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The Grand Tour go to Dubai Play Video

Culture · 6 min read

The Grand Tour do Dubai

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In Season 2, Episode 5 of The Grand Tour, Richard Hammond makes tracks around Dubai … in a tank.

It’s a high-end luxury supertank called the Ripsaw, and Hammond is in seventh heaven behind the wheel of this matt-black beast. He takes it on an anarchic shopping trip before putting it through its paces by doing a spot of adrenalized dune-bashing. As Hammond himself says, “Camels are good in the desert, yeah. But this is better.”

You don’t need to enter the city in a tank to make an impact in Dubai. Here are some pointers on how to do business in this most affluent market … 

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It's Booming. And It's Not Just Oil

Dubai’s growth rate is expected to surge to 3.4% in 2018. And while this city was built on the oil industry, these days construction, trade and financial services contribute the lion’s share of its economy. US$6.8bn dollars in foreign trade flowed into the city in the first quarter of 2017, so we hardly need to spell out that the door is open for new foreign investors.

There Are No Strangers Here 

Nearly 90% of the city’s population is from abroad. Dubai has a huge Asian community and over 100,000 British expatriates. This gives the city a uniquely international flavor and means that people of all languages and cultures find it easy to talk business.

World-Famous Financial Perks

Dubai’s reputation as an income tax haven is well-documented. But what you might not know is that even businesses benefit greatly from its economic policies. No trade restrictions, no corporate taxes and minimal import duty – what’s not to like?

Business Etiquette 

It’s worth acquainting yourself with the local customs before doing business in Dubai. When men greet other men, touching noses or a kiss on both cheeks is common. Long, steady handshakes are also used to convey affection. It’s also appropriate for non-Muslims to greet their Arab hosts with 'As-Salaam-Alaikum', which means 'Peace be upon you', or reply to the former with 'Wa-Alaikum-Salaam' ('And unto you peace').

Watch Out Wall Street 

It was only as far back as March 2000 that the Dubai Financial market was established. However, by the fourth quarter of 2006, it was trading about 400 million shares, worth a total of US$95bn. NASDAQ Dubai is now also alive and well, enabling local businesses to trade internationally. So though it’s still (relatively) early days, the Dubai market has already proved that it’s no slouch.

Now That's What You Call A Hub 

Dubai International (DXB) is the world’s number one airport for international passengers. It serves 90 airlines flying to more than 240 destinations across six continents. It’s also the world’s number two airport for international freight with the capacity to handle 2.5 million tonnes of cargo per year. This isn’t just a thriving city airport, it’s a beautifully designed gateway to the entire Middle East.

A Must-Visit Destination

Year-round sunshine. Selfie-inspiring modern architecture. World-leading shopping and nightlife. You don’t get to be the 7th most visited country in the world for nothing. Tourism is big business here, with annual visitor numbers expected to reach 200 million by 2020. Whether you want to invest in hotels, restaurants and nightclubs or simply grab a slice of a rapidly expanding market, Dubai is the place to be.

Happiness Has Its Own Government Department 

To prove its commitment to the emotional well-being of its people, Dubai officially appointed Ohood K. A. R. as its Minister of State for Happiness on 10 Feb, 2016. Her specific goal is to enhance the lifestyle of Dubai’s residents. That’s good news for all entrepreneurs – in future, there'll be even more people who will be happy to do business with you.

In A Nutshell ... 

So whether you enter the city in a high end tank or in the back seat of a cab, Dubai is a great place to do business.

Watch episode 5 now, exclusively on Amazon Prime Video

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