United Arab Emirates
Bear in mind that if you are entertaining a mixed group including locals, they will always be reluctant to be seen in public having too much of a good time anywhere where alcohol is obviously served, whatever their private feelings about it. A good solution to this problem is horse racing at Nad Al Sheba which happens on most Thursdays in the winter.
Patronised by the ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, horse racing is widely regarded as a good thing. It is enjoyed by all and there are a variety of corporate options provided by Dubai Racing Club which are cheaper than you would expect. Food and alcoholic drink is available to whoever wants it and the privacy of a box will be appreciated by locals.
Nad Al Sheba
If you are doing business in Dubai, particularly anything legal, patience is the key. Tea will be served regardless of deadlines and fairly lengthy requests after the health of family members and mutual acquaintances will follow thereafter. My tip is follow the maxim 'less haste, more speed.' Observe your hosts' order of proceedings and the goodwill engendered will ultimately be to your benefit.
Hospitality is taken very seriously and if at all possible accept invitations to dinner if given. Most of all, enjoy the different way of doing business, engage in the sometimes convoluted process and the subtle verbal games and learn that there is another way of doing things.
My tip for a hotel is the Marriot in Deira. Away from the glitz so that you can concentrate but close enough to everything that you want, first class business facilities and a rooftop pool. The best restaurants are the Sphinx at the Pyramids and Shabestani Iranian restaurant at the Hyatt.
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