Doing Business in the Middle East

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Doing Business in the Middle East

The western businesses that try to succeed in the Middle East face a lot of disappointments in each aspect of business. The main reason is that Western business leaders do not understand that the Middle East is different from the Western business environment in every single way. There are cultural differences that cannot be neglected. In order to start doing business successfully the Western businesses need to stop looking at business from the Western point of view and start looking at it from the Middle Eastern perspective. In other words, to succeed in the Middle Eastern region business people from the West need to start thinking and seeing things in way Arabs do.

When trying to establish and successfully run business in the Middle East it is of essential importance to get to know traditions, morals and principals of local people. For instance, in the Western business environment for an individual to be good businessman/woman, you need to have good skills, qualifications and experience and it is of no importance from which family you are coming. However, in the Middle East your family is of big business significance. It is what defines you and it has a lot of business features. What family an individual belongs is very important and it is often the first question people ask each other.

The West cultivates the cult of youth; it seems to prefer young, energetic and vigorous employees over older employees. On the other side, Arabs live in a different world where age commands respect. It is normal to respect and pay more attention to people older then you (even if they are only few days older) if for no other reason than just because they are older. Moreover, even though the situation about the gender equality can get much better even in the West, there are women that are on high positions in a lot of companies. This is not the case in the Middle East. Arabs do not consider women to be even closely equally to men. They...
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