With a free trade zone, limited import duties, no tax rate and 5 percent annual growth, Dubai offers a prospering business environment. A city boasting various dedicated commercial districts, more than 500 hotels and more than 10,000 international restaurants, the capital of the emirate nearly overwhelms the business traveler with venue opportunities.
Business is conducted Sunday through Thursday (although U.A.E. public sector employees now work Monday to Thursday with a flexible half day on Friday under the New Labor Law), with limited hours during Ramadan. Dealing with locals calls for the protocols of conservative dress, mocktails and a relaxed attitude to time. Essential above all is wasta, the term for networking. Getting to know your clients, accepting invitations to their homes and presenting appropriate gifts when entertained all prove important aspects of making deals.
To proceed with arrangements, the simplest logistic is to select one specific district for meetings and meals. Taxis and Uber and Careem car services are in- expensive and available, the car fare from the airport to the commercial district runs around $10–20 (or just more than $1 per ride on the ultra-sleek rapid transit Dubai Metro, with convenient stops at popular business neighborhoods). But focusing on one locale avoids traffic and saves time.
Conventionally, business transactions center around the Dubai International Finance Center, the leading financial hub of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. The 272-acre zone intermingles financial institutions and companies with retail, restaurant and residential. The Ritz-Carlton DIFC provides direct access to the zone as well as extensive event and meeting spaces, half a dozen restaurants and the popular Lobby Lounge for snacks and afternoon tea. Access to the exclusive Club Lounge enables Club Level guests to entertain clients in a semi-private setting.
Out-of-town colleagues may appreciate meeting in the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa. After a trip in the elevator to 360-degree views from the 124th-floor Observation Tower, guests can enjoy a three-course lunch in the third-floor Burj Club. Or opt for something more extravagant from the critically acclaimed Business Lunch menu at windowed At.mosphere on the 122nd floor. Within the Burj, book meeting space and “discrete and stylish boardrooms” at the pricey Armani Hotel, touted as the world’s only 7-star hotel, featuring a cocktail lounge and five restaurants. Steps away explore Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest indoor retail complexes, enclosing six levels of luxury brands, an ice rink, a multicolor four-story-high waterfall, an aquarium, and restaurants offering every type of international cuisine from fast food to fine dining.
Consider meeting colleagues at Media City, the regional hub of media, creative and digital industries comprising commercial and co-working spaces and studios. In addition, the chic Arjaan by Rotana offers six fully equipped meeting rooms, while Radisson Blu Hotel can arrange for catered meals in its leather-upholstered meeting spaces.
More adventurous business clients may enjoy an outing, and Media City lies in the vicinity of the Emirates Golf Club, Jebel Ali Racecourse and Dubai Marina. If it’s too hot to tee off, the championship Emirates Golf Club includes facilities for swimming, fitness, tennis and dining. Jebel Ali runs races from November through March. Yacht and speedboat day cruises from the Marina may feature meals, swim platforms and sundecks, along with sightseeing views of the tree-shaped islands of Palm Jumeirah, the iconic sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel and camels loping down the beach.
Keeping to the water, book a dhow lunch cruise on Dubai Creek near Port Rashid with local dishes served to diners as they float past original city sites. Named World’s Leading Cruise Port for the 13th successive time in 2020, Port Rashid, one of the world’s most luxurious cruise terminal complexes, is gradually being replaced by equally lavish but more centrally located Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal. The new gateway, opened in 2021, comprises two terminals with entertainment and leisure spaces and premium retail shopping. Ships carrying more than half a million travelers pass through on voyages around the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula and to and from Africa, the Seychelles and Mauritius, the Holy Land, India, Greece, Europe and the Middle East.
Dubai anticipates opening its newest business and residential zone in October, converting the former site of Expo 2020 Dubai into District 2020, a “15-minute city” allowing travel from one side to the other without need for a car. Along with a recording studio and exhibition center, it will retain some of the fair’s country pavilions such as the falcon-shaped U.A.E. structure and the extraordinary cantilevered and mirrored pavilion of Saudi Arabia. A second hotel will be added, and Rove Expo 2020 Hotel will continue to provide comfortable meeting rooms, a lounge and a pool overlooking the expo’s landmark Al Wasl Dome amphitheater.
If fabulous food and beverages are a must-have for any weekend getaway, then look no further than the City of Brotherly Love. Whether your palate has a penchant for vibrant Latin American fare or cozy French cuisine, whether you're an oenophile looking to swirl, sniff and sip your way around the globe or you’d rather sample farm-to-glass cocktails, Philly’s got it all this fall. (With the exception of Bolo, which is a short taxi or Uber ride away and definitely worth the trip, the rest of these spots are all within walking distance of each other.)
Exclusive Sailing with Global Traveler
From Santoríni to Dubai to New York, some hotels just have that “it” factor that draws visitors far and wide. For some hotels it’s their proximity to popular landmarks and attractions, for others it’s their amenities. But these hotels have something few can claim: a true room with a view.
Many small- and medium-sized businesses face time and budget constraints when organizing corporate hotel travel for employees. To address this problem, IHG® Business Edge emerged as a cost-free business travel solution for small- to medium-sized enterprises, offering travel managers exclusive access to enticing perks, handpicked educational resources and comprehensive company travel metrics. IHG Business Edge connects our loyal customers to our portfolio of 5,800 hotels and resorts across 18 brands in more than 100 countries.
Two historic Craftsman-style homes connected by a newly built third extension will take on a new life as the 19-room The Chloe Nashville in 2024. Developed to aesthetically harmonize with both Nashville’s past and future under the direction of Nashville-based Remick Architecture, guestrooms range from 400 to 817 square feet and start at $375 per night, with its top suite running $950 per night. The architecture and interiors maintain the original homes’ residential feel while incorporating modern and traditional design elements reflective of Nashville’s character and history.
A must for travelers seeking quiet on a plane or any noisy atmosphere, QuietOn’s newest launch, QuietOn 3.1, launches a limited-time sale on the product for last-minute trips this fall and winter. Originally selling for $289, QuietOn 3.1 is on sale for $50 off at $239 this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
With more travelers opting to book solo trips, Star Clippers invites solo travelers to embark on one of its tall-ship sailing itineraries with a special offer. Solo travelers who book by Sept. 30 will receive waived single supplements on a variety of itineraries through 2025.