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The United Arab Emirates is the UK's largest export market in the Gulf region and over 5,000 British companies operate in the country. Read on for your guide to travelling to and doing business in the UAE

UAE details Time zone: GMT +4hrs Currency: UAE Dirham Dialing code: +971 Climate: November to April are the cooler months Culture: Arabic is the official language of the UAE and the Islamic holy day is Friday See: visitabudhabi.ae and visitdubai.com

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United Arab Emirates

In an area of the world where political turmoil and conflict are often rife, the United Arab Emirates is an example of stability and commerce. “Sectarian, ideological, cultural and religious bigotry only fuel the fires of rage”, said the UAE’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. “We cannot and will not allow this in our country. We need to study, preach and practice tolerance.” As good as his word, the UAE has appointed ministers of Tolerance, Youth and Happiness, notable firsts on the international stage. Quite what impact they’ll have on the nation’s international trade prospects remains to be seen, but the UK’s Department for International Trade already strikes a positive note about opportunities for UK plc.

The country’s capital, Abu Dhabi, and neighbouring Dubai are the business hubs, with Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm Al-Qaiwain and Sharjah completing this collection of seven emirates. Across the UAE, the Department sees diversification of the local

economy away from oil as offering much potential, particularly in education and training, nuclear development, financial services, healthcare, defence and security and airports and aerospace. And the Department highlights the British companies already operating in the UAE, including BP, Rolls-Royce, Shell, BAE systems and HSBC, as examples of what the UK can achieve. The World Bank, however, paints a less optimistic picture due to a slowdown in economic growth as a result of low oil prices and tightening monetary policy. On the other hand, it says, the country has major international hubs in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi that provide excellent access from around the world courtesy of two highly regarded airlines.

The Business Travel Magazine December - January 2016:2017  

The multi-award-winning publication written and produced for bookers, buyers, arrangers and managers of business travel and meetings. This e...