The situation in the UAE is very different than in neighbouring Saudi Arabia where opportunities for women are very restricted.
There is an increasing sense of entrepreneurship amongst local women which means that conditions have changed considerably in the past ten years or so. Although it is still possible to meet local men who show an overt gender bias (and these older, more traditional men are often the decision-makers) it is becoming increasingly common to encounter women in business in all sectors of the economy.
These changes have probably been driven by the sheer number of expatriates who work in the region and the influence of the many multi-national corporations who operate there and who import their beliefs on gender equality (a well as other diversity strands). It is impossible to say there is no gender bias in the UAE (Dubai is probably the most liberal of the states) but international women business travellers shouldn’t find this too much of an issue.
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