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Network, Network & More Networking

Who hasn’t heard the term “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”?

Networking is one of the most valuable uses of a business owner or entrepreneurs time. In the UAE, it is important to build and develop your network base.

Many business councils offer great rates to non-members and discounted rates to its members. Networking is free, most of the time. Such events are filled with like-minded individuals, and if you go to the right events, it’s full of people that you can work with or learn from in some way.

Most of these social networking events provide a laid-back atmosphere to chat with similar people, and these informal chats often lead to many opportunities and potential ways you can work together.

Below we have listed some useful networking events and business councils that happen in the UAE.

Media Mingle

Dubai’s Media Mingle is a weekly meetup. The Media Network, is the first communications platform in the Middle East to provide essential industry tools for journalists, PRs and marketing professionals. Meets: Weekly Details: Check the website and Facebook page The Media Network for more details.

Startup Grind

This event for entrepreneurs is ‘powered by Google’, with chapters all over the world. The Dubai contingent is 1,500 strong, where local innovators get together to inspire, help and learn with each other. Meets: Monthly Details: Check the website for a full schedule.

Business in Heels

Global community for professional women in business which helps them grow and develop through connections. The focus is fun rather than formal, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded career women to share tips or simply make new friends. Members receive special discounts and can join the online message boards for advice. Meets: Regularly once a month. Details: Check the website for upcoming events.

Fit for Business

As a networking community for sports professionals, Fit for Business is more of a club than a meetup. As well as industry leaders, members include sportsmen making the transition into business. The group’s talks, events and workshops have proved hugely popular. Details: See website for membership details.

GCC Business Council

This Dubai-based organisation is a platform for small and medium enterprises (SME). Here, entrepreneurs meet to network and share the information and resources they need to help them on the road to expansion. The focus is on supporting SME organizations’ of all industries across the seven-member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Networking events are held on the third Thursday of every month, and every Tuesday. It also hosts ad hoc social events such as speed-networking MeetsWeekly. Details: See full website for membership details.

Dubai Business Breakfast

For early risers, this group meets before the working day gets started. The group mainly operates from and gatherings are free to attend – you just pay for your own coffee and croissants. The focus is on building networks across industries and is open to all sectors. Each meeting is attended by a guest speaker, and is followed by a Q&A session. Meets: Members meet twice a month Details: See full website for membership details

International Business Women’s Group Dubai

A well-established business group in Dubai, IBWG has been offering support to women in all areas of business for more than 25 years. The group gives personal and professional development advice as well as networking opportunities. Application criteria is more selective, as all members must be decision-makers in their field (entrepreneurs, proprietors, partners, directors, general managers and senior level management). New members have to be nominated by an existing member unless they are new to Dubai. The group holds monthly lunches with guest speakers, business breakfasts, workshops and mentoring programmes. Meets: Regularly for luncheonsbreakfasts and workshops etc. Details: Check the website for more details.

South African Business Council – SABCO

SABCO unites business partners by offering a networking and business development forum for business professionals with South African connections living and working in the UAE. Networking is a core objective and regular social and topical business-related functions are held to provide opportunities for members to interact in an informal yet professional setting. Meets: Regularly for corporate events, business breakfasts and workshops etc. Details: Check the website for more details.

Australian Business Council – ABCD

The Australian Business Council Dubai ABCD is a non-profit organisation with a broad objective: to provide a networking forum for all members to develop their business activities and to promote trade and other beneficial relationships between Australia and the region. Meets: Regularly for seminars, business breakfasts and workshops etc. Details: Check the website for more details.

Networking events give you the chance to market your business whilst creating valuable connections. These events are all about mutual benefits. How can you offer a service or help another? There will be times when you may need help or advice, and you will want to have built a strong network. Therefore, there is no such thing as too much networking.

Do you know of any worthwhile business networking events to attend? We would like to know more!

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