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Body Language in the United Arab Emirates


“Kind of how people perceive emotion, that you may not have mean any ill will or anything like that. Just as simple as calling somebody over, in the States you’re calling your buddy over is kind of like this. But, when you’re trying to get attention of your friend, over there it’s more like, it’s a little odd, but you’re kind of with your hands down, and you’re kind of more raking them to you, than calling them over that way. I was kind of like if across the flight line, or something like that, calling your buddy over. Or you’re at a restaurant with the waiter, or something like that, instead of trying to get the waiter's attention; it’s always more of like the raking motion. The other kind of, I guess, body posture, was, you would, sometimes you might just kind of sit here with your foot up, and you just have to be cognizant [of] the bottom of the shoe. Maybe it’s just the foot, I don’t know, but we tried to be cognizant of not showing the bottom of the shoe toward the other person. Not [that] you would do it intentionally, but to them, that was kind of like the, it’s a negative gesture.”

In this video, an Army major describes body language and gestures to avoid.