics are based on Islamic principles and cultural traditions that emphasize honesty, integrity, respect for others, and social responsibility. Some of the key aspects of UAE business ethics include transparency in business dealings, fair treatment of employees and customers, respect for local customs and traditions, and a commitment to environmental sustainability.

Basis for UAE business ethics

Business ethics in the UAE and middle east is based on 4 important basic pillars that every citizen or worker in the country must respect and adhere to. Then he will be able to win the respect of his business partners and the love of the customer. The pillars of business ethics in the UAE are greetings, dress codes, gifts, and business cards.

Greeting, the basis of UAE business ethics

One of the basics of business ethics in the United Arab Emirates is to greet each other and shake hands. And because the country is one of the most conservative, when greeting the other individual, you must first call them Mr. or Mrs. and shake hands with the man, while you must wait for the woman to shake your hand first. It is also important to say hello to those who are older first and from seniority. Saying hello in Islamic countries is by saying peace be upon you, which is one of the most acceptable, respectful and frequent types of greetings.

In business meetings, it is important to praise, flatter, improve speech, and exchange respect with the other party in order to build long-term relationships. Also, making short conversations and asking about food, places to visit, and community customs can be helpful. But remember to avoid talking about sensitive matters and controversial discussions such as politics and religion.

Dress code

The dress code is considered one of the most important UAE business ethics. Where attention must be paid to the elegance and monotony of the dress. The locals adhere to the local robe that represents their culture and society, the local dress for men is dishdasha, which is a long white robe. While the women wear the so-called abaya, which is a black robe that reaches the floor. Foreigners or tourists are not obligated to wear the local dress of the country, but they must dress modestly and wear formal clothes that are appropriate for business meetings.

It is very important for women to give great importance to their dress. It is preferable to have a long dress or skirt that covers the details of the woman’s body, and to wear sweaters that cover the shoulder, chest and neck. For women, modesty is one of the rules of the religion of Islam, which must be adhered to. Bright and heavy perfumes and jewelry are also not recommended in business meetings for women.


It is customary for the locals in the United Arab Emirates to exchange symbolic gifts with each other from time to time. Therefore, when concluding a deal or signing a partnership contract, giving the party a symbolic gift from your hometown or any foreign country is an important step in building friendship between the two parties, and because Emiratis appreciate and respect other cultures. Exchanging gifts at the first meeting is a tactful act and indicates respect for the other person in accordance with prevailing customs and traditions. You can choose high-quality dates, which are the most desired gifts in the Emirates, or small symbolic gifts, such as offering sweets such as chocolate.

Also, pay attention to the importance of not giving gifts across gender. If you want to present a gift to a female business partner of yours, present them through a female from your team. The same applies to a woman who wants to present a gift to her business partner. Avoid giving some unwanted gifts in the Emirates that offend their religion, such as alcohol or pigskin products and dogs.

Business card

Trading business cards between employees in companies and business owners in the United Arab Emirates is easy, and there is laxity in this matter, due to the state’s policies, which made it easier for citizens to do many things by using private business cards. Paying attention to present the business card with the right hand is something important, in addition to including your name, surname, the name of the company you work for, e-mail, phone number, and web address is essential that should not be forgotten. And remember that writing is in Arabic, the official language of the UAE, and English, the international language.

Read also: “Trading history of UAE: it’s importance, and the events that occured over time

Dubai UAE business ethics types

Types of uae business ethics
Types of uae business ethics

Not only in the United Arab Emirates, we find different types of business ethics, but this matter includes any company in any country that is committed to the laws, basics, and principles of work. Types of business ethics in the UAE:

  • ethics corporate ethics responsibilities

One of the basic ethics is to guarantee all the rights of employees and individual shareholders in the work, whether from inside or outside, by assuming the responsibility that rests with each party.

  • Social Responsible

 Achieving profits should not be at the expense of society, but should benefit it, such as protecting it, protecting the environment, and achieving the desired benefit from each company with the aim of spreading culture and awareness.

  • Personal Responsibility

Every individual has a personal responsibility that stems from his diligence and accuracy in work and performance, in addition to adhering to deadlines, securing his dues, and avoiding all criminal acts.

  • Fairness and equality

Avoid favoritism as it is an immoral act and every person possesses a certain bias so do not bring your personal and family relationships into the workplace and provide fair opportunities for everyone to promote.

  • Technology ethics

Especially in the 21st century, where electronic commerce is present in every company, so the privacy of the customer and the worker must be preserved, in addition to guaranteeing the right of the individual to intellectual property rights.

  • Transparency and trustworthiness 

It is a feature that every company must have in the business in order to gain the trust of customers and maintain long-term business between the two parties.

You may be intrested in: “history of Dubai city: amazing factors you dont know before oil discovery vs current times

Dubai code of ethics and business

Code ethics of uae business
Uae code of business ethics

Adherence to the Dubai and the UAE Code of business Ethics is the duty of every member of the Dubai service Excellence scheme and the Dubai Code of Ethics includes the following:

  • Display prices clearly on each product appropriately.
  • Do not deal in fake products.
  • Clear policy to refund or repair defective products.
  • Offer products with valid warranties. 
  • Ensuring that the service provided is consistent with the staff’s knowledge of the product range.
  • Adding value to products with reliable, accessible after-sales service.
  • environmentally friendly policy.
  • Staff training and development. 
  • Maintain the health and safety of customers and employees.
  • Be a good ambassador for DSES.

Our pick for you: “Business Activity UAE; Business activities in Dubai UAE

Importance of UAE business etiquette

Business etiquette is highly valued in the UAE and Saudi Arabia as it plays a crucial role in building and maintaining professional relationships. The following are some of the reasons why uae business etiquette is important:

  • Cultural sensitivity: The UAE is a diverse country with people from different cultures and backgrounds. UAE Business etiquette helps individuals to understand and respect these cultural differences, which is essential for building trust and rapport with clients and colleagues.
  • Professionalism: Good business etiquette demonstrates professionalism, which is highly valued in the UAE. It shows that an individual takes their work seriously and is committed to delivering high-quality services.
  • Networking: Building strong relationships with clients and colleagues is crucial for success in business. Good business etiquette helps individuals to establish positive connections, which can lead to new opportunities and partnerships.
  • Reputation: In the UAE, reputation is everything. Good business etiquette can help individuals build a positive reputation, which can lead to increased trust, respect, and credibility.
  • Communication: Effective communication is essential for successful business interactions. UAE Business etiquette helps individuals communicate clearly and effectively, which can prevent misunderstandings or misinterpretations.

Overall, good business etiquette is essential for success in the UAE’s competitive business environment. It helps individuals build strong relationships, demonstrate professionalism, and establish a positive reputation – all of which are critical for achieving long-term success in this dynamic market.

You can also read: “UAE family visa: learn about it’s requirements, ways to apply, validity, and total price

What are the ethical standards of UAE society?

The UAE is a Muslim country with a strong emphasis on religious and cultural values. The ethical business standards of UAE society are largely influenced by Islamic teachings and traditions. Some of the key ethical values that are highly valued in the UAE include:
Respect for elders: The UAE society places great importance on respecting elders and showing them deference.
Hospitality: Hospitality is a core value in Emirati culture, and visitors are treated with warmth and generosity.
Honesty: Honesty is highly valued in the UAE, and people are expected to be truthful in all their dealings
Modesty: Modesty is an important value in Emirati culture, and people are expected to dress modestly and behave with decorum.
Charity: Giving to charity is considered a virtuous act in Islam, and many Emiratis donate generously to charitable causes.
Tolerance: The UAE is a multicultural society, and tolerance towards different cultures, religions, and lifestyles is encouraged.
Family values: Family values are highly valued in the UAE, and family members are expected to support each other through thick and thin.
Hard work: Hard work is considered a virtue in the UAE, and people are expected to work diligently to achieve their goals.
Overall, the ethical standards of UAE society emphasize respect for others, honesty, generosity, modesty, tolerance towards diversity, family values, hard work, among others.

Why is it good to do business in the UAE?

The reasons why businesses may find it advantageous to operate in the UAE:
Strategic Location: The UAE is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, making it an ideal location for businesses that want to expand their reach globally.
Tax Benefits: The UAE has a favorable tax regime with no corporate or personal income tax, making it an attractive destination for businesses looking to save on taxes.
Business-Friendly Environment: The UAE has a business-friendly environment with streamlined procedures for setting up and running a business. It also has a highly skilled workforce and modern infrastructure.
Diversified Economy: The UAE’s economy is diversified with sectors such as oil and gas, tourism, real estate, finance, and logistics. This diversification provides opportunities for businesses across various industries.
Political Stability: The UAE is politically stable with a strong government that supports business growth and development.
Cultural Diversity: The UAE is home to people from different cultures and nationalities, creating a diverse market for businesses to tap into.
Free Zones: The UAE has several free zones that offer 100% foreign ownership and other incentives such as tax exemptions and customs duty waivers.
Quality of Life: The UAE offers a high quality of life with modern amenities such as world-class healthcare facilities, education institutions, entertainment options, and infrastructure.

United Arab Emirates is one of the most Arab and international countries that have a high work ethic. UAE business ethics and compliance are comprehensive, and adherence to them guarantees the rights of the worker and the company, and can help increase customer confidence and attract many business graduates and major economics expatriates  who wish to build their projects in the country and business conduct.

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