International Gift Giving Etiquette - Jordan

GIFT GIVING IN JORDAN* - Gift Giving Etiquette


  • Gift giving is a bit of a sensitive topic in Jordan. There are some basic underlying concepts that it would be good for you to know before you start handing things out:

  • It is a moral requisite for the rich to give gifts to the poor. This is a double-edged sword! Giving a gift can be either seen as a mark of good character or a statement that I am a better person than you. Consequently, it is often best to give a gift quietly or even in secret. Some times a personal gift is better given 'to the kids' than directly to the adults.

  • Begging is a normal profession. It is not high on the honor list of professions, but it is not at the bottom either. Some of your potential business partners may be little more than sophisticated beggars.

  • Among equals and partners, gift giving should ideally be reciprocal. At the very least, the significance of the gifts exchanged should be commensurate with the relative economic and social standing of the partners.

  • In formal settings, the giving of a gift is a powerful way of honoring. Such settings include: farewell gatherings - give a souvenir, anniversary celebrations - give sweets, when visiting the sick or when making a first visit to a home - bring sweets or a plant, birth of a child - give baby clothes or cash, marriage - give house wares or cash, graduation of a family member - give clothing for the graduate

  • In these settings, the gifts are of token value and would rarely exceed 40 USD.

  • During or at the completion of the negotiation process may be a good opportunity to offer a 'perk' or special bonus to be added on to the deal or contract.

  • In all cases, avoid giving gifts to your business partner's spouse. Also, avoid giving gifts that are of a large enough value to be considered as economic aid.

*Betts, Kenneth.  Jordan Business Etiquette - Gift Giving.  Executive Planet.  04 Aug. 2004 <>.

Above:  The flag of Jordan








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