Business in the MENA Region: Silicon Valley in the UAE

3:27 am  |  27.04.2024

The MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region is formed by about twenty states of the Middle East and North Africa – the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, and Algeria, with a total population of 355 million people. This is a growing market, it is actively developing and attracts entrepreneurs and investors from all over the world.

There are some obvious factors that make MENA in general and the UAE in particular attractive for doing business:

  • Soft taxation system. Dubai has been a tax-free jurisdiction for a long time, and only in the summer of 2022, the UAE introduced a federal income tax for businesses in the amount of 9%.
  • Availability and simplicity for relocation and business development. The process of obtaining a license to operate and obtain residency is as simple and transparent as possible, and all organizational issues are resolved very quickly.
  • Economic prospects. Dubai is a global metropolis and an international market, from where it is easy to negotiate with all countries in the region. Through Dubai, you can not only bring your business to MENA but also quite easily scale to the larger MEASA (Middle East, Africa, South Asia) market, which unites 72 countries with a population of 3.5 billion people.
  • Climate and safety. And, of course, do not forget about the sun, the sea, a friendly environment, and a low level of stress as opposed to a high level of safety.

Financial Infrastructure and IT Support

The MENA region is home to major financial centers that connect regional markets to global economies. These include Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), the international financial center and free zone Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), located on Al Mariah Island in Abu Dhabi, Qatar Onshore Business and Financial Center Doha (QFC), and King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

READ: Difficulties in Finding a Candidate: IT Specialists in Dubai

Business Culture

Dubai is an international city, so there is a mixture of languages, cultures, and traditions. Residents have seen a lot, so it is difficult to surprise them, and Arab subtleties in business interactions have long faded into the background. Still, as in any other country, it is important to respect the local culture.

Dress Code

Despite the hot climate, you should not wear too short, tight, or beach clothes to business meetings, especially if they take place in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, or Abu Dhabi. In business spaces, people do not get to know each other for personal interests and do not invite each other on dates.

Small Talk

You shouldn’t rush into battle right away, it won’t work here. Any business meeting always begins with a small talk. A business partner wants to know who you are, where you are from, what your personal and professional background is, whether you have a family, and what your life philosophy is based on. After this, the conversation smoothly moves into a business direction.

If you have an appointment at 13:00 in a specific place, it is at this hour that you will be expected at the negotiating table.

READ: The Secret of a Premium Holiday in Dubai: The Roots of Luxury


At a business meeting, it is considered good form to ask your interlocutor, potential or current partner: “How can I be useful, how can I help you?”, and not ask for help in advance.

Family is an absolute priority. At 17-18 hours, as a rule, few people can be found in the office. The second half of the day is dedicated to family.

Work During the Month of Ramadan

The month of Ramadan is a holy period for Muslims, during which they observe fasting and devote more time to prayer. During this period, business processes may change, and understanding the significance of Ramadan helps to adapt to changes in work schedules and comply with religious norms.

READ: Which Developers Confirmed Their Reputation: Consequences of the Flood

For example, during Ramadan, all Muslims have shorter working hours. Muslims do not eat before sunset. To show respect for the faith of your new business partners, try to eat lunch either at home or in a cafe. During the month of Ramadan, their windows are curtained.

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Leave a comment on


Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: