There are many cultural elements to be aware of when conducting business in Egypt. Factors to consider when creating a public relations plan for Egypt include appearance, mannerisms, time, and religion. Business in Egypt is significantly different from the way we do business in the states. .
When creating the PR plan for Egypt, there are several guidelines for business dress. Foreigners are expected to follow Egyptian standards of modesty. The customary attire for men is pants, long-sleeved shirt and preferably a jacket and tie. Women are expected to dress modestly at all times. They should wear shirts or dresses with high necklines. Hemlines should be ankle-length or well below the knee. A well covered, shapeless appearance is desired for women. The spokesperson for the company should adhere to these guidelines.
There are many things Americans do that Egyptians find rude or an insult. We need to be aware of acceptable and non-acceptable mannerisms when creating a public relations plan for Egypt. Mannerisms to be aware of include hand gestures, eye contact, dining habits. Egyptians consider the left hand to be unclean. Unless you are lifting something heavy or handling something unclean, always use the right hand. Pointing is considered very rude. The "thumbs up" sign is offensive in the Arab world. Showing the soles of your feet is considered an insult. Looking an Egyptian businessman in the eye conveys honesty. There should be little eye contact when conducting business with an Egyptian business woman, because it may convey too much intimacy. When dining in Egypt utensils are used only in very westernized homes. Leaving a small portion of food on your plate is customary. Knowing what is acceptable and what is not can mean the success or failure of a public relations plan.
Egyptians have different views on time than Americans do. In the Egyptian business culture, punctuality is not a priority.