The Middle East is an area that continues to evolve in many sectors. This far away land has its own business mecca and continues to impress the world with the manner
in which business is conducted. The area of global business, continues to evolve since the birth of civilization. Trading has gone from, primarily a physical form of business dealings, to digital forms, today. Technology is rampant and nothing is missed due to a lack of global connection. It remains to be a region with much complexity and thus it is suggested that leaders, “develop highly complex strategies for success.” (OLEAD 410, 2018, Lesson 7).
When negotiating with the different countries that make up the Middle East, American companies, need to understand that countries’ history. Additionally, research should be conducted around political temperature of the time and that country’s market status as it relates to your business.
The website, Velocityglobal.com provides valuable information on five important components that should be considered before conducting business with Middle Eastern countries. These include:
1. The Working Days Vary Throughout the Region
Workweeks in the Middle East run Sunday through Saturday. Although in 2013, Saudi Arabia made a major change and changed their Thursday-Friday weekend to Saturday and Sunday. This now places them in a better position to make continual business with the US.
2. Match Specific Contract Languages for Each Country
Most employment contracts need to reflect a side-by-side translation in Arabic. In Algeria and Morocco, however the preferred side-by-side languages include English and French.
3. Consider the List of Paid Holidays in the Middle East
Observed holidays are very different than those in the US. Their holidays include:
- Hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca)
- Eid al-Fitr (Breaking the Fast Feast)
- Eid al-Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice)
4. There is a Required Paid Time Allotment for Daily Prayer
Employers are required to provide employees, prayer time during the day as part of their regular paid hours.
5. Understand the Salary Allocation Requirements in the Middle East
Employers are to provide transportation, health benefits and housing, to all of its employees.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). (nd.) Saudi Arabia. Retrieved on February 21, 2018 from: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/sa.html (Links to an external site.)
Moran, R. T., Abramson, N. R., & Moran, S. V. (2014). Managing cultural differences: Leadership skills and strategies for working in a global world. New York: Elsevier.
Volocity Global. (2016). Doing Business in the Middle Easat – Top 5 Differences from USA. Retrieved from: https://velocityglobal.com/blog/doing-business-in-the-middle-east-top-5-differences-from-usa/