Local Time: Print

Business Customs

Most of the Iraqis, including the Kurds are keen to do business with US companies. They recognize the high quality of the US products and services and with the improvement of the living conditions people are willing to pay to buy high quality products. Iraqis has adopted numerous business methods and styles of the West but still some cultural differences remain, business will generally only be conducted after a degree of trust and familiarity has been established and several visits may be needed to establish a business relationship.

Only after the fall of the previous regime Iraqi businessmen had the chance to travel outside the country but there are a considerable number of Iraqis who fled the country during the previous era and now they came back to Iraq to do business, over all the Iraqis are sophisticated in dealing with Americans. For the most part, travelers can rely on western manners and standards of politeness to see them through, with a few additional rules that may be observed.

One should avoid sitting at any time with the sole of the foot pointed at the host or other guest. Unless one is on familiar terms with an Iraqi, it may be discourteous to ask about a man’s wife or daughters; ask instead about his family. If you are invited to the home of an Iraqi for a party or reception, a meal is normally served at the mid of the evening, and guests can linger long after finishing.

Dress is conservative for both men and women. Men should not wear shorts or tank tops, while women are advised to wear loose-fitting and concealing clothing with long skirts, elbow-length sleeves and modest necklines.

Local laws reflect that Iraq is a predominantly Islamic country. Attention and respect should be paid to local traditions, customs, laws, and religious customs at all times, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or visits to places of religious significance.