The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is such a focal point for business travel; it would appear not to be missed for those companies interested in growth on an international basis.
The country has seen amazing financial and physical growth over the last 20 years. While Abu Dhabi is the federal capital of the seven Emirate country, Dubai is the physical capitol with the most population and physical growth. The UAE boasts the tallest building in the world, the largest container port in the Middle East, the largest airline, Emirates in the world and a number of burgeoning cultural entities. At the same time, one of the ten largest Mosques in the world is in Abu Dhabi. By the way, the two city states are just some miles apart. The perfect time to visit, if one has the choice, is the winter/spring season which begin in November and last through April/May.
Every major hotel company in the world has a presence in the UAE. These properties are beautifully done architecturally and operationally. Several firms, such as Hilton, St. Regis, Ritz Carlton, One and Only, Hyatt, etc. have more than one location. While most things, like hotels and food are pricey, taxis are plentiful and very reasonable. As a result, one needs not be bothered with a rental car.
The infrastructure is massive, well developed, and new. Building is at such a pace that new buildings have to wait long periods of time once built to be hooked up to the electric grid. Water, here in the middle of the Arabian Peninsula, is limitless as the UAE has the largest desalinization production in the world. Businesses seem to flourish here under the government leadership which requires no taxation for individuals and corporation alike. This is the ideal platform for activity and growth oriented entrepreneurs. While traveling to and from by air, remember that the UAE has a 12 hour time change from the west coast and a 9 hour time change from the east coast. The air routing is truly over the top as the aircraft flies directly over the North Pole going to and from.
Shopping is a big part of this economy, there are literally hundreds of modern malls scattered through the Country. The two largest are in Dubai. The larger of the two is the Dubai Mall with over 1000 shops located in the city center. The other large one, the mall of the Emirates with over 500 shops, features an indoor ski facility. The ski facility is extremely popular in the summer as temperatures get as hot as 120 degrees. There are active original style malls which are called souks. These souks provide shopping in their traditional Muslim covered areas with the merchants beckoning you into their store from the outside. The most prominent Souk is in the Jumeriah Beach area in Dubai.
Business travel to the UAE is increasing as more companies are reaching out to this region to set up shop or to expand their reach to new clientele. If your business travel takes you to this part of the world be sure to add some extra time so you can explore all that it has to offer.
Tom and Sharon Jackson, owners of World Travel and World Travel Business Elite, recently visited the UAE.