The Arab world works in a very different way than the west does and this is something that you have to keep in mind if you are going to do business there. There are different values in Arab culture and it is important that you know what these are so that you will know how to interact with other people while you are doing business. This will save you a lot of misunderstandings.
The most important values in Arab culture are the ones that come from Islam. Religion is taken much more seriously than it is in the west and it impacts almost all aspects of life. Exactly who those values take shape and how the rules are enforced will vary from one country to another but in all Arab countries religious values are taken very seriously. Most of the other values that people respect are based on those that come from the tenets of Islam.
To Arabs the most important thing is their family and this is one of the most important values that they have. This includes the whole extended family and not just the immediate family the way that it would in the west. In most Arab households several generations all live together with aged parents and adult children all living in the same house. For Arabs their first obligation is to their families and this affects most of the other things in their lives, everything else will take a back seat to family issues.
Arabs also have a strong attachment to their community and they will play an active role in helping others out. Charity is an important part of Islam and most people will contribute to help others out. Being involved in the community is much more important than it is in other countries and most things are done with the greater good in mind.
Honor and respect are important values in Arab culture and this is something that visitors need to be careful about. It can be quite easy to accidently offend somebody or even worse damage their honor. This can have some really serious consequences so you need to be careful. Arabs do not believe in criticizing people in public and doing so can be the cause of offence and loss of honor.
Most Arabs consider privacy to be an important value and they rarely talk about anything that is personal. Family issues are expected to remain in the family and are not discussed with outsiders. It is considered to be rude to ask too many personal questions although asking about somebody's wife is generally considered to be good manners. You will find that most Arabs will not share very much personal information with you and for the most part they will not ask you to share anything that is personal about yourself.