Early tomorrow I head to Dubai, my first-ever visit there to give some workshops on Chairing, Negotiation and Cross-cultural Communication. Here’s a press release about it put out by the organisers, Pinnacle PR.

If anyone out there wishes to get in touch with me while I am in Dubai next week to offer me lucrative work or just for a chat, please contact me at charles.crawford@adrgambassadors.com

I was talking to a former senior MI6 man today, as one does. He quoted a witty line on the basic principles of negotiation:

Know what you want – and remember that whatever your bottom line is, there’s always another line below that…

It seems that in that part of the world things are very not like here. You can make sexist remarks, but you can’t make jokes about gays or men and women having one-night-stands. So my presentations for once will be hugely appreciated.

I did a Webinar on Negotiation Skills with Dubai colleagues the other day. I was asked how I might approach the issue of the Greater and Lesser Tunb islands which Iran seized back in 1971 when the British withdrew, much to the UAE’s indignation.

Islands of course are tricky. You’re either in control of them, or you’re not.  And once you are in control of them, you tend not to want to give control to anyone else. Why should you? They’re MINE. See Falkland Islands, Kurile Islands, Cyprus etc.

In such circumstances what is there to negotiate about, directly at least? So the negotiation fragments off into different layers and timescales and maybe other venues/issues. Iran supports that faction in Syria? We’ll support the other one.

I much look forward to this visit and seeing a quite different culture. Even if the people of Dubai perhaps are not as imaginative as their Saudi friends at getting around: