Tips For Doing Business in the Middle East
If you are thinking about doing business in the Middle East, there are a number of things you need to know. While the region has an established economy, its business culture is not necessarily the same as your own. It is important to take note of the local nuances, such as customs, religion, and business practices, to ensure a successful experience. Fortunately, there are a few tips for doing business in the Middle East that can help you make the most of the situation.
A first tip for doing business in the Middle East is to learn to read body language. In many countries, a high-pressure technique is not likely to be effective. Therefore, it is important to establish a rapport with your potential business partners before a deal is signed. One of the best ways to achieve this is by engaging in small talk and talking to them.
A second tip is to be mindful of religious holidays. Muslim holidays may affect your schedule, so it is best to be prepared. During the holy month of Ramadan, you should avoid making business deals. You should also take into account Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, both of which are Muslim holidays. There is also a general reduction in business activity during these times.
A third tip is to get a little more personal. Arabs value relationships. For this reason, a lot of the business is done on a personal level. Although you will need to be patient, taking the time to get to know someone is well worth the effort.
The best way to do business in the Middle East is by establishing and maintaining trust. This is not only important for ensuring that your transaction goes through smoothly, but it is also crucial for developing long-term relationships. To establish trust, you should be willing to spend time discussing your goals and how you plan to achieve them.
The Middle East is full of opportunities. Getting in touch with influential contacts in the region can help you speed up your business ventures. Also, local chambers of commerce can provide you with useful information and contacts. Another wise move is to hire an intermediary. An intermediary can help you navigate the paperwork and bureaucracy of the region.
Finally, you can’t ignore the importance of the wasta system. The wasta system is a Middle Eastern form of introduction. It involves a series of reciprocal favors. Often, these favors are small gifts. These are especially important when meeting new people.
Unlike in the West, it is not easy to find the most effective route to do business in the Middle East. For this reason, it is vital to secure a local partner early on. Getting a legal opinion from a lawyer is highly recommended when working on your first deal in the Gulf. Make sure to research the companies you are going to work with thoroughly before you go.
Learning about the complexities of doing business in the Middle East is definitely worth the effort. However, you should beware of the common pitfalls.