Customer care in the United Arab Emirates

Hello everyone,

The way customer services are handled can greatly affect your views on certain brands, products, companies or stores. As a consumer, it is important to get familiar with local practices regarding client assistance in the United Arab Emirates and try to understand how things work in the country.

How would you describe your customer service experiences in the United Arab Emirates?

Do you feel welcome when you enter a store? Do you get useful tips and advice?

Are after-sales services available in the United Arab Emirates?

Thanks for sharing your experience,


Dear Priscilla,

This topic has actually been discussed recently between a friend and me over coffee.  Going into shops in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi has actually become really painful lately and is not a fun experience anymore... Why? Well, because sales people are following you through every row of clothing or whatever it is you're shopping for and if they aren't trying to consistently bother you with their 'hello maa'm, would you like to...'  they keep re-folding clothes about the second you put it down and god forbid you try to fold anything yourself - these sales people literally grabs the clothes out of your hands just so you won't fold it because... Well, I don't really know why, because I am very capable of folding clothes and so are most of my friends.

The sales staff in most shops are too over-eager and really bothering most shoppers walking into shops looking for something or maybe just browsing...  Can't we just shop in peace anymore?  I'm sure most shoppers are more than happy to ask when they cannot find what they are looking for...

Happy Monday!


In my latest spree, I was looking for a tennis racket. I regularly play back in Manila, my wife and my daughter we all play, so safe to say I know exactly what I like in my tennis racket.

I went to SnS Abu Dhabi, and the Go Sports in Abu Dhabi mall. I didn;t like the selection in SnS but the staff is willing to help and recommend things. He asked me how much is the budget I said "1000aed it depends", then he started recommending rackets without knowing how I play.

Go Sports is the worst, the moment I enter and asked "where's your tennis racket section", the staff just followed me everywhere. Anywhere I go I usually spend at least an hour checking the stick, balance, specs, on every racket. He is standing behind me not leaving me, although he has the intention of helping, some shoppers just don;t want help except for directions. I ended up not buying, I didn;t even bother to ask where the bags are as I don;t want to have another stalker.

So I went to Al Whada mall there is a sports shop, I asked where are the rackets, saleslady pointed whereto and asked if I need help, I said I'm ok "I will just look around". After 1hr looking checking balances, I purchased my stick even if it is below specs what I'm actually looking for.

Manila, Aus, Tokyo, SG... I never had this experience, maybe something unique to UAE? Or only when salesman is Indian/Nepali?

In my point of view 90% are very good and welcome

Well U A E is not up to the mark , as in UK customer is very important person but I have noticed in nU A E they take customers  lightly and not seriously so they miss out the sale and customer miss out the good service !!

From what I have seen customer service here is based on the type of clothing and the color of your skin. There has been many of times when I have been simply ignored for a person wearing certain attire or a person of certain skin color. I have not had good experiences here, I don't think people here understand the meaning of customer service. Communication is also a big issue, some what you tell them translate into something completely different, extra ice in your drink somehow translates to no ice. That's my two cents worth.

This a really interesting topic and covers so many aspects of living in the UAE. I can only talk about my experience in Dubai, so here goes....
First, some positives. Great customer service starts with numbers on the ground and here the UAE really shows the way. You won't find shortage of staff an excuse for poor service. Restaurants, shops cinemas and hotels are extremely well supplied, with meters and greeters, security and service personnel. All are very polite, cheerful and respectful - another fantastic plus. Coming from a culture where hiring a decent number of  good staff is less of a priority because of the negative impact on profits, this is a  refreshing change. However, I also know that wages in Dubai for these kinds of jobs are low and further investment in training is not thought important. What a pity.  Many customer facing staff have very little to do and no authority to do anything other than their tiny prescribed duty which is a terrible  waste of valuable resources. They rarely know the answer to any questions or enquiry but may prefer to give you incorrect information than to admit this which can be quite irritating.

Many businesses do not update websites or provide the information or usability a customer needs so a telephone call is often the only way to proceed. This too can be frustrating if you come from a culture where website user experience is a priority. Processes are often over complicated and again so prescribed that no one is able to  tell you why you have to do x and y to achieve z, only that you have to do it even if x and y make no sense. 

You may find the banking system a little different from home.  A debit card does not hold the same guarantee of payment that it does in the UK for example and credit card payments are automatically taken from your account, unlike in the UK where debt is almost encouraged as the banks make money by charging interest on an outstanding balance. On the flipside, getting an SMS message every time you make a transaction by card showing your remaining balance is BRILLIANT. There is never any mystery about where your money has gone - the evidence is provided!

On the other hand I personally dislike the way every shop assistant has been drilled to demand your phone number - I always refuse to hand over this information unless there is a very good reason. Customer service via constant automated text messages does not impress me much.

My number one pet hate concerns restaurant service and again shows a lack of training. I realise that in Arab culture it is considered rude to leave a dirty plate in from of a guest but in my culture it is thought the height of rudeness to remove plates whilst one of the guests is still eating!!! On more than one occasion I have had to wrestle my dinner back from a server or I have had my plates removed whilst I paused for a moment to chat to my companion!  The downside of having too many staff with not enough to do, perhaps?

Thanks for posting on customer services. I feel honored to write on this topic.

I believe customer care is not upto the mark in UAE as I have been to different outlets of DU and Etisalat here in UAE where I have seen totally unethical and unprofessional behavior of agents. They are either not trained on customer service's rules or they have behavioral issues. I have brought up with some points which I noticed to be fixed.

- Very late assistance for customers
- Behavioral issues of supervisors
- Behavioral Issues of agents
- Agents not trained well in System & Processes
- Rude behavior
- No courtesy at all

One day I told a supervisor at DU customer care tyat you are not upto the mark in customer services and he replied, I know what I am doing, don't teach me.

I believe these mobile companies should take a look and fix these issues.

Moderated by Bhavna 2 years ago
Reason : Off-Topic
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

This has nothing whatsoever to do with the topic of customer service under discussion.

Based on overall experience,customer relationship in U.A.E is machine based not human based


Customer service experience has been a mixed bag for me.  Partly to attribute the Mid to Low levels is lack of education to the service personnel, needless to say, there is a certain level of introspection on side of the customer as well.

Yes Big brands and their service is excellent, but not yet impeccable, but does show a positive trend.

Patience patience and patience is the key to not let our blood boil over trivial things :-)

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