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Doing Business During Ramadan


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Duty of Care – Keeping Employees Safe in High Risk Locations

19 April 2018 / By Nick Royle / Business  / Business Travel Tracking  / export  / Global Mobility Management  / Global Talent Mobility  / HR  / International Assignment  / Relocation  / 

Duty of Care – Keeping their global business travelers and assignees safe has become much harder for companies than it…

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Should Companies Include Restrictions in Assignee Contracts?

9 April 2018 / By Nick Royle / Business  / Global Mobility Management  / Global Talent Mobility  / HR  / 

Anytime a company sends an employee on assignment, there are multiple issues to consider, although some tend to be overlooked.…

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MSI wins 1st place for Quality of Service in HRO Today Magazine’s 2018 Baker’s Dozen: Relocation Ranking

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Keeping Employees Safe in High Risk Locations

Keeping their global business travelers and assignees safe when visiting high-risk travel locations has become much harder for companies than…

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Doing Business During Ramadan

1 June 2015 / By Nick Royle / export  / Global Talent Mobility  / HR  / International Assignment  / Relocation  / 

On Wednesday, June 17, Islam’s holiest month of the year begins. Called Ramadan, it marks the time when Islam’s primary religious text, the Quran, was believed to be revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.

Ramadan dates vary, as it’s observed according to the lunar calendar (as is Easter and the Chinese New Year, for example) and not the solar calendar. The beginning date also changes from one country to another.

Muslims observe Ramadan in several ways; these include praying, performing additional charitable acts, refraining from smoking, and fasting. Of these, the latter is perhaps the most widely known aspect among non-Muslims, as it consists of abstaining from all food and drink between sunrise and sunset.

Ramadan2015During Ramadan, non-Muslims doing business in countries with large Muslim populations or working with Muslim colleagues may want to keep in mind the following:

  • Not all Muslims fast; some are exempt for personal or health reasons (e.g., pregnancy, age, and illness). In the business world, however, chances are that most healthy adults will be fasting. If someone isn’t, it is considered impolite to ask why.
  • In predominantly Muslim countries, it’s not “business as usual.” Business activity is often reduced and the business day may end earlier, as people are hungry and tired. It may be helpful to reconfirm meetings and reschedule as needed.
  • In lieu of the lunch meeting, early risers may want to consider meeting for the pre-dawn meal (Suhoor).
  • It is considered a sign of respect to avoid eating and drinking in front of someone who is fasting. The same applies to chewing gum and smoking.
  • In some predominantly Muslim countries, restaurants close during Ramadan, as well as pubs and movie theaters. Restaurants that do stay open may refrain from serving alcohol.
  • If invited to an Iftar dinner, the meal eaten after sunset, accept the invitation. It’s not only a sign of respect that can help cement relationships, but will most likely be a feast!
  • The end of Ramadan is marked by Eid al-Fitr, a three-day holiday that in many Muslim countries goes well beyond this. At this time, work stops in many sectors, or considerably slows.

For more helpful tips on Do’s and Don’ts during Ramadan, check out Expat Echo: http://www.expatechodubai.com/whats-on/ramadan-dos-and-donts/#more-92871

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