Nicholas Janitsary has more than a decade of experience helping international companies do business in the Middle East. Although the region presents ample opportunities for businesspeople from the U.S., its different social norms and professional rhythms can present challenges. To help, Janitsary has prepared these tips on Middle Eastern business etiquette.
Friendships and personal contacts are critical to achieving business success. Few in the Middle East draw an absolute line between business and personal life, so it is important to express interest in a potential partner’s family and hobbies. Relationships are built during long conversations over coffee or tea and should not be rushed.
In most Middle Eastern cultures, the left hand is considered to be unclean in a professional context. Even if you are left-handed, it is critical to use your right hand for handshakes and other interpersonal contact.
Muslim culture values honor highly, and spoken agreements are treated very seriously. Written contracts remain an important tool for articulating formal agreements, but you will likely be held to everything you say, even casually. It is important to choose words carefully and to mention only what you are sure you can deliver.
Most people picture special operations forces as small, elite groups performing secret raids behind enemy lines. But in recent years, the role of special ops has seen a shift from surgical strikes and intelligence gathering to training local soldiers and rebuilding nations.
In Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere around the world, special ops teams have taken on the role of training local forces to identify and overcome insurgents. Nearly 10,000 special operations soldiers will be deployed to Afghanistan in 2013, tasked with the role of ensuring that the Afghan central government and its forces can continue to combat insurgents after the withdrawal of the American armed forces.
To complete this role, new weapons have been added to the arsenals of special operations teams: instructional skills, language training, and an understanding of local culture and religion. This trend is likely to continue well into the future.
Nicholas Janitsary is a security expert and Managing Director of New Dimension Group.
A Singapore-based aviation consultant, Nicholas Janitsary leads New Dimension Group as Managing Director. With a background in criminology, he offers extensive knowledge of security, business, and aviation matters. His subsidiary, New Dimension Aviation, works with Asian clients on private jet charters, sales, and leases.
Currently contributing 5 percent to the global private aircraft market, Asia remains poised to drive the industry’s expansion in the next 10 years, according to experts. They predict $40 billion worth of sales within the following decade. In contrast to Europe, the Asian economies have not experienced comparable levels of shock. Furthermore, Asian buyers generally choose new aircraft over used ones.
Some of the factors that have caused Asia to lag behind other private aircraft markets include China’s ban on private aircraft ownership, which existed until 2003. In addition, other nations’ airports and air infrastructure have not developed as much as that of the United States. This means that those nations need to continue to consider solutions for tariffs and build airports that can accommodate smaller aircraft.
The world’s largest law enforcement organization, INTERPOL consists of nearly 200 member countries. Operating under the slogan “connecting police for a safer world,” INTERPOL is headquartered in Lyon, France, and possesses seven regional branches across the globe.
The origins of INTERPOL can be traced back to 1914 and the First International Criminal Police Congress. During this meeting police officers, lawyers, and magistrates representing 14 countries discussed arrest procedures, crime solving techniques, extradition matters, and other topics. Less than a decade later, Dr. Johannes Schober created the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC) in Vienna. Over the next several years, countries established National Central Bureaus, which are essential to the modern incarnation of this law enforcement group.
The Nazi takeover of Austria during World War II put a temporary end to ICPC. Following the war, representatives from Belgium played a crucial role in rebuilding the organization. In 1946, it officially adopted the name INTERPOL.
About the Author:
A security expert, Nicholas Janitsary is the Managing Director and founder of New Dimension Group, a consultancy with branches in three different countries. A regular panelist at industry events, Janitsary has spoken in front of the INTERPOL General Assembly.
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