My intention in writing this book was to help people avoid the pitfalls and all the stress and frustration that comes when working with a different culture.  It hasn’t been an easy task – finding the balance between the “general” and the “specific”, while not falling into the trap of over simplifying matters, was a challenge.  And of course, as an Arab myself, I had to make sure that I did not end up romanticising my own culture.

This is not a list of dos and don’ts; this is an in-depth, practical dive into Arab culture. 

This book is a practical map that will help non-Arabs understand the people and demystify the culture of the Arab world – the beliefs, values and social structures that determine the way business is conducted and how things are done.

So throughout writing this book I strived to be honest and authentic, and to ensure that it remains a useful practical guide, I have included many interviews with business people, diplomats and expats from all over the world speaking about their own experiences of working with Arab culture.”

Book Reviews:

I'm currently working directly with several senior military officers in the Middle East. This book accurately depicts the common challenges and differences between Western culture and the local culture. I strongly recommend it for anyone in the business or diplomatic fields prior to coming to the Middle East.

An online review

The book's strength is that it has been written by an Arab practitioner, with deep knowledge of the customs and traditions of the Arab world. It is comprehensive in the areas it covers, and effectively uses testimonies from people around the world making it more enjoyable and accessible. It is essential reading for anyone wanting to live, work or study in this region.

Dr. Marwan Muasher

Loved reading this book when I was moving to the UAE. Informative without being boring, interesting and current.

LM from the UK

All the things no one tells you but should ! Thoughtful. Common sense perspective weaves together actual experiences of expats, men and women, from around the world. This should be the first book anyone reads. Perfect gift for professionals and students looking to study/work in the region.


The knowledge and insights provided in the book significantly contribute to a foundation for acting and communicating in an Arab context. Valuable information is supported by real life experiences and practical advice – in a pleasant, lively language. As a Westerner I must say, this book helped me out in multiple ways, when communicating with Arab contacts and friends.

Birthe Greisen

I have always searched for THE one book. The book about Arab culture that despite all its complexity, diversity and layers would hold all the “need to know” and preferably also some “nice to know” - to prevent unintended blunders, and provide the right explanations, advice and preparations to any situation. When Rana Nejem’s “When In The Arab World” was published, I could finally put my search to rest.

Marit Imeland Gjesme