information for global expats

Business Groups, Associations and Networking for Expats in the United Arab Emirates

Author: Jim Newham
Submitted: January 2015

Networking is an integral part of Emirati business culture. There are numerous networking groups, clubs and professional associations dedicated to business and individual professions. You can find out more about them in Emirati business magazines and journals, including that of the local chambers of commerce. Each emirate has its own chamber of commerce and industry. More broadly, there is also the UAE branch of the International Chamber of Commerce.

Typically, you will have to sign up to the group to become a member and pay an annual membership fee. In return, you will gain access to the group's networking events, publications, online resources and consultation services. There is detailed information on how to become a member, along with various types of membership and the respective fees on the network’s website. Most of these groups also have regional and local branches.

Among the major business groups and networks are:

  • Al Badie Group – deals in many sectors including property development, utilities, mineral extraction, defence, hospitality and tourism. Based in Abu Dhabi.
  • Arab Business Club – aims to provide networking opportunities between the Middle East and the rest of the world.
  • TIE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) Dubai – promotes entrepreneurship around the world.

There are also networks specifically dedicated to women in business. These membership-based networks offer support to businesswomen in Canada and organise regular training and networking events. Some of the most prominent networks include:

In addition to this, there are numerous professional networks and associations dedicated to individual professions, such as the Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group, the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA) and the MENA Private Equity Association. There is an extensive list of professional, governmental, and business associations in the UAE on the Index UAE website.

As elsewhere in the world, online networking sites have also become very popular among professionals in the UAE. These networks enable both companies and individuals to create online profiles and join interest groups. They can be useful tools for self-promotion, recruitment and making new contacts in your field. The most popular of these in the UAE is the global networking site LinkedIn.

Expat business professionals might also be interested in the country-specific business groups in the UAE, such as the American Business Council, British Business Group and the German Emirati Joint Council for Industry & Commerce. A good starting point is to approach the respective country's Chamber of Commerce in the UAE.

Most Chambers run membership clubs directed at both business professionals from the respective country who are doing business and Emirati business professionals who are interested in doing business with that particular country. These clubs offer consultation services and organise networking events for their members. For other expat groups in the UAE, see Expat Groups in the UAE.




We value input from our readers. If you spot an error on this page or have any suggestions, please let us know.


Moving to the United Arab Emirates

If you are considering moving to the United Arab Emirates or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated the United Arab Emirates section including; details of immigration and visas, Emirati forums, Emirati event listings and service providers in the United Arab Emirates.

picture1 Read More

Living in the United Arab Emirates

From your safety to shoppingliving in the United Arab Emirates can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks.  Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in the United Arab Emirates with relevant news and up-to-date information.

picture1 Read More

Working in the United Arab Emirates

Working in the United Arab Emirates can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in the United Arab Emirates, and general Emirati culture of the labour market.

picture1 Read More



About | Useful Links | Global Media Partners | Media | Advertising And Sales | Banners And Widgets | Glossary | RSS | Privacy & Cookies | Terms And Conditions | Editorial Policy | Refer To A Friend | Newsletters | Contact | Site Map

Important Notice: Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited has taken reasonable care in sourcing and presenting the information contained on this site, but accepts no responsibility for any financial or other loss or damage that may result from its use. In particular, users of the site are advised to take appropriate professional advice before committing themselves to involvement in offshore jurisdictions, offshore trusts or offshore investments. © Wolters Kluwer TAA Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.

The Expat Briefing brand is owned and operated by Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited.