Social and business customs

Iraq’s population is predominantly Muslim meaning Islam governs life generally and influences the legal, political and social framework.

It goes without saying care should be taken with respect to dress code and conduct generally during the period of Ramadan.

Old Iraqi hands will tell you establishing a personal relationship with Iraqi business colleagues is crucial to ensure a good working relationship and business success.

Business negotiations and deals can be expected to take time – and much patience is usually needed!

There is a strong sense of authority all aspects of life in Iraq and the team leader would be expected to do most of the talking at business meetings.

Establishing a personal relationship with Iraqi business colleagues is crucial


Whilst generally welcoming – especially if you have taken the trouble to travel to their country for a meeting – the Iraqis are tough negotiators. Business is unlikely to be concluded after just one or two meetings.

There are exceptions but it is important (on both sides) to build up confidence and trust in the person/company you are dealing with, and therefore reaching a final agreement may take some time.

And very often the spoken word and a handshake is worth more than a formal contract.