Intending to conduct new business in Bahrain? We offer the following business etiquette tips to help smooth the way:
a) Bahrainis prefer to do business with people with whom they have a personal relationship; therefore a letter of introduction from someone they already know will allow them to trust you. They will spend a great deal of time getting to know you so you must be patient and be prepared to make several visits. If you display any sign of impatience, this is considered bad manners and may ultimately affect any future business prospects you may have.
b) You need to make an official appointment for a meeting and mornings are generally preferred. Do not try to schedule meetings during July and August as many Bahrainis leave the country to escape the worst of the heat. Always arrive promptly and be ready for a prolonged delay before the meeting starts as Bahrainis will want to enquire about family, health and other non-business topics beforehand. They operate an open-door policy so be prepared for frequent interruptions such as other people wandering into the room and talking about different topics. You will need to refocus them back to the original topic!
c) Communication style is quite formal in Bahrain and follows a hierarchical structure. Always be deferent to the most senior person in the group and demonstrate good manners, including addressing people by their correct title and avoiding such gestures as looking at your watch as this is seen as a sign of disrespect. Do not use high-pressure sales tactics and keep proposals and contracts simple.
Are you planning on doing business in Bahrain? Asinta’s Partner in Bahrain, Nexus, is available to answer any questions you might have! Simply drop them a line via their contact page to get the conversation started.