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Conducting business in the Middle East

Question: What is the influence of culture on doing business in the Middle East?

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Conducting business in the Middle East is different than in other countries. There exist diversities among the countries of the region but religion, culture, and language being common make a general trait.

Middle East means Islam the prevailing religion in Middle East countries and everything is governed by the religious edicts that must be observed. As such it is highly advisable to familiarize with the religion.

For example Muslims must pray five times a day which is notified by "AZAN"- call to prayer by the "Mullah" from mosques. The daily life must be adjusted according to the prayer times. It is not necessary for all to go to the Mosque as it may be done at home, office or wherever the person may be at that particular time but observing the norms and practices of the prayer.

Friday is the day for congregational prayers and every male is obliged to attend it. It is better and advisable to avoid doing business in the month of Ramadan as during this period Muslims fast from dawn to dusk without taking any food, water or smoking. The business/office gets slackened in the working hours with exception to foreign organizations. But they are also not very strict with the Muslim employees in adhering to duty norms in the offices or work places.

It is the same thing during the ...

Solution Summary

It is always better to have a good idea of culture, customs, etiquette, manner and religion of the country you are going to conduct business with. In these days of globalization it is all the more important. This solution discusses this very topic with respect to conducting business in the Middle East.