Sharing a meal in Morocco
Sharing a meal in Morocco. Source: Lucyin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Arabs are generous in the hospitality they offer to friends and strangers alike, and they admire and value the same in others. Generosity to guests is essential for a good reputation and is a highly regarded value in Arab culture. The word for “generous, hospitable” in Arabic is kareem, and this concept is so highly valued that its meaning extends to “distinguished, noble-minded, noble-hearted, honourable, respectable”.

If you are visiting a client in their family home, you can expect to be treated as a guest and in a very hospitable manner. A guest in someone’s home never stays long without being offered something to drink. You should accept and drink at least a small quantity as an expression of esteem and respect.  To not accept a drink could be viewed as disrespectful. If you are offered any food, you can respectfully decline and explain that you will be having lunch with colleagues after your appointment.