While it goes without saying that Arabs are not so easily offended by a foreigner’s unfamiliarity with their culture, it’s always good to know a few things beforehand.
- Dress modestly: while women don’t usually have to worry about an abaya at the airport, one should be arranged as soon as possible.
- Use your right hand as a sign of respect when giving or receiving something.
- Shaking hands with the opposite gender is not normally required and sometimes disapproved of.
- Don’t walk on a prayer mat or cross in front of a person who is praying.
- If you’re visiting during Ramadan, do not eat, drink or smoke in public during the day, as most people are fasting.
- Do not take pictures of anyone without asking for permission first.
- Learn a few phrases of Arabic that will help you get through your trip and will be appreciated by your colleagues.