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Business etiquette in the Middle East: How should I behave in a business meeting in the Middle East?

 
 

It is very important to greet people in order of seniority which means when you are in a business meeting you should start with the most senior person first and work down the hierarchy. Try and do your research before you get to the meeting, so you are aware of who is most important and you don’t offend anybody. However, if you find yourself in a meeting with lots of people you don’t know and this does happen from time to time, just start from the right and work your way along the line, remembering to shake everybody’s hand as you go.

The other thing I wanted to mention is business cards, don’t forget to take them with you because Arabs use business cards a lot. Remember that you need to hand your business card over respectfully. You don’t need to do the thing that they do in Asia where you hand your card over with both hands and bow, but you also shouldn’t do that terrible Australian habit of just throwing your business card across the table, because you will offend people. So, hand them over respectfully and make sure you take the time to look at each person’s card and acknowledge them and thank them for that card.

About Cynthia Dearin

Cynthia Dearin is an international business expert, business author and keynote speaker on the topic of leadership. She owns Dearin & Associates, an international business consulting firm specialising in fast-growing emerging markets, which provides companies with the commercial intelligence and strategies, cultural skills and trusted contacts that they need to succeed in new countries.

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