As women continue to climb the ladder and become dominant in the world of business they are also having to adapt to business travel. This involves, what to pack, how to pack efficiently, where to stay and getting up to speed on the country you are visiting as some countries in the United Arab Emirates have cultural norms different to western cultures regarding women.
The UAE is a thriving business hub attracting millions of professionals each year who are visiting for conferences, meetings or other business-related matters and this includes the powerful women of the business and financial world. Here are some top tips for business women travelling to the UAE for work.
Rules for Packing
The number one rule to live by when packing is to pack light. Travelling for work can be stressful so the less you carry, the easier it is going to be. The best way to do this is to plan out your outfits and only bring enough for the amount of days you’re away. Pack items of clothing that can be mixed and matched, so a skirt that can be worn twice with a different top, or trousers that can be worn with a different blouse. If you’re planning on bringing suits, look for ones that are made with materials that tend to not wrinkle such as synthetics and wool.
If possible, bring just a carry-on suitcase. The limited space forces you to pack light and your wait time in the airport once you arrive at your destination will be reduced as you won’t have to wait for your luggage. One of the best rated carry on suitcases is the Samsonite Cosmolite Spinner. It’s hard-shell case not only offers extra protection against damage, but it’s four wheels ensure easy mobility which includes being able to wheel it in front of you.
When it comes to footwear, bring comfortable shoes. Fortunately, you can still be stylish and comfortable when it comes to making footwear choices. Six-inch stilettos are not recommended as travelling for business may mean wearing the same pair of shoes all day, or if you want to pack really light, for the duration of your trip. Go for a wedge or a flat court shoe, these are always comfy choices that still look great.
For toiletries, pack just what you need and nothing more. Travel size essentials are always a great option and don’t take up a lot of room. One last important tip on packing is to pack something warm. Don’t forget, the UAE is the desert, so temperatures can drop in the evenings. You may also find it is handy to have a shawl or light jacket because some offices, hotels or restaurants may crank up the air condition to freezing point!
Where to Stay
As the UAE is a bustling business hub, it is not hard to find reliable accommodation. In fact, hotels like Fraser Suites in Bahrain particularly cater to business guests. They offer luxury serviced apartments with fantastic amenities to make any business woman’s trip a stress-free and enjoyable one. The friendly staff will even recommend events that are on at the time like the Bahrain Grand Prix or world-famous triathlon – Ironman which are great events for team building or to bring clients to.
What to Keep in Mind when Travelling to the UAE
When visiting the UAE, it is advised to respect the religion and culture by ensuring your shoulders and thighs are covered. It is hot, and you may find covering up uncomfortable but if you opt for lighter, baggier clothing, you may find this easier. If you have some down time during your business trip and fancy a swim at the beach to cool off, there are ladies’ days which may be more relaxing for you with less pressure to keep covered. Do not be offended if you find men are not polite in terms of holding doors open or allowing you to walk ahead, it is part of the culture for men to lead the way. Business women should especially keep in mind that men should be always seen to pay. So, if you happen to be at a restaurant for a business meeting, you may find your male colleagues will pick up the tab.
For business women visiting the UAE for work, there are many things to be aware of in terms of culture. However, don’t let this put you down or make you feel inadequate, this is just the norm for this part of the world and something you have to adapt to as part of your visit. You are still a powerful business woman, so don’t forget that!