Location: Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf, East of Saudi Arabia Capital: Manama Population: 677,886 which includes 235,108 non- nationals (July 2004 est.) Ethnic Make-up: Bahraini 63%, Asian 19%, other Arab 10%, Iranian 8% Religions: Shi'a Muslim 70%, Sunni Muslim 30% Government: Constitutional hereditary monarchy Facts and Statistics
LANGUAGE Arabic is an official language but English is widely spoken and it is compulsory in school English is the language used in business
∙ Pray five times a day – at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and evening. ∙ The Holy Month of Ramadan - Fast from dawn to dusk - No eating, drinking, cigarette smoking, and gum chewing The Family/Tribe ∙ Family comes before other social relationships. ∙ The family is very private. ∙ Large extended families can live in the same house, compound, or village. Bahraini Culture and Society
Women in Bahrain ∙ More publicly active in Bahrain than in most Arab countries. ∙ About one-quarter of Bahraini women hold jobs outside the home. ∙ Women have the right to vote. ∙ Not completely veiled; some still wear a head-covering in public.
Etiquette and Customs in Bahrain Meeting Etiquette ∙ Smiling and direct eye contacts are crucial. ∙ Men shake hands and kiss each other on the cheek. ∙ Women generally hug and kiss close friends. ∙ When Bahrainis greet each other they take their time and converse about general things. Gift Giving Etiquette ∙ Bring a houseplant, box of imported chocolate, or a gift from your country. ∙ Flower do not make good gifts from a man, but a woman could give them to her hostess. ∙ Do not give alcohol. ∙ Gifts are given with two hands. ∙ Gifts are not opened when received.
Etiquette and Customs in Bahrain Dining Etiquette ∙ Do not discuss business at a social occasion. ∙ Punctuality is appreciated. ∙ Check to see if the host is wearing shoes. ∙ Accept any offer of coffee or tea. ∙ A great deal of socializing and small talk before the meal is served is to be expected. ∙ Show respect for the elders by greeting them first. Don’ts: ∙ Eat only with the right hand. ∙ Try a bit of everything. ∙ Honored guests are offered the most prized pieces such as a sheep’s head. ∙ It’s polite to leave some food on your plate. ∙ Sit cross-legged or kneel on one knee if the meal is on the floor.
Business Etiquette Dress Code Western conservative clothing is perfectly acceptable in Bahrain No resctrictions for dress code: you will see a wonderful variety Dressing well gives a good impression Avoid giving offense by wearing extremely conservative clothing: do not reveal too much of your body Traditional Bahraini Abaya (black gown which women wear) because it is accepted everywhere in all occasions.
Handshakes (with the right hand) are common and might take longer than you maybe used to. Bahrainis are tremendously friendly Greetings are given with a sense of enthusiasm and delight at meeting you or seeing you again. Smiling and direct eye contacts are crucial. Men shake hands and kiss each other on the cheek. Women generally hug and kiss close friends. When Bahrainis greet each other they take their time and converse about general things. When you meet someone first say Assa-Laamu-Alai-kum. This means peace be unto you. It is a common greeting in the arabic language. The person will respond- Wa-a-lai- kum-salaam. This means and peace be unto you! You can also use this response if someone says the first step to you. Business Etiquette Greeting
Business Etiquette Business Cards Business Cards are given to everyone you meet Have one side of your card translated into Arabic Present your card so the Arabic side is readable to the recipient Present and receive business cards with two hands Make a point of studying any business card you receive before putting it into a business card holder.
Business Etiquette Hospitality Serving of coffee or tea as a ceremony Holding the hand throughout the entire duration of the greeting process
Business Etiquette Business meeting and negotiation Working week begins on Saturday and ends on Thursday Handshake as a general introduction Establish an atmosphere of friendliness before embarking on business matters. Decisions often take place by consensus