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Adapting Strategies to Local Values in the Arab Market

posted on: Sep 13, 2023

Adapting Strategies to Local Values in the Arab Market

Photo: FreePik

By: Eman El-Ajlouni / Arab America Contributing Writer

The Arab market includes a complex and dynamic economic environment that spans several cultures and countries. Global businesses must modify their tactics to align with the regional values and preferences of this market if they want to succeed in this complex environment. This adaptability is where the idea of cultural intelligence (CQ) becomes extremely important. We examine the value of cultural knowledge and how it may help businesses succeed in the Arab market in this article.

Knowledge of Cultural Intelligence

The capacity to understand and interact with people from various cultural backgrounds is known as cultural intelligence or CQ. CQ is a strategy that has gained widespread acceptance for evaluating and improving performance in circumstances where there are several cultural perspectives. It involves more than just being aware of different cultures; it also involves being able to change one’s behavior and approach in order to cross-cultural divides. Applying CQ to the Arab market gives businesses the instruments they need to negotiate this complicated landscape and develop deep relationships with local competitors.

Important Cultural Intelligence Elements in the Arab Market

Adapting Strategies to Local Values in the Arab Market

Photo: FreePik

Cultural Awareness

With awareness, adaptation can be successful. Businesses must spend time discovering every aspect of Arab culture, which differs throughout countries and regions. This information includes behaviors, traditions, values, social norms, and—most importantly—respect for practices of religion, which is a crucial element in many Arab countries and societies and has an impact on consumer behavior and market dynamics.

Learning of the language 

The primary language in the Arab world is Arabic. Arabic is currently the fourth most in-demand language in the world due to its popularity in commerce. That demonstrates how the Arab market has expanded and developed to draw in international investment and afterward get involved in its own language. Although many business professionals in the region are multilingual and may speak English or other languages, showing ability in Arabic helps develop trust and improve communication.

Building Relationships

Relationships with people are extremely important in the Arab market. The personal relationship is viewed as the window for developing and attaining a business/business transaction since it influences the outcome of the task, including whether it will be successful or not. Long-term success is achieved through developing solid bonds of respect, trust, and understanding. Social interaction and building lasting relationships are highly valued in Arab culture. The importance of spending time getting to know your counterparts personally cannot be overstated before entering into commercial conversations.

Honoring and Respect Tradition

The Arab countries have a traditional culture founded on the teachings of their religion, Islam, which is continually changing and absorbing social norms from industrialized nations; this blend might be confusing to international business people that travel to these countries. Arab societies have a strong sense of reverence for their history and traditions. Businesses need to be aware of and respectful of regional cultures, customs, and religious practices. This involves appreciating cultural sensitivities and comprehending the significance of holidays.


Businesses aiming to enter the Arab market need to understand and honor local values and practices in this increasingly globalized world. Cultural intelligence is a strategic necessity for success, rather than just a trendy term. Businesses may successfully adjust their strategy and thrive in the varied and dynamic Arab market by investing in cultural understanding, language knowledge, connection development, and other areas of CQ. By doing this, they promote collaboration and understanding across cultural barriers in addition to promoting economic progress.

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