Dress code in Arab countries
Anytime you attend a business meeting you have to make sure that you dress accordingly. This is especially true in the Arab world where religion plays a major role in what is considered to be acceptable clothing. For most business people this does not present a problem since they usually dress conservatively anyway but you should be aware of what is and what isn't considered acceptable.
Determining exactly what an acceptable dress code in Arab countries would be is not all that easy since it varies from one place to another. What would be acceptable in Egypt for example is often not acceptable in a more conservative country like Saudi Arabia. That being said for men the rules are not all that complex especially when it comes to business attire. In most cases you will find that things are not all that different from at home.
The big things that you are going to have to be aware of when you are dressing for business in Arab countries is that you not show too much skin. Shorts are not acceptable in most places and you are also going to want to make sure that your arms are covered at least to the elbows. This really should not be an issue for a business person since the acceptable dress is the same as it is in other places. You are going to want to wear a suit while you are doing business in the Arab world. Not all of the people you are dealing with will wear a suit since they tend to wear more traditional clothing but for foreign businessmen a suit is the normal standard.
For women who want to do business in the Arab world things get a lot more complicated. In some countries this will be no big deal, conservative business dress will be fine. You will of course have to make sure that your arms and legs are covered by beyond that there are no other restrictions. In some
Arab countries however women are required to cover their faces when they are out in the public. This obviously presents a problem if you are doing business.
Even in countries where there are strict dress rules for women the rules are usually bent for foreigners, particularly those from the west. This may not always be the case but in most countries the rules about having to cover your face will not be enforced. You will still want to dress very conservatively of course and you should find out ahead of time what the requirements are. The truth however is that in the countries were women are required to cover their faces the chances of a woman being able to do business are very slim anyway so this will usually not become a major issue.
Arab Business Etiquette
- Doing business with the Arab world: their top economies
- Influences of Arab culture when doing business
- The Islam in daily life
- Social differences in the Arab culture
- Politeness towards Arab business partners
- Respected values in Arab culture
- Dress code in Arab countries
- Things to avoid on a meeting
- Hard to overcome differences when doing business
- What to do if you made a faux pas
- How To Limit Your Business Risks?