Mumbai may have the buzz and brashness, but New Delhi remains one of India’s largest commercial and financial centres, as well as being the seat of national government. Do your homework when it comes to small talk – you should know about politics but not opine on the matter, and be prepared to talk about cricket any time, anywhere. Indians can be flexible with timings, so if your visit is short make appointments in advance and reconfirm them, emphasising urgency.
Good hotels in Delhi don’t come cheap, so in these expense-account conscious times you won’t be going five-star unless you’re entertaining someone pretty important. The posh neighbourhood of Sunder Nagaris is a good choice for fashionable yet not wallet-busting options. Shervani (www.shervanihotels.com) has smart doubles for £133.
Where to start? You’ll find eateries everywhere. Smokehouse Grill at the VIPPS Center in South Delhi’s Greater Kailash suburb is one of the hippest hangouts in town, but ask your hosts for suggestions – new places open almost daily.
Q’BA in Connaught Place has a Q-shaped bar and leather chairs and sofas. You may find the roof terrace to your liking, especially if it's been a long hot day round the negotiating table.
There's a large number of options for getting to New Delhi. Direct flights hover around the £400 mark with Indian carriers like Jet Airways and Air India as well as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Cheaper fares can be found by transitting in the Middle East.
Ignore taxi touts on arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport and either get an official pre-paid taxi (£5) from the booth controlled by the Indian Traffic Police or, better still, ask your hotel to pick you up (around £10).
New Delhi operates on Indian Standard Time, which is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. The Indian Rupee is the local currency. With a population of 14 million it is India’s second-largest city after Mumbai.
The medieval alleys of Old Delhi are home to the Red Fort, the Jama Masjid (India’s largest mosque) and a warren of atmospheric streets to explore. The splendid National Museum is another essential stop, as is the staggering work that is Humayun’s Tomb.
“While the universal language of a smile and gracious nod may result in an instant warmth in India, the most common social courtesy is greeting with hands folded as in a prayer, known as namaste.”
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