Meals, Clothing Code & Gifts

Visitors to Saudi are expected to dress in a conservative, smart fashion

Men should wear suits and ties for business meetings

It is not advisable for men to wear traditional Saudi costume as this may seem bizarre or even offensive

Gifts should only be given to the most intimate of friends

Owing to the extremely personal nature of giving gifts, traditional perfume is usually the most appreciated

Whilst loud speech and raucous laughter are deplored as vulgar

Saudis always shake hands with every man present but not with women

The respectful greeting for Saudi Royalty is to kiss the shoulder

For a Saudi to receive a present from a lesser acquaintance is so embarrassing as to be offensive

If one is confident enough and determined to give a gift, it must be the best affordable

A carpet must, for example, be handmade even though most Saudis buy machine made carpets for themselves

Never, buy gold jewellery or silk garments for men, as both are deemed effeminate in Islam

Platinum is most acceptable but, as it can be confused with white gold, silver is safer

It is not obligatory to give gifts when visiting a Saudi – either at the office or at home – but gifts can be helpful in the relationship building process

When offering a gift, it is likely that the gift will not be opened in front of the giver

Avoid the following: alcohol, pork, knives, pigskin, perfumes with alcohol, any images with nude women

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