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What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Saudi Arabia?

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We asked people in Saudi Arabia if they could share any humorous cultural blunders they commited. For new expats, keep in mind that these incidents are an inevitable part of expat life. Learning to laugh about them is the key!...

"In Saudi Arabia, it is important to remember to dress conservatively, obey local laws and customs, and to always defer to the wishes and decisions of the local host. Greeting should be done in a respectful and formal manner, with a shake of the hand for men and a small nod of the head for women. Refrain from physical contact with members of the opposite sex and avoid making any negative remarks about the Saudi Arabian government or Saudi customs. Additionally, eating, drinking, and smoking should only be done in private, and family relationships should be respected at all times," said another expat in Saudi Arabia.

"Yes, my first day there I urinated in the urinal only to find that was where men sat to wash their feet," wrote a member who made the move to Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

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Other Questions:

What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Saudi Arabia?

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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