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Understanding Saudi Company Work Culture: Values, Customs, and Practices


Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the Arab world and a key player in the global oil industry. The country has a unique work culture that is shaped by its history, values, and customs. In this article, we will explore the key elements of Saudi company work culture and how they impact the workplace.


Importance of Relationships and Hierarchy

In Saudi culture, relationships are highly valued, and this is reflected in the workplace. Building strong relationships with colleagues, clients, and business partners is seen as essential for success. Additionally, hierarchy plays an important role in Saudi company work culture, and respect for authority is highly valued. This means that decision-making processes can be slow, as decisions often need to be approved by multiple levels of management.


Conservative Dress and Gender Segregation

Saudi Arabia is a conservative society, and this is reflected in the workplace. Dress codes are typically formal and conservative, and women are required to cover their hair and wear modest clothing. Gender segregation is also common in the workplace, with men and women often working in separate areas.


Strong Work Ethic

Saudi company work culture is characterized by a strong work ethic, with long working hours and a focus on productivity. Employees are expected to be punctual and to work diligently to achieve their goals. Additionally, dedication to work is highly valued, and it is not uncommon for employees to work overtime or take work home with them.


Importance of Religion and Prayer

Religion plays a significant role in Saudi culture, and this is reflected in the workplace. Prayer times are observed throughout the day, and many companies provide prayer rooms for employees. Additionally, businesses may close during religious holidays, and employees are expected to respect these observances.


Family and Community

Family and community are highly valued in Saudi culture, and this is reflected in the workplace. Companies often prioritize the needs of their employees' families, offering benefits such as maternity and paternity leave, child care facilities, and flexible working arrangements. Additionally, businesses may sponsor community events and activities as a way of demonstrating their commitment to the local community.


In conclusion, understanding Saudi company work culture requires an understanding of the country's history, values, and customs. Building strong relationships, respecting hierarchy, adhering to conservative dress codes and gender segregation, maintaining a strong work ethic, observing religious practices, and prioritizing family and community are all important elements of Saudi company work culture. As the country continues to modernize and diversify its economy, it will be interesting to see how these cultural elements evolve and adapt to new challenges and opportunities in the workplace.

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