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Additional resources for The global etiquette guide to Africa and the Middle East: everything you need to know for business and travel success
In addition, at the end of some meals, particularly in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region, incense or cologne might be passed around as a final refreshment: you lean over and gently inhale the sweet fragrance. Fresh mints or caraway seeds may be offered as a special treat just before you go. Most discussion occurs before the meal, not after, although dining at someone’s home will last well into the night. Expect to be told that it is too early to leave the first time you try; stay a while longer, but if the hosts serve some ice water or another cool drink, you should leave soon thereafter.
They also lose respect for the manager for not making the decisions he should be making. Saudi Arabia 35 Conducting a Meeting or Presentation At your first meeting in Saudi Arabia, you will probably be received in a very comfortable waiting area, which may or may not be where most of the meeting is conducted between you and your Saudi colleague (an equally good place to host a meeting would be in a meeting room of one of the international hotels you will inevitably be staying at). If this is the case, you are merely being sized up, and your colleague is a gatekeeper.
Non-Muslims will be prohibited from entering Medina and Mecca. The best way to catch a cab is at designated taxi stands (hotels are good places, but often charge more for the same ride: a hotel surcharge is added to the meter fare, in some cases). When a taxi has been hailed, negotiate the price. Whenever possible, have the address you need to get to written down on a piece of paper (or use the business card of the person you are going to see, if you can) before you hail the cab. Saudi Arabia 25 Tipping Tipping (the ubiquitous baksheesh) is universally required throughout the Arab world, and then some.