Is there any difference in the way we network in Dubai? Essentially not as it is very culturally diverse and have the same interest to do business. This is my third visit to UAE and there was a huge opportunity this year to network as it coincided with the Middle East Convention for International Powered Access Federation (IPAF).

It was held at the longest hotel in the world ‘Meydan’, which was a very impressive place, exceptional service and food.

IPAF are responsible for the safe use of access equipment throughout the world and the convention being only the 2nd year was well attended by the industry. It was interesting to meet different companies at the networking event and discuss how they support team development and their approach to learning was insightful. The focus from the MD Tim Whiteman was on safety and developments in elearning.
3 key lessons:
• work safely at height through a range of training programmes
• new generation programme launching
• importance of keeping continuing professional development current

After attending a number of different networking events here are my top tips :
• Be prepared, know who is going and who you want to speak to and what you want from them
• Business cards if in UAE double sided one in Arabic and an other in English
• Know and respect the local customs
• Whilst you do need to be confident and friendly to get to know people, read their body language and be aware of invading their personal space
• Be pitch ready – be able to say who you are and what you do and why they should be interested in talking to you, within 1 minute
• Follow-up even if you are not going to do business with them it is always good to be courteous and thank people as you never know who they know and if you make a good impression they will remember you and hopefully recommend you.

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