How to Master Business Etiquette in Palestine Territories

The Palestine Territories are located in Africa and the Middle East. Currently, their government is in a transitional stage. The territories are mainly occupied by Muslim, Jewish and Christian people. In Palestine, the economy is based predominantly on agriculture, livestock, fishing and a small industry factor. According to, “Palestinians depend on Israel for about 90% of their external trade.” Interested individuals, who want to do business in this region, need to observe the proper protocol. This article will address how to master business etiquette in Palestine Territories.


Both the Palestinians and Jews are Semitic people and their languages are very similar. For those unfamiliar with the specifics of the two languages, both dialects have words that are the same or sound similar. The term Semitic denotes the languages which are spoken by the Afro-Asiatic family in North Africa and Southwest Asia. Those languages include: HebrewArabicAramaicMaltese and Amharic. In the Palestine Territories, the Palestinians speak mainly Arabic and the Jews speak Hebrew. However, in the business community, the English language is widely used and well written. A majority of the government’s and major companies’ websites are written in English. Tourist and business guides are generally available in English also. Foreigners who make an effort to learn some Arabic words are perceived in a good light by the Palestinians. It is viewed as a symbol of cultural respect and an avenue to cultivate genuine conversations.


With regard to greetings, men shake hands with other men. Women usually kiss each other on the cheeks. The Palestinians are pleasant and welcoming people. It is common for neighbors to make regular short social visits to each other’s houses for sweets, tea and coffee. If you have been invited to dinner, it is perceived as polite to turn down the invitation since you don’t want to impose on them. However the host will then politely insist that you come to dinner.

Business Meetings

The Palestinian culture is less formal regarding business meetings than the formalities expected in the UK and European countries. You will find that in the Territories, it is a common practice for business discussions to occur in private residences or over meals at a restaurant. The reason for eating in someone’s home is to break passed formalities and cultivate genuine conversation. However, they seek to combine that relaxed atmosphere with a level of significance and respect. It is important for foreigners to remain respectful of their hosts at all times and mirror the same courteous behavior. Be aware that Palestinians are part of the Mediterranean culture and they may gesticulate and sometimes be boisterous.

Business Cards

It is important to use both your first and last names when being introduced to a Palestinian for the first time. You would then follow that introduction by naming the company that you represent or work for and also shake hands. At that point, then the business cards are exchanged.

You can address the host and the others in attendance at the meetings using Mr. or Mrs. along with their first name. However, when it pertains to correspondence, formality is required. Use Mr. or Mrs. along with their first and last name, title and then the company name or the government department that they work for.

Business Attire

Individuals seeking to do business in the Territories should realize that the region is very conservative in nature and adherence to their cultural ideals is appreciated and displays good manners. advised that, “both men and women cover their heads, and women must always cover their shoulders and upper arms.”

For those individuals who want to do business in Palestine Territories, there are certain protocols that need to be observed. Learning some words in Arabic will be perceived as an act of respect and will assist in cultivating genuine business relationships. By following the rest of the etiquette tips mentioned in this article, foreign business people will increase their chances of success.


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