Handshaikh offers various types of training, see here for an overview.

Scroll down for a Typical Programme


Handshaikh offers lectures in your boardroom or local hotel worldwide (as well as on-line events, see here). This page gives an indication of the topics covered in all events. If you ask the following questions a Handshaikh event is for you!

  • How should I behave and what should I wear?
  • Aren’t Arabs all the same?
  • How can I understand Gulf protocol and personal etiquette?
  • What do Wasta, Fatwa and Jehaad mean?
  • What do ‘The GCC’, ‘The Magreb’ and ‘The Levant’ mean?
  • What are the basics of Islam?
  • How do I address and write to an Arab business leader?
  • I’m a business woman – what should I wear in the Gulf?
  • I’m giving a presentation in the Gulf; what’s important to an Arab audience?
  • Why do meetings with Arabs often fail to take place?
  • What about Race, Gender, Same-sex and Safety issues?
  • Why are Muslim names so confusing?
  • Should Ms Smith offer her hand for Mr Abdullah to shake?
  • Can I serve wine if Arabs/Muslims are present?
  • How do I negotiate? – how will they negotiate?
  • How do I chase Arab debtors?
  • How should I select the right people for work in or with the Gulf? – what are the main attributes needed?
Don’t they know It’s Friday?

Typical programme

Duration 4 hours*
Coffee, tea and biscuits are served regularly throughout each seminar
  • To raise awareness of the Arab world: its history, countries, people and influences
  • To gain a basic understanding of Islam and how it shapes daily life
  • To explore the cultural minefield of doing business in “The Middle East”
  • To establish basic cultural dos and don’ts to help you navigate social and business life
Cultural Awareness Workshop Part 1
  • Workshop overview: what to expect from this session
    • Four Arabic words, two statistics and one question to ponder
  • A brief introduction to the Arab world: history, countries, people and influences
    • The Arab Spring
    • Arab society :
      • the 3 tiers
      • the role of women
  • Some definitions: GCC and the Middle East
    • Don’t lump Arabs together
Part 2
  • A brief overview of Islam
    • Sunni / Shi’a:
      • Successors (Caliphates)
      • People of the Book
      • Why it all matters so much
    • Common ground with other major religions
    • The importance of Islam to Arab/Muslim life
      • The power of Islam
      • Arab/Muslim education
      • How it affects your time with Arabs
      • The effect on relationships
    • Why don’t moderate Muslims speak up more?
Part 3
  • The cultural minefield of doing business in “The Middle East”
    • The West vs The Arab World: what is “normal”?
      • Your friend: Patience!
      • Understanding the background of your Arab colleagues
      • Sharia law and how it applies to business
      • What is Wasta and how does it work?
      • Understanding key terms: Fatwa / Jehaad / Halaal / Haraam
Part 4
  • Cultural dos and don’ts to help you navigate social and business life
    • Beliefs, values and attitudes
      • What expatriates think of Arabs today
      • What Arabs think of you
    • Adapting to Arab “Dos & Don’ts”
      • Hospitality and heritage
      • Clothing, food and drink – what to expect and what to serve
      • Coffee drill
  • Review and Q&A.: receive copy of Edition 2 of ‘Don’t They Know It’s Friday?
* Timings and course content to be tailored to your requirements© Handshaikh. 2015
Note: A pdf of the self-paced, on-line Content is here. To learn more of Handshaikh’s on-site and on-line training see here.