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How to do business in the Gulf: Part six

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16 Seize the sunset

Don’t miss the fantastic social and business opportunities presented by “iftar” and “sohour”. The first is the breaking of fast as soon as the sun sets and is an occasion for meeting friends, family and business contacts in an informal setting. Many iftars are sponsored by corporations, and some sheiks invite outsiders into their palaces to join in. Sohour is a later, bigger dinner, which can go on until the next dawn.

17 Take advantage of the vibe

Get into the flow. Ramadan is like a long, slow Christmas – the roads are quieter, the hotels are cheaper and the working environment is less frantic. Use the more reflective atmosphere to plan and initiate business projects.18 Take a break from tax

Your tax is much simpler in the Gulf: there isn’t any. Well, certainly not the swingeing income tax suffered in Europe and the USA. There is, however, a whole spectrum of sales and service tax imposed by individual states, emirates and cities. Expect to pay 12.5 per cent for most meals out. And bear in mind: there’s a hefty mark-up for alcohol.

Picture: source

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