Seal the deal, with these business etiquette tips!
Are you travelling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to seal a business deal? DonÔÇÖt bust this opportunity by being ignorant of their cultural and business etiquettes.
UAEÔÇÖs multi-cultural environment, hospitable business setting and the efficient labour market makes this country a conducive trading and investment hub of the middle-east region. However observing cultural protocol is key to your business success with Emirati partners or stakeholders. If you are unaware of the cultural nuances, youÔÇÖd run the risk of being branded rude or non-serious. ThatÔÇÖs definitely something you want to avoid!
Hence, follow these effective business etiquette tips to crack the deal.
Greet with care
When entering the room, greet the senior most person first. Then greet all the others with ÔÇ£assalamu alaikumÔÇØ which means ÔÇ£peace be upon youÔÇØ and return their greeting with ÔÇ£wa alaikum assalam,ÔÇØ meaning ÔÇ£peace be upon you, too.ÔÇØ This will surely earn you brownie points!
If you are uncomfortable with the pronunciation, try using online tools for language translation.
Wait for the hand shake
While greeting, it is better that you wait for your host to initiate the hand shake. Once your host extends his hand, then put out your right hand for a brief but firm shake. Holding hands among men while leading you into the office is quite common.
Darker shades of suit are considered to be appropriate for business meetings. The culture of UAE requires both men and woman to dress modestly. Clothes that reveal the knees, arms and shoulders are generally not tolerated. And if you are a non-Muslim, you are not expected to wear a hijab, except when you visit religious sites.
Business deals are all about the rapport and trust factor. Hence genuinely build a relationship by enquiring politely about the well-being of your hostÔÇÖs family without prying too much. Remember that money, health, religion, politics are taboo topics that may land you in trouble.
Business meetings in UAE happen in a relaxed style. Hence donÔÇÖt be offended if your business partners arrive a bit late to the meeting. While seated ensure that the sole of your shoe does not face upwards. Negotiate patiently as the decision-making process may take some time. If you are invited to coffee or shisha in a majli, just go for it, as it could be a great way to close a deal!
Dine without declining
Refusing the food offered is not considered good manners and may lead to misunderstandings. Hence if you are a vegetarian or are advised to avoid certain food due to medical reasons, let your host know about it politely. If alcohol is not offered, itÔÇÖs wise not to ask for the same. Remember to compliment your hostÔÇÖs food and hospitality.
Finally, do not schedule any business meeting on a Friday, as it is when weekend begins for UAE.
Any other tips on business etiquettes you have in mind? Let us know!