Practical Information About Jordan Business Etiquette
Jordan business etiquette is based on the Arab culture. If you conduct business internationally, it is essential that you understand the differences in the culture’s business etiquette. In the United States, business culture can be much different than it is in the other parts of the world. Failing to follow business etiquette can result in a loss of business, ultimately costing you money and a healthy reputation.
Attire In Jordan, conservative and formal dress is expected. This applies to both men and women. For men, dress should include a suit and a tie. For women, dress should be modest. Avoid low necklines or dresses above the knee. This attire reflects the cultural norms.
Arriving for Appointments It is generally considered improper to arrive for a business appointment early, even if it is only five minutes. Arriving early may offend or alarm your business prospect. You should also avoid arriving late. If you find that you will be late more than 15 minutes, you should contact your business prospect’s office. However, be prepared for your business prospect to arrive late. In Jordan, businesses often have an open door policy. Additional people may attend your meeting and interruptions are normal. While this may seem unprofessional to you, it is important to not allow yourself to be offended. Additionally, meetings may be canceled or postponed, often at the last minute.
Business Hours Jordan work hours are Sunday through Thursday from 9 am to 7 pm. However, some businesses may be open on Saturdays. There is generally a two hour lunch break from 1 to 3 pm. During the month of Ramadan, lunch breaks are forfeited but business hours are shortened, often closing around 2 to 3 pm. Because of shortened hours, it is wise to avoid conducting business during Ramadan as well as all Muslim holidays.
Gender Etiquette Gender etiquette is extremely important in Jordan business etiquette. The opposite gender should always be treated with respect, but familiarity and friendliness should be avoided. Additionally, men should never extend their hand to shake the hand of a woman. Instead, wait for the woman to extend her hand first. If a meal is offered, you should sit with members of your own gender.
Meal Etiquette Meals etiquette is also important in Jordan. If you are offered a meal, you should accept it graciously. This shows respect to your host. Meals are eaten with the right hand and you should follow your host in regards to cutlery use. If you are passed food from the hand of another person, you should take this as a gesture of acceptance. To signal that your guest has provided adequately for you, be sure to leave a little food on your plate.
General Etiquette Extreme hospitality and politeness are normal business etiquette standards in Jordan. Your acceptance and acknowledgment is considered a great honor to your host. You should also be prepared to reciprocate a number of compliments that your host is likely to give. Avoid loud and boisterous tones and expressive gestures. This may be perceived as uncultured. You should also avoid politics, sarcasm, and derogatory humor. If offered something, you may refuse twice; however, the third offer must be accepted. Keep these basic Jordan business etiquette tips in mind when conducting business with potential clients.