Planning to Start a Business in Dubai? Make Sure to Get Your Company Culture Right!

Creating the right company culture from the get-go will give your startup a much better chance of success in Dubai and in the UAE – and anywhere else, for that matter. And it’s MUCH easier to create a healthy culture with a new launch than it is to go back and try to “fix” an unhealthy culture in an already established business. 

There’s a definite ROI that comes with creating the right culture, too. Happy, engaged employees tend to be significantly more productive than the average worker, so it really pays to have a strong company culture right from the start. A winning culture will help you to attract better talent and ultimately benefit your bottom-line profitability.

What is Culture, and Why Does Culture Matter?

Culture certainly includes the central tenets of your brand, but it isn’t limited to the quality of your logo or the craftiness of your business slogan. Does culture include defining your company’s vision and values? Absolutely! But it’s about much more than some mission statement on the wall that nobody can recite, much less put into practice.

So, what is culture, then? The Cambridge Dictionary defines culture as the “way of life” of a group of people or an organization, especially as displayed in their ordinary behavior, habits, attitudes, and beliefs. In a deeper sense, culture is really the soul of your organization. It defines values and behaviors that are both expected and acceptable, and it also reflects how your team engages with one another, with other business partners and stakeholders, and ultimately with your customers.

Peter Drucker famously stated that, when it comes to business leadership, “culture eats strategy for breakfast!” It’s not that business strategy isn’t important – it most certainly is. But your culture will ultimately define your ability to actually put feet on whatever strategy you decide to set for your business.

Are you beginning to see how much culture really matters? Get your culture right, and employees will clamor to work for you, your target audience will buy into you, and customers will want to buy from you!

How to Create a Successful Startup Culture from Day One

Some entrepreneurs make the mistake of seeing culture as a “luxury” or “add-on” they can just come back to later after the business is up-and-running. But the problem with that mindset is that habits and culture will begin to form from Day One, whether you realize it or not. For this reason, it’s much better to be intentional about building the right culture the right way, right from the start. So if you’re in the launch phase of your business, there’s honestly no better time to start shaping the business culture you want and need than right now!

While there’s no single, simple formula for creating the “perfect” culture, there are some good principles to follow for setting up your startup culture the right way.

1. Define your company values

Obviously, you’ve landed upon a product or service that’s worth selling, or you wouldn’t be starting your own business! But apart from making sales, what is your business really about? How will you go about doing what you do, and what impact do you plan on making for your customers, for your employees, and for the world at large? Sit down with any co-founders or partners you may have, and hammer out your essential company values.

2. Communicate your vision & expectations from Day One, and keep communicating them

Good communication isn’t just about management. Good communication is also a key trait of good leaders. Show your team where you’re planning to take them, and how you plan to get there. Let them know what your business is all about, and remind them of the key tenets of your business often. When it comes to the core essentials of your culture, you really can’t overcommunicate. In addition, the more you keep your employees informed about issues of business importance like these, the more they’ll feel a sense of ownership and pride in what you’re collectively about as an organization.

3. Prioritize hiring people who not only fit in with your culture, but can add to your culture

Company culture boils down to the people you choose to have on your team and how they act, period. That being said, it makes sense to hire to your culture above all else. Does hiring for skills and experience matter? Sure, but that’s something you can easily ascertain and verify in step one of the hiring process! Once you’ve done your initial screening of candidates based upon experience, skills, and credentials, the interview phase is where you can be more intentional about screening for culture and best fit. And here’s a pro tip: don’t just hire people who will “fit in.” You honestly don’t want a room full of people who think and act just like you; what you really want to hire are people from diverse backgrounds who actually have something to bring that will add to and enhance your business culture!

4. Show appreciation for your team

This includes smart HR practices like performance bonuses, perks, and other incentives, but it goes beyond that, too. Send your team members an email or text that says “good job” on something they’ve done. Or better yet, tell them in person. Give them a high-five. Find a personal way to let them know you appreciate not just what they’re doing for your company, but who they are as people.

5. Take time to listen to employee feedback – and act on it

If you want to create real buy-in amongst your team, then it’s important to help them feel like they own the culture you’re creating. The only sure way to do that is to seek their feedback, collect it, and then include it in the culture you’re putting forth. Solicit ideas. Listen. And then report back to your team to let them know how their feedback and suggestions are actually being implemented. If you’ll be honest and transparent in this way, your team will appreciate it, and they’ll be much more likely to become champions of your culture.

6. Empower your team to take it and run with it

Once you’ve delivered a clear mission and vision, aligned on core values, incorporated team feedback, and received sufficient buy-in, it’s now time to empower your team to go out and make it happen. In order for your team to really grow wings and be able to fly on their own, you’ll have to be willing to step out of the driver’s seat to more of a supporting role. Obviously, this will require some faith and trust on your part, but it’s the only way to truly set your team free to get the most out of their potential. As long as they know you’ve got their back and will go to bat for them, they’ll be willing to take ownership and even take risks for the good of your business enterprise!

The Best Time to Start a Business in Dubai is Now – and MSZ Consultancy is Here to Help!

Dubai and the UAE have established themselves as global leaders for hosting business startups, and for a good reason. There’s world-class infrastructure in place, the economy is growing, and the government has gone to great lengths to enact business-friendly policies, even for 100% foreign-owned businesses. And if you’re ready to get your own business started in Dubai or elsewhere in the UAE, MSZ Consultancy is here to help!

We’re a local business based right here in Dubai, and we maintain strong relationships with all the relevant government officials and authorities. We know everything there is to know about the business of doing business in Dubai and the UAE, and we know how to help you get your own business started and poised for success!

Reach out now to book your free consultation! You can give us a call at +971 52 544 1248, or just shoot us an email at There’s no need to wait; let us help you to launch your new business now!

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