Doing Business in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia’s Dynamic Culture
Introduction The American way of business differs from many other countries across the world. Each company has their own set of tactics that they use to close big deals. Businesses from Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, tend to do things a bit differently. They take pride in getting to know the individuals from the other company before even disclosing any information to them. Meetings sometimes take place in less than formal locations such as coffee shops and cafes. The religious and social differences between the United States and Saudi Arabia make it challenging for Americans, unaware of the way of Saudi life, to do business there. They may experience cultural shock or even …show more content…
Having the knowledge as what to expect in a foreign country can prepare oneself or limit culture shock as much as possible.
2. Assume your company is from North America or Europe and considering the establishment of an office in Saudi Arabia. What additional operating costs might it have to assume because of the Saudi culture?
The Islamic religion calls for prayer five times a day. “Many companies convert revenue-generating space to prayer areas (Daniels 46).” This results in a loss a business for those times of day and should be considered discussing operational expenses. Along with a loss in business, companies may look to build separate areas dedicated for prayer services. Gender roles also affect the workplace. Women are not allowed to travel abroad without the permission of a male family member. Even with permission, women are required to have a male escort. Companies will even pay the travel costs for a male relative to accompany a woman abroad (Daniels 49). During the holy month of Ramadan, hours of operations are shortened. During this month, western businesses also tend to avoid visiting the country at this time (Li). Less business during even less business hours will have a strong affect on a Saudi business.
There is a potential additional operational cost if the location of the office is in an area that has not fully transitioned to mixing men and women in the workplace.