Middle East Business Report is a weekly half-hour programme covering business issues from the region Contact the programme on middleeastbiz bbc. Despite sitting on one tenth of the world's oil, the emirate is trying to promote itself as a pioneer for of clean energy. Its biggest project is Masdar, a sustainable, zero-carbon city that's attracting investment in the renewable energy sector to the region.
Handshakes are the typical form of physical greeting in the Middle East, but are likely to last longer than Westerners are used to. If you are a man greeting an Arab businesswoman, wait for her to extend her hand as particularly conservative women may choose to not shake middle east business report schedules with men.
In a similar vein, if you are a businesswoman meeting Arab businessmen, wait for them to initiate the handshake. How to address the person you are meeting properly will vary from country to country and business to business, but it is best to remain formal if unsure.
See the final sections below for country specific tips on addressing your potential business partners. Business cards are part of the course in the Arab world, so make sure to get yours printed in both Arabic and English.
How to gain trust in the Arab business world Although this is changing as Arab countries gain more exposure to Western business practices, for many Arabs there is no separation between personal and professional lives, and as such, a potential business partner must also be considered a potential friend.
It is imperative to organise a face to face meeting as the ability to build trust is greatly increased in this environment. This is all part of a desire to understand you on a personal, friendly level, before discussing business.
Small talk is incredibly important in establishing friendly business relations. You must be ready to answer questions about your travel, your home, your experience of the country you have traveled to, your health, and the health of your family.
It is a good idea to have a few anecdotes or stories ready to entertain with, and to ask all the questions back to your acquaintance.
You may also encounter the system commonly known as wasta during your time in the Middle East. In the Middle East this is a widely exploited system and it is viewed as neither shameful nor underhand, but simply as part of the normal course of business and daily life.
If you have high-powered contacts or friends in the right places you are likely to find that bureaucracy and business run in a much smoother fashion.
A system of borrowed and returned favours is also prevalent. If you are asked a favour by a business partner, endeavour to fulfil it or at least give the semblance that you have tried your best. Never refuse outright to do something when it is clearly a case of wasta. Meetings in the Middle East The first thing to note when getting into the nitty-gritty of meetings in the Arab world is that the concept of punctuality can be very different.
Do not be surprised if your counterpart is up to half an hour late, sometimes longer. Time moves in a different, more relaxed fashion in the Middle East and it is easier to go with the flow than to get frustrated. Having said that, it is advisable that you as the visitor show up on time as a sign of respect to your host.
Meetings tend to be structured very differently in the Arab world. You may expect a much more circular structure as opposed to the rigidly linear tendencies of most Western business practices.
Agendas are likely to be lacking. After the customary five minutes of small talk, the point of business will be brought up and discussed, most likely with the most senior businessman in the room leading and directing the discussion. Interruptions are common, even during what may feel like it should be a private meeting.
Other employees or visitors entering the office or room in order to obtain signatures or advice, phone calls to be taken, or emails to be checked should all be expected as part of the lengthy process of a business meeting in the Arab world. This aspect of a meeting in the Middle East has been compounded by the rapid spread of smartphones across the region.
Arabs are very open to checking their smartphones and communicating with them, even when they are sitting and talking with you face to face. Be prepared for this and try not to get frustrated or to take offence.
Remember to take multiple copies of any printed information, business plans, or brochures which you might be using or introducing in the meeting.
It is quite possible that the person with whom you are talking is not the real decision-maker in the company and that your meeting and materials will need to be relayed to others later on.
Negotiations with your Arab business partners It is crucial to remember that the Arab societies were and in many ways still are traditional trading societies, and that it is therefore normal to expect a Middle Eastern businessman to drive a hard bargain.
You have been warned. The pace of negotiation is often much slower in the Arab world, so stay patient and do not try and rush your counterparts into a deal. The same patience is crucial when dealing with the bureaucracy and paperwork prevalent in every Middle Eastern country. The time and effort it takes to get visas, permits, and other necessary paperwork can be demoralising, but if you are prepared to sit out the wait, it will be all the more rewarding.
Another difference in the way in which Arabs negotiate is the tribal or associative mentality. Most Middle Eastern societies still hark back to their tribal origins even if society has progressed away from this structure politically.
This can influence negotiations since the lead negotiator is likely to want to discuss the decision with the whole team before confirming an agreement, so again, allow more time for this stage of negotiations.
One of the most important things to remember when doing business in the Middle East is that many Arabs find it extremely shameful to be seen to lose face in public at any point. They will therefore go out of their way to save face, be it their own or that of those around them.
Try not to directly disagree with or contradict anyone during the meeting.MEED is a leading MENA business intelligence tool providing news, analysis and insight into regional markets, projects, tenders and government policy.
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In the Middle East this is a widely exploited system and it is viewed as neither shameful nor underhand, but simply as part of the normal course of business and daily life. If you have high-powered contacts or friends in the right places you are likely to find that bureaucracy and business run in .
Broadcast Schedules. Broadcast Schedules. The Middle East, Nightly Business Report # program information. pm. Apex Friendship is a new middle school opening on a traditional calender in August We look forward to serving the Apex community and surrounding areas.
Mar 28, · Getting behind the issues of trade, business and economics in the Gulf.