Visitors to Saudi are expected to dress in a conservative, smart fashion.

Men should wear suits and ties for business meetings, despite the heat and women should wear business suits (not trousers) which leave as little flesh showing as possible. Skirts should be well below the knee and preferably ankle-length. It is also advisable for women to carry a headscarf.

It is not advisable for men to wear traditional Saudi costume as this may seem bizarre or even offensive behaviour to local Saudis.

The correct observance of dress code is monitored by the Matawain (religious police) who are responsible for the enforcement of modest dress in accordance with Islamic law.

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in Saudi Arabia

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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Overview

This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in Saudi Arabia. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in Saudi Arabia and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips