United Arab Emirates
It seems that anyone who’s anyone doing business in Dubai takes a room in the Jumeirah Emirates Towers on the Sheikh Zayed Road. It's a huge building in the middle of the central business district and has a business centre with full secretarial services, as well as workstations in all the rooms and free Wi-Fi. For female guests who want it, there’s even a ladies floor where all the staff are women. The advantage of this is that they put a yoga mat in your room and there’s a nice array of luxury cosmetics. Also, if you’re a woman doing business in Dubai it’s best to pack trouser suits rather than skirts; despite the large amount of foreign business here it's still a conservative place.
At Dubai Airport, it’s a real hike from arrivals to baggage reclaim, so if you can it’s best to take a wheeled case that is small enough to be taken on as hand luggage.
If you get bored or blinded by the bling, visit the recently restored Bastakia area of Dubai down by the Creek. Here you will find the only decent domestic architecture in the city, built about 100 years ago by Iranian and Arab merchants from the other side of the Gulf.
Apart from pleasure for it’s own sake, a familiarity with Bastakia can be a useful conversation starter. Not only does it demonstrate interest in Dubai’s heritage, but a fair number of the city’s movers and shakers over the age of 40 will have grown up in Bastakia. On more than one occasion, the recollection of those days has opened up these essentially private people.
The area is called Bastakia - don't miss the Majlis Gallery, which is the local arts centre
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