United Arab Emirates
This is possibly the best hotel in Dubai, if you are looking for the type of quality you might need from a top business trip. The service is probably globally second to none. Forget the gaudiness of the Burj Al Arab, this one gets my vote
Infinity pool with great views of Dubai. Drinks and snacks available, children are not admitted. Day visitors can pay to use all the hotel's leisure facilities.
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.
One reason why Emirates Towers is the hotel to be in if you are doing business with the Dubai government (or one of its agencies) is because, as well as being an excellent business hotel, it is owned by the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
It’s worth extending this principle to other business you may be doing in the city. Most businesses based in Dubai itself, rather than one of the Free Zones, are part of large, family-owned holding companies, many of which will have hotels among their interests. It’s always worth staying in the leading hotel of the group you are doing business with. It probably won’t make the deal but such courtesies are valued highly in the Gulf.
You are likely to meet plenty of extremely well-educated, modern young Emirati women – particularly if you are dealing with the government. However, remember that traditionally Muslim women are not supposed to touch men outside their family. Therefore, however warmly they smile when they hand over their cards, don’t automatically attempt to shake their hand unless they offer it. I might also add that Arab men are normally slightly more sensitive when touching each other and no one will infer weak character from your failure to crush their hand with your firm grip.
Favourite restaurants: Gordon Ramsay’s Verre at The Hilton Dubai Creek for European cuisine. Go for the food, not the décor, and because it’s somewhere you can actually talk. Lebanese is often the fallback for mixed entertaining but Iranian is a good alternative and in many ways closer to the Emirati palate; I would recommend the Shabestan at the InterContinental. Sadly, both are on the Deira side of town - but they are well worth the effort.
Jumeirah Emirates Towers, PO Box 72127, Dubai, UAE.
Tel.: +971 4 3300000
Verre at the Hilton Dubai Creek, Beniyas Road, PO BOX 33398, Dubai, UAE.
Shabestan at the InterContinental, Dubai Bin Yas Street, PO Box 476, Dubai, UAE.
Tel.: +971 4 222 7171
My tip for a hotel is the Marriott 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.
Hotel Bab Al Shams is top for luxury, away from all the hustle and traffic of central Dubai (50 minutes by taxi from the airport) with service levels rarely matched for twice the price and a unique location. Simply a desert oasis.
Beautiful hotel located on Sheikh Zayed Road. Stayed here on my first visit a few years back and have been there ever since. You get stunning views over the star wars part of the city from the higher rooms (and the top floors are there executive rooms complete with nice lounge and food all day). The pool is small enough to seem private yet busy enough not to seem like a loner, there are no screaming kids around and the staff seem to go out of their way to help you. They also have those curtains that open and close with a button so you can feel like James Bond.
Sheikh Zayed Road
Moet Champagne brunch that, in my opinion, is the best Friday brunch in Dubai. More expensive than most, but worth it. Food cooking stations of all types from Indian to Thai to Japanese, plus oyster shots and a cheese room. And the Champagne just keeps flowing... and flowing. I've been several times now and I never get tired of it. Plus the desserts are to die for. It gets very busy, so reservations are a must.
P.O. Box 97555, Sheikh Zayed Road
United Arab Emirates
P.O. Box 97555,
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com