Dubai Decoded for You The Myths versus the Facts

, Life@UAE

Have you ever thought of a new business setup in Dubai? Are you keen on opening your branch office in UAE? But are scared of the cultural and social myths about the region…

Don’t be…for we will decode the Facts vs. Myths of staying in Dubai/UAE, right here…

Strict regime and even stricter codes of conduct for women…Not true at all. In fact, the company policies are pretty lax in Dubai and are favourable for those who want to start a business in Dubai or start a business in the UAE. In fact, the red-tape is much less and the business setup in Dubai freezone is much easier than in other countries, per se. Compare this to India, where the Licensing Raj has long gone but the restrictions continue, thanks to a thriving democratic regime and political party and as such policy changes.

Life as a businesswoman in Dubai and UAE is not tough at all, contrary to popular perceptions. There’s no hijab as such and they dress conservatively for sure, but there are no ‘impediments’ to doing business. The Arabs just follow a different custom socially which are different from the West. The ways of doing business is also different but there are no special restrictions if you are a woman.

Sharia is strict but if you follow the law and behave on expected lines, then there’s no problem. Ask any expat woman and the answer would be – she feels safer than a lot of other places.

That the real estate boom is over…Coinciding with the debt-ridden housing crash in the US, came the recession in the housing sector and an end to lofty pipe dreams in Dubai. The much-hyped project, The World, [a man-made archipelago of 300 islands] was halted, thanks to recession.

But rest assured the boom in real estate has started once again and is here to stay. From the Jumeirah Corniche Project to the Dubai Opera House and Aladdin City in Old Dubai, the housing and real estate developments have started in earnest swing. That can only mean good news…

Dubai is only a concrete jungle…a city without a soul as some would claim. It buzzes but apparently only the buildings reverberate. It’s true that the city is definitely cosmopolitan, does have fantastic and futuristic buildings [case in point the Burj Khalifa] but it also has soul. Look out for that in its diverse characteristics; go out to into the city or maybe out of the city to experience it. Then you will realize that it is not only about the buildings or the concrete jungle, it’s also about the desert and its nomadic culture, the old coexisting harmoniously with the new, the historical district of Bastakiya [on the verge of getting recognized as the UNESCO heritage site] or go and experience the swirling dervishes or chakradance as it is popularly known and get lost in the rhythm. Then you will know that Dubai is not ‘only’ about the buildings.

Under Close Watch in Dubai…Unfortunately this is true; your every move is being watched and tracked. There are close to 100,000 cameras watching you closely in Dubai. Since the horrific Hamas murders in 2010, these cameras are a permanent fixture in hotel lobbies, entrances, elevators and corridors…so you are being watched. But then it’s for the better.

It is an organized and safe place to be in. In fact, tracking all the moves goes a long way in ensuring that if you are on the ‘right side’ of law, then you have nothing to fear. In fact, the law is so strict and cameras omnipresent that even taxi drivers return valuables…

So, the culture shock is there but then that’s something one has to contend with when deciding to move to ‘another’ place itself. Contrary to popular belief, Dubai and the UAE offer one of the best environments for relocation and new business setup.

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