As most companies are organised along family lines, the concept of team working is accepted as long as the members really are part of the team (i.e. the extended family or close friends.)

The problems really begin when trying to develop team spirit within a group who have no natural kinship ties. In such a situation, people tend to display suspicion of one another and progress can be slow.

Within any gathering of Saudis, hierarchy will always be present and even if you wish to develop a flat system within the team, it is likely that traditional class and family issues will result in an unofficial hierarchy developing very quickly indeed.

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