Managing Cultural Differences Saudi Arabia

Topics: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Iraq Pages: 8 (2660 words) Published: September 4, 2012
According to Antonio Sarkis Jr., president of the Brazilian-Arab Chamber of Commerce, the Arabs sympathize much with Brazil. Charisma and kindness of Brazilians were the key point to attract the confidence and sympathy of the Arabs, and this resulted in the growth of business between the two countries. (ANBA, 2007) Saudi Arabia is considered the region's biggest economy, in 2004 it had a GDP of U.S. $ 236 billion. The country is the largest producer and exporter of oil in the world, owning a quarter of crude oil reserves. In their negotiations, they adopt the system of free trade, without restrictions, volume control or tariff barriers to foreign trade. Saudi Arabia is the main market of the Middle East, earning an average of 25% of the total trade of the region and 0.9% of world trade. (MINISTÉRIO DAS RELAÇÕES EXTERIORES, 2006)

Brazilian Cultural Characteristics
In Brazil it is common to use the first name at first contact (does not matter much to use the surname with the title such as Doctor or Engineer) it is very common hugging, talking in her ear, kisses to greet each other even between men and women, punctuality is not one of the local virtues, there is not much demand in the form of dress, policy issues such as soccer, family and children are welcome in a conversation, they are extremely creative, optimistic and sometimes, for them, it is hard to say “no”, improvisation and "the Brazilian way" are a specialty, and they also have a good sense of humor. According to Minervini (2001), informality, hospitality and good humor give to foreigners the impression of a generous people. They are warm, like hugs and physical proximity, value be treated by first name, love music, lively conversation and relaxing. They Enjoy a beer and “caipirinha”, and soccer is a national passion. It is common for business meetings serve the famous coffee. However, in another countries view, these peculiarities are often regarded as negative points. The Brazilians are seen as unorganized and informal. They make use of slangs all the time, and are seen as they don’t have respect for their life and safety. Economic instability, violence, social inequality, lack of awareness for environmental protection, are regarded by foreigners as factor that need intervention.

Arab Cultural Characteristics
A minimal knowledge of the Arab cultural is essential to achieving success in business there. This is because; in the Arab world a slide in behavior will not be seen as a mere "gaffe", but as a way to kill an entire negotiation. The Arabs are warm, festive and persistent negotiators. They believe that be direct in a negotiation means scorn, belittle the person, because usually they like to have a relationship of trust and familiarity with the other party. They like to make friends, and this attitude is often a determining factor for the continuity of a business. For them, punctuality shows interest and respect. (GLOBAL 21, 2006) It is common among the Arabs the word “Inch Ala” at the end of every sentence spoken, which is equivalent to the Brazilian way of saying "Deus Abencoe” (Good wills it). In business meetings, they usually offer tea, soda and coffee. It must be accepted by education, even if you don’t want and after consuming the drink, it is necessary give the cup back indicating that you do not want anymore. (GLOBAL21, 2006) In Saudi Arabia, women dress in a very conservative way by Western standards. They wear "Abayah" or "Jilbab", which covers the entire body and face. The male traditional clothing is "thoub," a long piece. At the head it is used the "ghutra" or the "shemagh," the second one especially in religious circles. The choice of clothing should be conservative and men should refrain from wearing shorts unless in swimming pools at hotels where it is agreed. Greetings with handshakes are very welcome as long as between same sex. And it is usual the physical approach, like hugs and kisses. It...
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