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Business Etiquettes in Sharjah

Learn the names of the people you will be meeting ahead of time. The names may be difficult to remember and pronounce, so getting this list in advance will give you some time to study.

It is very important to be courteous, and respectful, and spend time doing small talk. Spend time taking the effort with the initial chat. And greet in order of seniority. Shaking hand is the normal greeting between men. A man, however, should not extend his hand to a woman. Wait for her cue. If she extends her hand, a handshake is appropriate. This works in reverse for visiting women. Do not extend your hand to a man, but shake if a hand is offered. The traditional greeting is "assalam alaikum" (peace be upon you) to which the standard reply is "wa alaikum assalam" (and upon you be peace).

Never make a gesture to anyone with one finger pointing up. If you do need to make a gesture, use your full hand. Do not check your watch a lot, as this may signify that you are getting bored from the person you are meeting with.

Be patient with interruptions while meeting. It is very common for appointments to be interrupted by phone calls or visitors, even of a personal nature, and it should not be considered a slight.

Be prepared to bargain. This is part of the culture-virtually everything is bargained for. Do expect the unexpected when it comes to the pace of negotiations. Things will move very slowly or very quickly (rarely in between).

Have any printed materials, such as brochures or reports, translated into Arabic for your associates. It would be wise to have a translator where English is not spoken. Bear in mind a female translator might not be welcomed in certain cases so do your research in advance. Do not entertain conversations involving sex, religion or politics.

Dressing conservatively for a business meeting is the norm – business suits being the obvious solution. Women should again avoid skirts or low-cut tops, and instead again opt for loose-fitting trousers, or longer skirts.





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