Impress with these Business and Social Etiquette Guidelines
When visiting a foreign country, be it for business or pleasure, it is important to know the customs of a country and to understand their etiquette so as to not be seen as rude. Visitors also feel more relaxed and at ease if they are able to show respect to their hosts, and in business it is always important to make a good first impression. With a few tips and guidelines, it is quite simple to understand the customs of Morocco and put them into practice.
People of the same sex will often greet with a handshake, or if they know each other well, they will give a kiss on the left cheek and then on the right, while they shake hands. When it comes to a greeting between a man and a woman, the man must wait for the woman to extend her hand first, or greet her by bowing his head. Always ensure that each person in the room is greeted individually when arriving and leaving a function or meeting.
When invited to dinner, it is important to dress smartly and take a gift of flowers, fruit or pastries for the hostess. If a gift is given, it is good manners not to open the gift. Gifts for children are viewed as a gesture of affection in Morocco. Always watch the host closely and partake in their customs such as the washing of hands before the meal is served, waiting for the blessing before eating and eating small servings at a time is recommended, as Moroccans are known as gracious hosts and will insists on their guests taking a second helping. Most customs at the dinner table are easy to pick up on by following the actions of the rest of the guests.
When in Morocco for business, it is vital to make appointments a few days in advance and to take into account their prayer meetings and religious schedules when arranging a time. Also confirm the language of the company, because although some companies do conduct business in English, there are still many that speak only French. Always be on time for meetings and be warned that Moroccans have open-door meetings and take their time in making decisions. Final decisions are made by the highest ranking member of the company, after deliberations and discussions. No business decision is taken lightly or made straight away. The dress code for meetings is conservative and dark colors are recommended, and business cards should be translated in Arabic or French on the reverse side so as to show respect to a potential business associate.
Customs and etiquette in Morocco are not complicated or hard to understand. They are based on respect and good manners. So as to leave a favorable impact on hosts and businessmen in Morocco, it is advised that visitors to the country research some of these customs to be able to interact on all levels with comfort and confidence.