Real Business Christmas Countdown: The Best of 2014: 8 December

For those who missed the chance over the weekend to open their latest news-style advent calendar, here’s a flashback: Real Business discovered eight famous brands forced to retreat from the UK, how to stand apart from rivals and top inspirational quotes from leaders. This also included the top ten places to start a business, why we all sleep during meetings and snakes and ladders being likened to the start-up scene.

But wait until you see what we have lined up for you today. So get yourself a nice cuppa, relax in your seat and let the best of 2014 unravel before you.

News: The Apprentice: Bad for business

The Apprentice is viewed by millions of people each week, but many professionals see the programme as damaging to British business. When asked whether it offered an accurate portrayal of the business world, three in four business people (unsurprisingly) stated that it did not. Instead. over half of Brits believe The Apprentice is a vehicle for creating celebrity business figures rather than educating the public on developing their own enterprise.

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Interviews: Using Facebook and Microsoft to attract entrepreneurs: Dubais growth as a technology hub

Dubai is known for its oil. So when it comes to the tech scene, what is our interest in an economy that is 4,000 miles away and seemingly further when it comes to history, culture and business A visit from Majed Al Suwaidi, managing director for Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource Zone, reveals that Dubai began moving towards a position where it would have specialised economic zones to help develop specific industries two decades ago.

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Opinion: Fintech to Formula 1: Why Kantox is sponsoring F1 underdog Caterham

Advertising and marketing is a very tricky thing to get right for growing businesses. Kantox co-founder Philippe Gelis explains why he’s taken a punt on Formula 1 branding. He explains that being the underdog in his own sector drove him to “support a fellow”

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Surreal Business: 5 great and 5 bad examples of customer service

Everyone has more than likely had at least one memorable customer service experience, whether that be good or bad. We’ve found some of the best and worst experiences that customers have encountered, ranging from Sainsbury’s to the Ritz-Carlton.

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