September 15, 2015
Recently MeetnGreetMe was invited to pitch in front of the delegation from Oman. None of us has ever been to this faraway country and no one from this state has registered as a MeetnGreeter yet. So it was a great chance to expand our geographical presence and keep on opening the world through people around us. Check out our article about another absolutely gorgeous place – Pattaya, Thailand.
Information on Oman
Later on we were invited for a dinner to celebrate our acquaintance and the beginning of Belarusian-Omani relations. What we all love about MeetnGreetMe is that one of our main responsibilities is to be curious! We want to know everything about new cities from locals’ perspective. We don’t jump to conclusions; we ask, observe and share.
Not the Sultanate of Oman but the Benevolent Sultanate of Oman
The delegation chose the best Italian restaurant in Minsk and appeared to be true connoisseurs of Italian cuisine and wines. Surprisingly for us, they offered to follow Arabic traditions and share the ordered food with everyone, if we didn’t mind, of course. That is why, when I mentioned ‘Sultanate of Oman’ I was corrected: “Not Sultanate of Oman but the Benevolent Sultanate of Oman”. During the dinner we were mixing up business and fun. I learned that in Oman gender equality is not an issue in the business context and a lot of women start their own businesses. In general, my query about the rights of women seemed to be surprising and was percieved as ‘no-point-to-ask’.
Later on we learned that the Omani business culture places a great emphasis on personal relationships between partners. A great deal of time will be devoted to getting to know each other before any actual business is discussed. Perhaps, that is why in the end my Omani counterpart told me that he had gut feelings that we had to be partners and provide concierge services with MeetnGreetMe to Oman. Italian wine may turn people into fortune-tellers. Oman, we are coming!
Oman is considered to be one of the most open-minded nations in the Gulf region
Oman business culture
When we came back to our premises, excited and enthusiastic after the dinner we decided to learn more about the Omani business culture and traditions. We found out that Oman is considered to be one of the most open-minded nations in the Gulf region, foreigners are treated with respect. However, to earn this attitude, one should respect Islamic culture and traditions. This is why we, as guests in Oman should bear in mind the following points.
Arab business partners tend not to put great emphasis on punctuality, but as a foreigner you should always try and be on time. Business meetings should not be scheduled during prayer times or any of the major Islamic holidays such as Ramadan or Eid. And as for greetings, handshakes are acceptable between men. However, first of all, shake the hand of the most senior person present. As you speak, maintain strong eye contact as this is considered a sign of strength. Finally, when you go to Oman, make sure that your business card is printed in Arabic on one side and always present cards with two hands.
Handshakes in Oman are acceptable between men. However, first of all, shake the hand of the most senior person present
After learning all these facts and many more, we understood that Oman is a truly magnificent country and a prosperous modern state. Somehow, after the dinner and our homework, Oman became closer to us, and, we hope, closer to you too!
In the end, I asked to share with me an Arabic wisdom they truly believe in. The word was passed to the oldest man. Right away he said: “Live today! Live your today”. And this is what we wish to you! Live your today and explore the world with MeetnGreetMe!
Credits for photos to the amazing Carolyn Horner.
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