Saudi Arabia Business Travel Tips you should know about
by Mashum Mollah Business Planning & Opportunities 26 March 2019
Doing business abroad can be the thing you needed to boost your general level of success and reach the status you have always dreamed of. Once you decide to pursue international entrepreneurial affairs, traveling will become one of your regular habits. If your next business travel destination is Saudi Arabia, you probably want to be prepared for a productive and resourceful trip, and for that to be possible, knowing some insights on the matter is necessary. Saudi Arabia comes with quite a vast array of opportunities, business-wise, so you might have had quite a few powerful reasons to choose this destination for your business expansion activities. Well, before you actually make the arrangements for your departure, getting some tips might be useful. Here are some relevant aspects that you should be aware of:
Look into visa requirements:
There are of course entry requirements you will need to meet when you are visiting Saudi Arabia for the first time. Holding a visa is one of the regulations visitors from GCC states have to cover first. The exact steps that you need to take on the matter can vary, and visa requirements are always prone to changes. This is why you should look into this particular topic with sufficient time in advance, apply for the type of visa you are interested in obtaining and stay up to date in regards to any relevant information. With all of your paperwork in order, you won’t have to deal with inconveniences, and you can enter the country exactly when you have set the dates.
Business class flights:
Buying your plane tickets is another task you should handle as early as you possibly can, especially if you want to access appealing flight prices. Because you might need to start handling various business responsibilities as soon as you land in Saudi Arabia, you should benefit from a comfortable and inconvenience-free flight. Therefore, you need to consider traveling in business class, even if there will be a difference in ticket prices. You are traveling for business purposes, so traveling in style should be one of your priorities. Booking your flight early will also prevent you from dealing with a fully-booked flight and dealing with your departure.
Book your hotel room – staying in style:
Whether it’s a 2-night visitor you are staying an entire week there, you will need to be well-rested for all of your meetings and business affairs, and for that to be possible, you will need to stay at a great hotel. The accommodation you opt for is highly important here. Luckily, there are plenty of hotels in Riyadh, Al Madina and any other location in Saudi Arabia you might need to visit, numerous with luxury characteristics. Choosing a great hotel means you will be able to relax between meetings, enjoy a resting and peaceful sleep, benefit from excellent food and make your entire travel more enjoyable. Going for a luxury option instead of a standard, the cheap hotel will also influence your image in front of your future business partners. In the eventuality of someone picking you up for a conference or a meeting, the place where you will be staying will say something about you. If you are an entrepreneur who values formal etiquette, you won’t make any compromises when it comes to hotels.
Topics of conversation for small talk scenarios:
In most cases, getting straight to business might not be possible. Any professional encounter is usually started with an initial small talk, this being an approach used in countries all over the world. Considering you are in Saudi Arabia, and you might not know much about the local culture or etiquette when it comes to this sort of encounters, you should be prepared with a few topics of conversation. Family and sports are usually great options here, so you can start with these ones. Praising the things you find appealing in the country, from landmarks to cuisine, will also help you make a great first impression. You can also discuss the local architecture is you have some knowledge on it. You should avoid discussing politics, illnesses, accidents or any sensitive subjects. As for non-verbal etiquette, it’s considered rude in Saudi Arabia to cross your legs, to use your left hand while gesturing during your conversations, and pointing or showing thumb-up is also not recommended. There aren’t many things you need to remember, but a few details can make the difference, so keep them in mind – if you are waiting to close an important business deal, the smallest gestures can count more than you would think, so try your best to maintain the right approach in your future conversations with local businessmen.
Make some time for explorations too:
If things do turn out as planned, in the business department, being in contact with businessmen from Saudi Arabia for a long period of time might be demanded, so you should know a bit more about their country and the beautiful things this has to offer. Despite this being a business trip, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t explore the surroundings for a bit. Get to know the historic landmarks, visit the most popular attractions, experience the local culture and make out of this travel one that is rewarding n different pages.
Regardless of the main reasons why you have directed your attention towards Saudi Arabia for business affairs, handling your future travels there by the book can influence not only your future success but how much you enjoy the experience in itself. Even if you are traveling for business purposes, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t benefit from a reasonable level of convenience and comfort. While there might be plenty of details that need to be addressed and coordinated, the factors suggested here can help you handle planning more properly. From looking into cultural business etiquette and thus avoiding dealing with unpleasant scenarios, to ensuring your full comfort by choosing the right hotel, take care of these few things, and your first entrepreneurial contact with Saudi Arabia is likely to be an enjoyable one.