Many people in the Middle East take great pride in showing hospitality. Hospitality is a deeply rooted tradition that is closely linked to honour and reputation. Open displays of generosity and welcoming behaviour are essential qualities for measuring a person's good reputation and character. When offered such hospitality, whether in a business or social setting, it is important to accept it to maintain the individual's sense of honour.
A positive career move
The Gulf is an exciting place to stretch yourself, develop your career and make money. Dubai for example is fast turning itself into a world financial hub, with global corporates, a thriving construction industry and a hot climate. The experience of working in the Middleast is a diverse, challenging and ultimately fascinating environment. When you produce your list of pros and cons for making a critical career move, being able to cite an international region on your curriculum vitae is bound to be of benefit to your career.
The traditional Islamic greeting you will hear is 'Asalamu alaykum' (peace be with you). As a non-Muslim you would not be expected to use it, but if you did you would receive the reply 'wa alaykum salam' (and peace be with you). Thank you is ‘Shukran’ and Welcome is ‘Marhaba’.
Arabs are fairly informal with names when doing business and generally address people by their first names. The Arab title of note is a Sheikh (these are normally members of the Ruling families and are often preceded by His Highness), many senior Arabs are also addressed by His Excellency, again pertaining to their level of importance.
There is no income tax and the GCC is broadly free of other taxes. The UAE is an expensive place to live. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are less costly.
An employment visa and a residency visa are required, which in most cases will be taken care of by your employer.
Healthcare provision in the Middleast are ususally of a very high standard. Healthcare organisations benefit from state of the art equipment. Some of the worlds leading specialists are brought to share their knowledge and expertise.