Case Study of UAE working Decorum

UAE Workplace Etiquettes




Introduction 4
Thesis Statement 4
Manager’s Role 5
Hierarchy 5
Meeting Etiquettes 6
Conclusion 7
Bibliography 8


UAE is becoming an international hub for industries which is creating a lot of workplaces in Dubai which generates a lot of international employment creating cultural diversities at work and coalition with companies from different parts of the world. An interesting fact about working in UAE is that every time business meetings are held in UAE or the meeting is with people belonging from UAE, it is preferred that the meeting is kept in a hotel lobby of n international hotel rather than a conference room or an office of an hotel, the advantage noticed here is that lesser people will be seen walking in and out of a meeting. If a colleague or a correspondent approaches you, it indicates real interest in you. This arrangement also allows people access to food and refreshments. (Sarwar & Abugre, 2013)
I am the Human resources head of this company and I have done research on the general terms and mannerisms observed in UAE related to the corporate sector among the employees and leaders. My objective behind this presentation is to provide orientation to the new recruits about the workplace etiquettes to be observed while working in UAE which will be useful for employees belonging to all the different parts of the organization.
Thesis Statement

UAE is one of the most advanced and developed nations in the Middle East with a diverse workplace.

Manager’s Role

Currently, Managers in UAE are facing increased amount of challenges regarding the cultural diversity of the workforce. Handling the diverse workforce and managing this diversity with carefulness is a must for the manager. If this diversity is managed well by a manager despite the challenges, it becomes a positive factor for the manager. The wider understanding of the culture provides insightful intercultural workplace communication and aids in establishing a common ground dependant on factors like gender, age, behavior, education, etc. (Al-Jenaibi, Diversity in the United Arab Emirates – An Initial Study, 2011)In an organizational culture in UAE, motivation of the employees through employee recognition and appreciation is crucial for the manager in a workplace. (Al-Jenaibi, The scope and impact of workplace diversity in the United Arab Emirates – A preliminary study , 2012) This depicts that managers in a UAE work place require intercultural skills to utilize important business benefits of a diverse workplace. An active role of a manger is overcoming these boundaries helps in mitigating the risks related to a workplace.

A strong vertical hierarchy is often observed in some private sector industries in UAE. Many industries are run by a single powerful entity that makes the majority of the decisions. This person is supposed to be treated with the utmost respect for a well maintained business relationship. The team under this leader is supposed to report back to him directly. Due to this reason teams demonstrate a vertical work rather than horizontal. Sometimes a person’s identity and roots are more important than their achievements. The Governmental enterprises and organizations do not follow a hierarchy but a horizontal structure of work is observed in these workplaces. (Sarwar & Abugre, 2013)

Meeting Etiquettes

In UAE, business is preferred to be done in person rather than any other way as mutual trust is a primary requirement for any business deal. It is also preferred that instead of directly approaching a third party; you should have a mutual correspondent or connection. General introductions begin with customary greetings and handshakes and it is preferred that every person be greeted individually rather than as a group as it diminishes the importance of the most senior member of the group. It is also required that the most senior or important person of the group must be greeted first to symbolize the level of respect given to them. Visitors to UAE are expected to follow a certain level of modesty in behavior and dressing. (Business Etiquette in the U.A.E., n.d.) Status is important while addressing anyone in UAE as in Shiekh or Shiekha and Sayed or Sayeda. First names are preferred over second names so Adam Smith can be addressed as Mr. Adam. (Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, 2010)
Modesty should be observed in donning attire and non-revealing clothes should be strictly avoided. In certain circumstances shoes are required to be removed when approaching a religious site. It is considered inappropriate to have prolonged eye contact with women and to inquire a man about his wife or daughter regarding family matters or health. (SIDANI & THORNBERRY, 2010) Hospitality comes in a higher regard than punctuality in workplaces and meeting so being a bit late to a meeting is not unusual but punctuality is expected from westerners. During meetings and deals, a person should never show the bottom of his/her foot to another person as it displays a sign of great disrespect to the other person. Arab people being experienced traders the deal will include haggling or similar activities which might extend the time interval of the meeting. (Zalami, 2005)


The general details about the UAE workplace environment and what sort of rules should be followed while working in UAE are essential to be observed. There is also an inclusion of the roles which are to be followed by the managers governing the employees and brief description and guidelines to the employees. These important etiquettes should prove fruitful to a person trying to have a favorable work-life in UAE.

Al-Jenaibi, B. (2011). Diversity in the United Arab Emirates – An Initial Study. ACTA UNIVERSITATIS DANUBIUS , 147-174.
Al-Jenaibi, B. (2012). The scope and impact of workplace diversity in the United Arab Emirates – A preliminary study . Malaysia Journal of Society and Space 8 issue 1 , 1-14.
Business Etiquette in the U.A.E. (n.d.). Retrieved July 8, 2014, from
Federal Authority for Government Human Resources. (2010, June 12). Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Retrieved July 8, 2014, from
SIDANI, Y. M., & THORNBERRY, J. (2010). The Current Arab Work Ethic: Antecedents, Implications, and Potential Remedies. Journal of Business Ethics , 35-49.
Zalami, A. (2005). Perspectives on Responsible BusinessPractices in the Middle East. INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS ETHICS REVIEW , 1-16.


Posted on

March 8, 2018

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