Gift Etiquette in Saudi Arabia

Gift Etiquette Saudi Arabia
  • Gift giving is a very common practice throughout Saudi Arabia. Though, personal gifts are usually only given by close friends. 
  • The gifts are given with the right hand (or both in case the gift is too heavy). As a gesture of respect, the recipient may thoroughly examine a gift upon receiving in the presence of the giver as well as any others who happen to be present. 
  • Not accepting the gift from someone would be considered extremely rude and offensive.
  • If you are invited to someone’s home it is polite to bring a gift (food, chocolate, etc.). It should be given to the whole family, not to a specific member.
  • It is inappropriate for men to give individual women gifts (flowers)
  • Avoid giving expensive gifts since it can embarrass the recipient
  • Avoid giving alcohol, pork, knives, pigskin, perfumes. Men should not buy perfume for women unless they are a very close relative. Perfume should be given to a woman by a woman.
  • Perfumes, watches and Oud (kind of incense or oil which is used by Saudis every day) are good option for a personal gift for a man.
  • Saudis like to bring gifts to friends and family when they travel, even if they leave just for a weekend.

Avoid giving gold and silk to men

It is wise to avoid giving gold and silk to men, as they are as they are forbidden by the Prophet Mohammed, who said, ‘Gold and silk are permitted to the women of my nation, forbidden to its men.’ Silver is acceptable, though.

Gift Etiquette Saudi Arabia
Copyright: Julia Wimmerlin
Gift Etiquette Saudi Arabia
Copyright: Julia Wimmerlin

Photography Credits

Julia Wimmerlin

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