● Be prepared for a different routine: Saudi Arabia doesn’t follow the regular Monday to Friday routine you’ll find in many other countries. Business hours here are from 08.30 to 12.00 and from 14.30 to 19.30, Saturday through Wednesday. Some businesses are open on Thursdays. Friday is the day of rest. Banking hours are from 09.30 to 16.30. Most shops are open from 08.00 or 08.30 to 12.00, and from 16.30 to 21.00 or 22.00, Saturday through Thursday. Business hours may change during Ramadan.
● Etiquette is important in business meetings: Following the right etiquette will help your business meetings run smoothly in Riyadh. Wait for your Saudi counterpart to greet you first, and then return their greeting in the same manner. Remember that not all Saudis shake hands. Be prepared for meetings to run at a slower pace. Enquire about the health of your counterparts’ family members.
● Be a good conversationist: Expect to have enthusiastic conversations, and don’t be surprised if your Saudi counterparts get loud – shouting is a sign of interest and sincerity. Try not to be shy, quiet, reserved, or aloof. Stick to neutral subjects such as sports. Praise Saudi architecture, cuisine, your business hotel Riyadh, and historic sites, and avoid all talk of politics, illness, bad luck, or anything that could cause embarrassment.
● Use your right hand: Always use your right hand when touching, gesturing, and eating, even if you’re left-handed. In Arabic culture, the left hand is considered unclean. Don’t point at anything while talking, and never use the thumbs-up gesture – it’s offensive in Arabic culture.
● Be friendly and accommodating: Have plenty of business cards with you and distribute them to everyone in the meeting. Be prepared to negotiate, and that includes making personalised arguments and appeals. Gracefully accept favours and be prepared to make accommodations and extend favours yourself.
● Dress for success: Remember to dress smartly for your business meetings and events.
● Make eye contact: It’s vitally important to make eye contact when speaking, so be sure to remove your sunglasses indoors.
Fraser Suites Riyadh has a few offers aimed at professionals travelling to the city for business. You can enjoy a 15% discount on the best available rate by booking at least 14 days in advance. Fraser members can receive 25% off the best flexible rate, free Wi-Fi, 5% off on food and beverages, and 10% off laundry service.
Our Sweet Dreams & Breakfast promotion offers you a hearty breakfast, while the Unbeatable Long Stay offer is made for professionals who need to stay in the city for more than 30 days – the longer you stay at our business hotel in Riyadh, the less you pay. This is an excellent option if you wish for your family to join you on your trip, either for the full duration or just for a weekend. They can enjoy everything Riyadh has to offer and stay in comfort in Fraser Suites accommodation.