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Cayman Islands

The CaymansGrand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Caymanare a British
Overseas Territory with more registered businesses than people. Given the
excellent communications system and infrastructure, the islands are an important
off-shore financial center and the fifth largest banking center in the world.

Grand Cayman culture has been influenced by the USA, whereas Little Cayman
and Cayman Brac are more closely aligned with West Indian culture, although
British influences are evident.

Service industries such as construction, hotel and restaurant management, and

water sports companies contribute to the economic stability of the islands.
Caymanians enjoy the highest standard of living in the Caribbean and one of the
highest in the world.

Culture Overview

Cultural Essentials

Cultural Mix
Life in the Cayman Islands (commonly referred as "in Cayman") is a blend
of the old and new, traditional and modern, with both British and American
influences. Many locals have traveled the world on merchant ships, others
have lived and worked in the USA, Central America, Canada, or Europe,
while others have never left their homeland. This leads to a diversity in
cultural styles.

Conservative Behavior
Caymanians tend to be conservative. They do not allow shopping on
Sunday, ban pornography, including Playboy, and close their bars by 1 am.
Most people are devout churchgoers who abhor violence, rude behavior,
drunkenness, gambling, and drug taking. Drugs are illegal and possession
of even small quantities is prosecuted. The crime rate is low and racial
harmony is a way of life.

Environmentally Friendly
In June 1993, the Cayman Islands introduced the most severe penalties for
marine pollution in the Caribbean. "Look but don't touch" is the prevailing
policy in Cayman's waters. The strict marine conservation laws forbid
harming or collecting marine life in designated marine park zones and
taking marine life while using scuba gear. Spear fishing is prohibited and 8.2.2017.
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the importation or possession of spear guns is illegal.

The National Trust for the Cayman Islands Law of 1987 created a non-
profit organization that is responsible for the preservation of the islands'
historic, natural and maritime heritage; the conservation of lands, natural
features and submarine areas of beauty, historic or environmental
importance, and the protection of native flora and fauna. With a two-fold
mission to preserve natural environments and places of historic
significance, the Trust's work focuses on environmental conservation by
establishing a system of nature reserves and historic preservation.

Family First
The family forms the basis of the social structure. The family includes a
close-knit web of aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. This extended
family provides both emotional and financial support to its members.
Children learn that the family is the first place to turn in a time of need.
Friends made on the playground as a toddler quite often remain friends for
life. Both parents are actively involved in child rearing.

No dish better defines Caymanian cuisine than the conch. This large pink
mollusk can be prepared in a variety of ways: cooked with onions and
spices in coconut milk as conch stew; cracked conch fritters or chowders,
or sliced raw very thin in a lime and onion marinade and is served like
ceviche. Caymanians have borrowed "jerking" from Jamaica. "Jerking" is a
cooking method that uses a fiery blend of spices (allspice, scotch bonnet
pepper, thyme, nutmeg, salt, garlic, scallions and onions) and a process of
slow-smoking over a low fire, preferably of pimento wood.

Heavy cake, one of the most popular and traditional Caymanian desserts,
is a dense, sweet, brown sugary confection. Heavy cakes are made from
grated raw cassava, papaya, cornmeal, yam and other starchy products.
Cayman lime or coconut pie are local delicious adaptations of mainland


Religion is an integral part of Cayman Islands culture. The countrys

motto, "He hath founded it upon the seas", is taken from Psalms 24. There
are over 90 different churches on the islands representing almost every
Christian denomination.

Most Caymanians are devout churchgoers. Many public holidays are

religious in nature. 8.2.2017.
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Role of Women

Women were granted the right to vote and hold public office in 1959, when
the country wrote its first constitution after gaining independence from
Jamaica. For years, women basically ran the islands while the men were at
sea. As industry came to the islands, women believed that they were
entitled to positions to which they were qualified.

The Gender Equality Law, 2011, was passed to eliminate discrimination in

employment, training and recruitment on the basis of sex, marital status,
pregnancy or gender and to promote the payment of equal remuneration to
male and female employees who perform work of equal value. Although
these goals have not been achieved, having the law in place has led to
many improvements.

There are more women in partner roles in legal and accounting firms and in
senior positions in banks than there were previously. While women may
not yet make up the majority, they are notable in their numbers; however,
they often have not yet reached pay parity.

The success of women in business is borne out in the public sector.

Several key positions including the Governor, Registrar of Companies;
Managing Director of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority; and the
Head of CIMAs Investments and Securities Division are positions now held
by women. Despite their apparent success in working outside the home,
women remain the mainstay of childcare and domesticity.

View of Foreign Women

Caymanians generally accept a foreign businesswoman if she has the
qualifications and credentials for her position. This is not to say that all
businesspeople welcome foreign businesswomen, but if they do not it is a
matter of personal predilection rather than cultural nuance. Some older
senior managers in British-owned companies may not be as receptive
towards businesswomen.

Tips for Businesswomen

Caymanian businesspeople strive to appear courteous and unassuming in
business. Therefore, it is a good idea not to appear overly friendly at the
first meeting, since exuberant behavior may be viewed negatively.

Visiting businesswomen will usually be treated with the same respect as

their male colleagues.

Caymanians tend to be private people who only discuss personal matters

with close friends. Therefore, it is a good idea not to ask personal
questions or relay too much information about yourself.

Businesswomen should be assertive at meetings without raising their

voices or appearing overbearing.

Visiting businesswomen should act in a reserved manner with male

business colleagues. Although personal relationships are a factor in
business dealings, it is best to treat businessmen formally. 8.2.2017.
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A businesswoman should extend her hand to a Caymanian businessman

during the greeting process. Address the person using their title and
surname as this demonstrates respect and deference.

Establishing Credibility
Although third-party introductions are not as important as in many other
countries, being introduced by someone known to the person with whom
you will be meeting opens doors more easily.

If at all possible, have a higher-ranking person in your company who knows

the people with whom you will be working introduce you when you will be
doing business with a company for the first time. If this is not possible,
have a higher-ranking person in your company send a letter outlining your
title, responsibilities, and background.

Appearances matter, including dressing well and appearing able to handle

any eventuality. Caymanians generally respect people who speak precisely
and use the English language well.

In many companies, there remains a tendency to defer to the men on a

team. To avoid this, it is a good idea to arrange with your team to have
certain questions deferred to you.

It is important that a foreign businesswoman speak firmly and not in a self-

deprecating manner. Non-verbal signs that a woman is not confident in
herself will be interpreted to mean that she is uncertain of her technical

A businesswoman should be authorized to make decisions. Saying she is

not may cause her to lose credibility.

Whenever possible, lead the business discussion when you are part of a
team. Even if all team members are equal, this visible taking charge
enhances your credibility.

If a businesswoman is asked to take the minutes of the meeting, she

should attempt to remain an active participant in the meeting as well to
indicate that she is not the secretary.

View of Foreigners

Tourism remains a mainstay of the economy, despite the introduction of

international banking services. Most Caymanians are warm and welcoming
towards foreigners. Most locals understand the role foreigners and foreign
investment play in their economy and standard of living. About 25% of the
population comes from a country other than the islands.

The three islands are known for different things. Grand Cayman is the fifth 8.2.2017.
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largest global financial center; Cayman Brac, a diver's paradise, is home to

some of the friendliest people in the world; and Little Cayman is a nature
lover's paradise. In general, the lifestyle is laid back and life is to be

Cross Culture Tips

The following cultural observations are based on the dimensions in the

ICAM169; Cultural Model. They are designed to help you work and
understand people from other cultural backgrounds.

Please keep in mind that not all people from any given culture act the
same, but in order to describe cultural traits, we had to make
generalizations, which may not apply in some cases. Perhaps the most
important tip we can provide is that when interacting across cultures, you
need to approach every situation with an understanding of the basic tenets
of a given culture and yet remain alert to the specific cultural signals you
receive in each situation and adjust your behavior and expectations

Hierarchical vs. Egalitarian

The defining characteristics of this dimension are:

How society is structured

How power is allocated or earned
Tolerance for social mobility
How organizations are structured and run
The amount of responsibility and control employees are given

The Cayman Islands is hierarchical, so when interacting with people from

the Cayman Islands, you should remember the following tips:

You will need to give clear, explicit directions regarding duties,

deadlines, and decisions.
As a manager, you will be expected to demonstrate an authoritative
leadership style.
Do not expect employees to display individual initiative; they expect
to take direction from the leader.
Be aware that people expect to be treated differently based on their
socio-economic backgrounds or levels in the organization.
Show the appropriate level of deference and respect, through
language and behavior, to the more senior members of society.
Expect to encounter more bureaucracy in organizations and
government agencies.

Indirect vs. Direct Communication

The defining characteristics of this dimension are:

The relative importance of verbal vs. non-verbal communication 8.2.2017.
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The degree of directness or subtlety in the language

The relative importance of contextual versus tactical information in
conveying a message
The need to maintain harmony and dignity when communicating
The degree to which a society uses conciseness and clarity versus
eloquent language when communicating

The Cayman Islands is a relatively direct communication culture. The

following tips will give you clues about how you might handle
communication with people from the Cayman Islands:

Non-verbal gestures enhance the meaning of the spoken word.

Since the entire message is not contained in the words, people need
context and background information to confirm a shared
Verbal eloquence is highly valued.
Take care when making introductions to have a respectful, even
deferential demeanor.
Show you are considering the subject thoroughly when a topic is

Fluid vs. Controlled Time

The defining characteristics of this dimension are:

The degree to which people feel that they can control time
The relative importance of relationships vs. schedules
Attitudes towards timekeeping and punctuality
Comfort level with short range vs. longer term planning
The feasibility / appropriateness of assigning set times for social
functions or business meetings to start and finish

The Cayman Islands is a Fluid Time culture. The following tips will give you
clues about how you may best interact with the people from the Cayman
Islands around time issues:

People regard time, schedules and deadlines as a general

approximation rather than an absolute of when something should be
While exposure to global business has made these cultures aware
that others view time commitments as exact, you may expect
meetings and other events to start at the approximate scheduled
People in Fluid Time cultures will generally put concern for people
ahead of deadlines and schedules.
Social events rarely start at the scheduled time and almost never
have a scheduled ending.
Often, Fluid Time cultures are also highly relationship-oriented; if you
neglect "people needs" and relationship building in favor of keeping a
schedule, you may meet resistance in accomplishing your goals.
People from Controlled Time cultures should not misinterpret
tardiness as being rude. As you learn the local time customs, you will 8.2.2017.
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be less likely to come to social events too early and spend less time
waiting for meetings to begin.
Fluid Time cultures often strive for balance in professional and
personal lives. They may not share the same sense of urgency about
completing business projects, sourcing new business, or personal
career advancement.

External vs. Internal Control

The defining characteristics of this dimension are:

The degree to which people feel they control their environment and
destiny-or the degree to which they feel their environment and
destiny control them
Openness to change and innovation
The preference for rules and structure
Willingness to take risks
The degree to which organizational practices encourage and reward
initiative and risk taking, and allow failure

The Cayman Islands is an External Control society. When interacting with

people from the Cayman Islands, you should remember the following tips:

People in these societies are typically quite risk averse and the
society is not readily forgiving of failure.
People in this society look for strong, directive leadership.
Management is often paternalistic and care-taking towards
Don't expect changes to be readily embraced and be prepared for
considerable resistance even after youve been able to demonstrate
the value of a proposed change.
While employees and colleagues in the Cayman Islands may show a
great deal of competence, dont be surprised if they dont show much
When introducing initiatives, be prepared for considerable discussion
and debate and other actions that demonstrate resistance.

Formal vs. Informal

The defining characteristics of this dimension are:

The importance of appearance and demeanor as an indicator of

The importance of protocol and etiquette
The appropriate use of titles, surnames and honorifics
The appropriateness of discussing personal matters at work
Appropriate ways of meeting people, building relationships and

The Cayman Islands is a relatively formal culture. Therefore when you

interact with people from the Cayman Islands: 8.2.2017.
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Learn how it is best to address people; dont assume you can use
first names, and find out about appropriate use of surnames, and
Be careful not to be overly friendly with household staff or
subordinates at first. Being too friendly and informal may confuse
them and introduce ambiguity into the relationship.
As a manager or employer, be aware that accoutrements and the
trappings of status may enhance your credibility. These include
clothes you wear, the car you drive, your demeanor, and where you
Avoid asking personal questions in a social or business setting
unless you have developed a close relationship with someone.
Before using social functions to network, be sure it is appropriate.
Be sure to check with a colleague or local national about rules of
protocol and etiquette about specific circumstances since using
proper etiquette is important.

Group vs. Individual

The defining characteristics of this dimension are:

The source of an individual's identity and loyalties

The relative importance of the individual versus the group
Whether legal systems will protect the rights of the individual or focus
on the group as a whole
Whether individuals prefer to work alone or be part of a group
Whether work teams operate as a seamless entity or as cooperating
The value of individual contributions vs. teamwork in accomplishing
and rewarding business goals
The roles and responsibilities of individuals to other family members
The appropriate levels of self-assertion and self-promotion within a

The Cayman Islands is a relatively group-oriented society. As you interact

with people from the Cayman Islands, it will be helpful to remember the
following tips:

People value their role as a family or team member. They will often
identify themselves first as part of a group, then as an individual.
They may be uncomfortable if too much focus is placed on them
Individuals do not always feel comfortable taking sole credit for
accomplishments, even when credit is primarily due to them. Instead,
be sensitive to the role of the group, as well as the individual.
Promotions will be based on a mixture of group and individual
performance and achievement.
Individuals feel a strong sense of responsibility for family members.
Decision making may require a good deal of consensus building.

Interpersonal vs. Transactional Relationships

The defining characteristics of this dimension are:

What constitutes a relationship 8.2.2017.
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What are the expectations

Whether trust is deemed critical to building social or business
What takes precedence in making a business decision: the people
involved or other more objective business criteria
The pace and degree of formalized rituals in building new
The appropriateness of mixing business and pleasure, or
professional and personal lives

The Cayman Islands is an interpersonal, relationship-oriented culture.

When you have business or social interactions with people from the
Cayman Islands, you will want to remember these points:

Relationship building is important and tends to be somewhat formal

and ritualized.
In general, relationship building takes time and attention. In return,
once developed, relationships are long lived.
Expect to be asked personal questions. This is how locals learn more
about you as a person so that they can be learn if the type of person
with whom they want a relationship.
In a business situation, personal relationships, trust and familiarity will
likely take precedence over price and perhaps even efficiency.
Employing or giving favorable treatment to family members and
friends may be good business, and what may be considered to be
"nepotism" in your culture may be openly accepted.
There are expectations that people have of relationship-based
behavior, which may include going out after work to socialize,
entertaining at ones home or even inviting someone for the weekend
and while these may be seen as casual in your culture, they carry an
underlying assumption of friendship.

Balance vs. Status Motivation

The defining characteristics of this dimension are:

The importance and value attached to professional vs. personal lives

How status and success are defined by a society
The presence or absence of government-sponsored initiatives
relating to family welfare benefits
The source of an individual's identity and self-esteem
Tolerance for blurring the lines between professional and personal

The Cayman Islands is a highly Balance-Motivation culture. When

interacting with people from the Cayman Islands, you should remember the
following tips:

Individuals value their personal and family time. Employees will be

reluctant to work late or on weekends if it interferes with familial
commitments or obligations. 8.2.2017.
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Personal identity, status and sense of personal accomplishment are

derived from family, education and pursuits outside of the workplace.
Small talk at business or social functions will cover every aspect of an
individual's life and interests, and not focus exclusively on
professional matters.
Attempts to network, generate business leads, or talk about work at
social functions may not be looked upon favorably.
Family obligations will take precedence over professional loyalties or
advancement. People are reluctant to permanently relocate and
leave family and friends.
Individuals value their personal and family time.

Country Overview

The People

Most of the population lives on Grand Cayman. The people are a mix of
West Indian, African, British, and American. Nearly 20% of the local
population are expats.

The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory. The British monarch
appoints the Governor, who is a UK citizen.

Noun: Caymanian(s)
Adjective: Caymanian

57,268 (July 2013 est.)

Note: Most of the population lives on Grand Cayman (July 2016 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.14% (2014 est.)

Ethnic groups:
Mixed 40%, white 20%, black 20%, expatriates of various ethnic groups

Protestant 67.8% (includes Church of God 22.6%, Seventh Day Adventist
9.4%, Presbyterian/United Church 8.6%, Baptist 8.3%,Pentecostal 7.1%,
non-denominational 5.3%, Anglican 4.1%, Wesleyan Holiness 2.4%),
Roman Catholic 14.1%, Jehovah's Witness 1.1%, other 7%, none 9.3%,
unspecified 0.7% (2010 est.)

English (official) 90.9%, Spanish 4%, Filipino 3.3%, other 1.7%,
unspecified 0.1% (2010 est.) 8.2.2017.
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Source: The World Factbook

Cities & Regions

The Cayman Islands consist of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little
Cayman. The islands are located in the western Caribbean, about 150
miles south of Cuba, 480 miles south of Miami, Florida, and 180 miles
northwest of Jamaica. The Cayman Islands are an outcrop of the Cayman
Ridge, which is a range of submarine mountains that extend from the
Sierra Maestra in Cuba and run westward towards Belize. The Cayman
Trench, the deepest part of the Caribbean at a depth of over four miles,
separates the three islands from Jamaica.

Grand Cayman is the largest island. It is about 22 miles long and 4 miles
wide. Almost half its land is wetland. It has a shallow, reef-protected
lagoon, the North Sounds, on the north side of the island.

Cayman Brac is a small island about 90 miles northeast of Grand Cayman.

It is about 12 miles long and 1.25 miles wide. The terrain is spectacular.
The Bluff, a massive central limestone outcrop, rises steadily along the
length of the island at the eastern end. Little Cayman is 5 five miles west of
Cayman Brac and is approximately 10 miles long with a width of about 1

The islands have a total land area of about 100 square miles. There are no
rivers on any of the islands, but there are large areas of luxuriant
vegetation. The coasts are largely protected by offshore reefs and in many
places by a mangrove fringe that often extends into inland swamps that
play a key role in the islands' ecology.

Grand Cayman
The largest of the Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman is also the most
populated. The 4-mile (6 kilometer) stone wall at Bodden Town was built to
protect the residents from pirate attacks. The island is home to the restored
Pedro St. James Historic Site. It is the country's most ambitious heritage
attraction and its first national landmark. It is a popular venue for weddings
and social events. The grounds have been landscaped as a magnificent
natural tropical park with native trees and plants, as well as traditional
medicinal and vegetable gardens representative of a small early 19th
century West Indian plantation.

Cayman Brac
Some claim this island was the basis for the classic book, Treasure Island.
The word "brac" means bluff, an apt description for the huge cliff that rises
on the eastern edge of the island.

Little Cayman
Sparsely populated, there are more wild birds and iguanas on Little 8.2.2017.
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Cayman than people. It is considered to be the worlds best place for bone


Country name:

Conventional long form: none

Conventional short form: Cayman Islands

Government type:

Parliamentary democracy (Legislative Assembly); self-governing overseas

territory of the UK

George Town (on Grand Cayman)

None (overseas territory of the UK)

Legal system:
English common law and local statutes

Source: The World Factbook

More Government Information

Background Note: Cayman Islands
An overview of government and political conditions published by the U.S.
Department of State.

Links to Government Web Sites
A comprehensive directory of the Cayman Islands government Web sites.


Caymanian dollar (KYD)

Economy - overview: 8.2.2017.
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With no direct taxation, the islands are a thriving offshore financial center.
More than 93,000 companies were registered in the Cayman Islands as of
2008, including almost 300 banks, 800 insurers, and 10,000 mutual funds.
A stock exchange was opened in 1997. Nearly 90% of the islands' food
and consumer goods must be imported. The Caymanians enjoy a standard
of living comparable to that of Switzerland.

Tourism is also a mainstay, accounting for about 70% of GDP and 75% of
foreign currency earnings. The tourist industry is aimed at the luxury
market and caters mainly to visitors from North America. Total tourist
arrivals exceeded 1.9 million in 2008, with about half from the US.

Tourism, banking, insurance and finance, construction, construction
materials, furniture

Source: The World Factbook

More Economic Information

Cayman Islands Financial Services
Information maintained by the Portfolio of Finance and Economics of the
Cayman Islands government.

Monetary Authority
Economic information maintained by the Cayman Islands Monetary

Geography & Climate

Caribbean, three-island group (Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Little
Cayman) in Caribbean Sea, 240 km south of Cuba and 268 km northwest
of Jamaica

Total: 264 sq km
Land: 264 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Land boundaries:
0 km

160 km 8.2.2017.
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Tropical marine; warm, rainy summers (May to October) and cool,

relatively dry winters (November to April)

Low-lying limestone base surrounded by coral reefs

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
Highest point: The Bluff on Cayman Brac 43 m

Natural hazards:
Hurricanes (July to November)

Environment - current issues:

No natural freshwater resources; drinking water supplies are met by
reverse osmosis desalination plants

Geography - note:
Important location between Cuba and Central America

Source: The World Factbook

History Overview

Christopher Columbus discovered the Cayman Islands during his 4th

voyage to the new world in 1503. Columbus named the islands Las
Tortugas because of the abundance of turtles. During the next 150
years the islands' name was changed several times.
The islands came under British control on 1655 when Oliver
Cromwell wrested Jamaica from the Spanish. The islands officially
became a British territory in 1670 at the signing of the Treaty of
Madrid between the UK and Spain. For the next 300 years the
islands were administered as a dependency of Jamaica.
The Treaty of Utrecht in 1714 brought about an end to pirates.
Settlers then returned to the islands. In 1734, land was given to
several families.
The first local laws were passed in the 1820s. The first legislation
was passed in 1831. Slaves were freed in 1835.
The hurricane of 1932 devastated the islands.
Tourism became the major form of commerce in the 1950s.
The first written constitution was written in 1959. Women were
granted the right to vote.
Jamaica became independent in 1962; however, the Cayman Islands
opted to remain under British rule. This required the Caymans to
separate from Jamaica.
Legislation was passed in 1966 to encourage the banking industry. 8.2.2017.
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In November 2001, the United Democratic Party (UDP) came into

being and called for and won a no-confidence vote against the
existing leader.
The British Overseas Territories Act granted British citizenship to all
Caymanians in 2002.
In August 2009, the Caymans were put on the white list of countries
using internationally recognized tax standards.
With increased concerns about gangs, British police were brought
into the islands in April 2010 to restore calm.
In December 2012, parliament passed a vote of no confidence
against Premier McKeeva Bush who had been arrested in a
corruption investigation.

Social Etiquette

Meeting People

Caymanians are warm and friendly people who maintain eye contact and
smile when shaking hands. Women may greet each other with a warm
embrace. Most people use the honorific titles Mr. and Mrs. with their first
name since there are relatively few surnames. Wait until invited before
dropping the courtesy title and using the first name alone.

At a party or other large gathering, you may introduce yourself without

waiting for your host to do so.

Gift Giving

In general, Caymanians give gifts for birthdays and Christmas. Do not give
an expensive gift unless you know the person extremely well. It is the act of
giving that is important, not the cost of the gift.

Here are some general gift giving guidelines (but also check to be sure
they are permitted under company policy):

Gift giving is not an elaborate event.

If you are invited to a Caymanians home, bring a box of good
chocolates or flowers to the hostess.
If invited to a dinner party, send flowers in advance.
A small gift for the children would be appreciated.
Gifts are usually opened when received. 8.2.2017.
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How Caymanians Entertain

Caymanians enjoy entertaining and can be quite casual about it. They may
invite you to their house after a brief acquaintance. For more formal events,
invitations may be written and generally include information about the
dress code.

If you are invited to a Caymanian's house:

Arrive within 30 minutes of the specified time.

Dress is conservative, even when informal.
Contact the hostess ahead of time to see if she would like you to
bring a dish.
Offer to help the hostess with the preparation or clearing up after a
meal is served.
A thank you note is not expected, but a telephone call the next day to
thank the hosts is appreciated.

Table Manners
Caymanians are relatively casual as is reflected in their relaxed table
manners. The more formal the occasion, the stricter the protocol. When in
doubt, watch what others are doing and emulate their behavior.

Remain standing until invited to sit down. You may be shown to a

particular seat.
Do not begin eating until the hostess starts.
Keep your elbows off the table and your hands above the table when
Leave a small amount of food on your plate to indicate you have
finished eating.

Dining Out
Service charges are usually included in bills; however, it is customary to
leave loose change as well. If there is no service charge, tip 10 to 15%
depending upon the quality of the service.

Many better restaurants have a dress code in the evenings.

If invited to a meal at a restaurant, the person extending the invitation

usually pays. Do not argue about the check; simply reciprocate at a later
time. Splitting the bill among friends is frequently done. If so, the bill is
usually divided equally.

The following tipping hints are guidelines. You can find more explicit
information on restaurant tipping in the Dining Out section above.

Restaurants: 10-15% if no service charge

Porters: $1 per bag
Taxis: 10-15% 8.2.2017.
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Approach to Time

Most Caymanians see time as something fluid that changes to satisfy the
circumstances. They do not expect guests to arrive on time for meals,
although they are more punctual when meeting in restaurants if
reservations have been made. They "work to live" so Caymanians strive to
finish their workday close to the scheduled time.

Conversation Topics

Caymanians are wonderful conversationalists who can converse on a wide

range of topics. They enjoy discussing their leisure pursuits, travel, sports,
and the local economy. It is best to avoid raising controversial subjects
unless you know the person well. Obvious topics to avoid are local politics
and religion.

Other Situations

Imported goods (which is almost everything) include a duty that is added

into the price of the item. There are no sales taxes; however, due to import
costs and the duty, most items are extremely expensive. Many
Caymanians prefer to shop in Florida.

Caymanians are polite and expect the same from others:

Men stand when a woman enters a room.

Men open doors for women.
Maintain eye contact when speaking.
Speak in moderate tones.

Faux Pas

Keep in mind the following behavior while in The Cayman Islands:

Avoid public displays of affection.

Do not flaunt your wealth.
Do not use superlatives.
Do not wear beach attire away from the pool or resort areas. 8.2.2017.
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Ask permission before taking someones photograph.


Communication Essentials

Direct communication is valued in the Cayman Islands, although there is

emphasis on finessing what is said so that information is delivered in a
sensitive way. When meeting someone for the first time or when a
relationship is relatively new, diplomacy is very important. Once a
relationship has developed, people are more comfortable speaking frankly.

Tradition is highly valued, which means it is a good idea to provide some

historical background or context when presenting new information.
Caymanians may ask questions until they have sufficient context.

Since communication is also somewhat indirect, it is important to pay

attention to the tone of voice and the non-verbal behavior. Likewise, it is
important to listen to both what is and is not said, as the message may
be in what is missing.

Fact and adherence to protocol are more important than emotions. It is

better to use the phrase "I think" rather than "I feel" when presenting a
business case.

Caymanians prefer to speak in low and moderate tones. If you have a

booming voice, you may wish to moderate because your natural
exuberance may be seen as excessive emotionality.

Using Translators
Take care in selecting a translator and develop an early understanding of
what you expect--specifically, the translation must be exact, rather than
what the translator thinks each party wants to hear.

To be on the safe side you may want to meet with the translator prior to
your appointments so that the person learns your accent and can be
exposed to any technical or non-familiar terms that may be used.
Developing a thorough relationship with your translator enables them to
argue your points with a level of confidence they might not otherwise have.
Have your translator explain to you the most elementary of basic

Non-Verbal Language 8.2.2017.
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Caymanians tend to stand further away than people from Latin or Arab
cultures when conversing. They do not usually touch when speaking, such
as a touch on the arm or a hand on the shoulder, especially if they do not
know you.

They prefer to avoid confrontation and conflict by displaying gracious good


Mail & Telephone

Letters should be addressed using the persons honrofic title and their full
name or thier first name, since there are relativerly few surnames. It is a
good idea to begin with a friendly opening sentence before getting down to
the business topic.

The way you close a letter depends upon how well you know the recipient.
The most common ending for a business letter to someone with whom you
do not have a personal relationship is Yours faithfully or Yours sincerely.
If you know the person well, you might close the letter with Kind regards.

Email is widespread, although the communication style remains more

formal than in many other countries. Caymanians do not use slang or
abbreviations and will think negatively if your communication appears
overly familiar.

There is a tendency for workers under the age of 30 to treat email as more
informal means of communication. Nonetheless, it is best to consider any
information conveyed in writing as a formal representation of you and your
professional image.

Voicemail is extremely common. When leaving a message, be sure to
speak slowly and distinctly and leave your contact details.

Conference calls are quite common and can facilitate discussions with
people from various offices or locations. As with other forms of
communication, avoid emotionality and always conduct yourself in a
professional demeanor.


Handouts 8.2.2017.
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Handouts may be given at any stage of the presentation.

Should provide additional details, background data, or charts and
data to substantiate what is presented.

Presentation Slides/Power Point

Presentation materials should be spell-checked for British spelling.

Typos, grammatical errors, or spelling mistakes indicate lack of
attention to detail.
Keep A/V slides simple and easy to read.
To emphasize a point, intersperse charts and graphs with written
Use diagrams and pictures when possible rather than words.
Slides should be an outline; not the presentation.


Many will not interrupt a speaker, since this would be a breach of

Others might interrupt to ask for clarification.
You may ask the audience to turn off their mobile phones.


Make eye contact with your audience; do not focus entirely on one
Keep facial expressions to a minimum and avoid using excessive
hand gestures.
Avoid using hyperbole, exaggeration or self-promotion.
Avoid phrases that imply you have an emotional tie to the information
being conveyed. "I think" or "I believe" is preferable to "I feel".
Use proper grammar, pronouncing words clearly and distinctly.
Minimize slang or jargon, since they may not be readily understood.
Double negatives, while understood, are considered poor grammar
and should be avoided.
Speak in a straightforward manner. Use common sense arguments.
An eloquent yet concise speaking style is preferred.
Moderate expressive hand gestures if possible.
Limit presentations to 40 minutes or less.

Opening the Presentation

Welcome the audience.

Introduce yourself.
Begin with an overview or agenda. Tell the audience the
presentations structure. Show a clear start, middle and end.
Begin with the business advantage of what you are about to discuss
and a "big picture" overview.

Body of the Presentation

Presentations should be well-organized, succinct and to the point.

When presenting a new concept, provide some brief historical
context. 8.2.2017.
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Provide supporting documentation including facts and figures.

Demonstrate how your idea has worked in the past.
Emphasize details and explain the practical implications of your
Explain how the recommended solution solves an existing problem.
You may compare your companys product to the competition. Do not
denigrate your competitors.
Present potential drawbacks of not adopting the

Closing the Presentation

You may present a summary at the end of the presentation, although

it is not required.
It is better to provide the next steps than repeat the main points.
End with something for the audience to think about or consider.
Thank the audience.
Leave time for a Q&A session at the end of your presentation.


In the Cayman Islands, dates are generally written in the month, day and
year format with slashes between each number. If the day or month is less
than 10, including leading zeroes is optional. The year may be written
using two or four digits. Example: July 9, 2011 could be written 07/09/2011
or 7/9/11.

To ensure there is no confusion, you may want to spell out the name of the
month. This leaves no ambiguity as to what is the day and what is the

The 24-hour clock is a timekeeping convention where the time of a day is
the number of hours since midnight. The 12-hour clock divides the day into
two periods (midnight to noon and noon to midnight), each with 12 hours.
Thus, 2 o'clock in the afternoon would be 14:00 in the 24-hour clock.

Caymanians generally communicate in writing using the 24-hour clock,

although they may use the 12-hour clock when speaking.

Business Protocol 8.2.2017.
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Meeting & Greeting

Shake hands at the start and end of meetings.

Handshakes are firm and friendly.
Wait for a woman to offer her hand.
Maintain eye contact during the greeting.
When introducing a team, do so in order of descending rank.
As a member of the Commonwealth, some people may have a British
title or honor. Holders of such titles may or may not use them.
When in doubt, the general term Sir may be used as a respectful
form of address.
Address people by their honorific title and their first name.
Wait until invited before dropping the title and using the first name

Business Cards

Business cards are exchanged after the initial introductions without

formal ritual.
The business card may be put away with only a cursory glance.

Business Attire

The way a businessperson dresses conveys their professional image and

their respect for the people with whom they conduct business. As such,
what we report is the conservative approach to business attire for a
country. Appropriate attire varies within countries based on location, event,
and individual organization culture. Some industries and companies may
have less stringent requirements. Before embarking on an international
trip, it is generally a good idea to check with the local office to determine
what the appropriate dress code is in a specific location.

Business dress is conservative.

Men should wear dark-colored lightweight business suits to the first
Women should wear either business suits or conservative dresses.
Natural fibers are the best defense against the heat.
Many companies have a business casual dress code; however, it is
best to err on the side of formality for the initial meeting or when
meeting with government officials. 8.2.2017.
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Here are some general gift giving guidelines (but also check to be sure
they comply with company policy):

Business gift giving is not part of the culture.

Government employees cannot accept business gifts other than a
desk calendar at Christmas.
If you choose to give something, it should be small and include your
company logo.
Inviting someone out for a meal may be viewed as a gift.

Business Entertaining

Business lunches and dinners are common.

Business is not usually discussed at meals.
Business meals may be used to forge a personal relationship. Wait
for your host to raise business subjects.
Business dinners are more social- than business-oriented.
The person extending the invitation usually pays.
If you are hosting the meal, make payment arrangements in advance.
Spouses may be included in evening business entertainment. If so,
business will not be discussed.

Business Hours

Offices: 8:00am5:00pm Monday to Friday

Banks: 9:00am2:30pm Monday to Thursday; 9:00am1:00pm and
2:30pm4:30pm Friday
Stores/shops: 9:00am5:00pm Monday to Saturday
Supermarkets: 7:00am-10:00 Monday to Saturday

Business Meetings

Meeting Essentials

Structure: Heavily influenced by US and British business

behavior, meetings often reflect those cultures. Agendas are an
integral part of the business culture. 8.2.2017.
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Role of Leader: Caymian leaders are rather formal and conservative.

Purpose: Meetings are typically conducted to communicate
information and decisions that have already been made.
Who attends: Participants from different levels may attend.
Who participates/speaks: It is not unusual for individuals to be asked
to corroborate or clarify facts and statistics, but typically, collaboration
is not requested.

Meeting schedules are not extremely rigid and agendas may be used as
guidelines. Non-business discussions are frequent during the meeting, and
consequently, meetings may go on until they come to a satisfactory ending
rather than have a strict ending time.

Caymians view direct communication as part of the process to achieve the

best business outcome. However, they are careful about how they deliver
the message. If communicating with someone they know well, their style
may be more informal, although they will still be reserved.

Scheduling Meetings

Appointments are necessary and should be made 1 to 2 weeks in advance

by telephone, fax or email. It is a good idea to confirm the meeting, either
by telephone or in writing, a few days in advance.

It is often difficult to schedule meetings over the two-week Christmas


Strive to arrive on time and telephone if you will be late. Some

businesspeople see promptness as a virtue while others may not take time
quite so seriously and may keep you waiting a few minutes.


Agendas are frequently used, especially when meeting with

How the agenda is treated depends upon the personal preference of
the leader.
Agendas may be followed item-by-item or they may provide a
springboard to other discussions.

Conducting Meetings 8.2.2017.
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When communicating with people they see as equal in status, Caymanians

are direct, but modest. If communicating with someone they know well,
their style may be more informal, although they will still be reserved.
However, for the most part, their business communication will not
be controversial.

Caymanians are known for their politeness and courtesy. They use precise
speech and correct speech and expect the same of others. They do not
favor hyperbole or boasting about one's accomplishments or possessions.

They generally speak in moderate tones without excessive hand motions.

Tone of voice and facial expressions may be important cues to what is
meant, especially if the speaker is using irony. Although not indirect
communicators when compared to many other cultures, it is important to
pay attention to what is not said.

Although important, eye contact is less intense than it is in more

demonstrative cultures. Subtle facial gestures such as raising an eyebrow
or winking can add meaning to the spoken word.

When presenting a business case, businesspeople expect some context.

This might include information concerning past precedents or historical
trends. It is important to provide concrete data to substantiate any claims
that are made.

Management Styles


Caymanians do not need long-standing personal relationships in order to

conduct business. Although it is not necessary to be introduced by an
intermediary, a third-party introduction by someone who knows the person
you want to meet can open the door more quickly. Networking and
relationship building are often key to long-term business success.

Display good manners and show respect and deference to those in

authority. Caymanians are proud of their achievements and do not
appreciate outsiders coming in and telling them how to run their business.

Rank is respected and businesspeople prefer to deal with people at their

level. Demonstrate deference to those in authority. If you are young, it is
important to convey your technical expertise without bragging or seeming
overly impressed with your accomplishments.

While Caymanians appear warm and friendly, they maintain a British

reserve until they get to know someone. Do not appear overly familiar.

Socializing is an important part of developing a relationship; do not turn 8.2.2017.
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down the opportunity to have a drink after work.

Management Essentials

If you were to think about the most important cultural attributes that you will
see operating in business in the Cayman Islands, they would be:

Hierarchical structures
Interpersonal relationships
Fluid time

It is advisable to treat businesspeople with respect and show deference to

those in positions of authority. Despite the casual atmosphere, the Cayman
Islands is a British Dependent Overseas Territory and the business
community adheres to many British protocols.

Avoid hard sell techniques and do not take Caymanians relaxed attitude
as indicative of a lack of attention to detail. Communicate without using
hyperbole or superlatives.

Due to the diverse population, there can be differences based upon

someone's heritage that are more prominent than the local culture.

Risk Tolerance

The Cayman Islands has a medium tolerance for change and risk. As you
might expect from a country that is a financial center, the idea of calculated
risk is something most Caymanians understand and accept.

The need for transparency in business has fostered a culture where risks
are carefully analyzed and evaluated. Therefore, when recommending a
change, provide background information and case studies or testimonials
to facilitate acceptance.

While change is not readily embraced merely because something is new, it

is also not avoided when there is a strong business case.

Schedules & Deadlines

The Cayman Islands has a fluid time culture that is often put to the side in
business situations. As a major international financial center, Caymanians
have generally adopted an international mindset when it comes to the 8.2.2017.
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necessity of meeting schedules and deadlines.

Decision Making

Company Structure
Most businesses retain hierarchical structures where rank and position are

In their attempt to be viewed as a financial center, Caymanian businesses

have often implemented policies and procedures dictating expected

Managing Employees
Managers are clearly the boss, although good ones seek good working
relationships with subordinates.

Managers praise employees, although not generally in public.

Subordinates expect their efforts to be recognized and rewarded. Most
Caymanians are suspicious if praise is excessive or undeserved.

Decision Making
In many cases, decisions are made after reaching a consensus of the

Few individuals have full authority to make binding decisions concerning

anything but mundane matters.

Decision making tends to be slow and deliberate.

Team Focus

Teamwork is becoming increasingly important in most organizations. This

is an easy transition for most Caymanians who are avid sports enthusiasts
and have often played on sporting teams.

Team members are generally chosen based on their skills. The leader acts
as a facilitator rather than the boss. It is the role of the leader to delegate
tasks and provide linkage to various pieces of the work.

Praise should be given to the entire group, not to individuals, although

individuals may be praised privately. 8.2.2017.
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Companies are hierarchical. Decision making is held at the top of the


Expect brief getting-to-know-you conversation before getting down to


Tact and diplomacy are critical to successful business.

Maintain direct eye contact while speaking.

Avoid confrontational behavior or high-pressure sales tactics.

Do not make promises you cannot keep or offer exaggerated claims about
your products or services.

Most Caymanians only speak English. If you are not fluent in English, it is
easy to hire an interpreter.

Bargaining is not customary. Caymanians expect initial proposals to have

only a small margin for negotiation.

Try not to show emotion, even when engaging in a debate with someone.

Safety & Security

Emergency Numbers

Emergency Telephone Numbers

To reach emergency services from a local telephone, dial: 911 or 555

Safety Precautions

Today, we think of political situations as causing safety concerns, but

ordinary crime, weather and geographic problems also pose risks. The
wise traveler is cautious about hurricanes and earthquakes along with hotel
fires, pickpockets and spontaneous political demonstrations. Terrorist
attacks and kidnappings have simply brought all security concerns to our
awareness. With the exception of the emergency telephone numbers, this
information is compiled for travelers in general and will apply in varying
degrees to your destination and personal situation. 8.2.2017.
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Before You Go

Take time to get all of your financial and personal records in order,
including preparing a will.
Talk with a trusted family member or friend about what types of
emergencies might arise in your absence, and what to do in those
Think about the small (and large) disasters that could occur at home
during your absence and be sure there is someone prepared to assist
Make copies of all of your travel documents (including detailed
itinerary with contact numbers) and be sure two people have easy
access to them.
Do the same with crucial health documentation.
Be sure someone knows where you will be and how to contact you in
emergencies at all times.
Find out the services your company offers to you in case of
emergency; obtain and make several copies of important emergency
company contact numbers to keep and give to all members of your
family who might need them.
Be sure you have enough of your prescription medication so you are
all right if you cannot get a refill right away; take an extra pair of
glasses if you wear them.

So many variables go into being safe, and many of them revolve around
understanding the specifics of where you are. Be sure to learn details of
your location -- how to dress, where you can go and where to avoid, how to
act in public, how to carry yourself, and who to be watchful of.

Seek information from cultural experts and local nationals whom you have
confidence in. When in comes to your safety, dont be afraid to ask.

Hotel Safety

Know how to call for help AND what to say.

Do not display your guest room key unnecessarily.
Lock your door and do not answer it until you feel comfortable that
you know who it is.
Dont let strangers into your room.
Use the room safe or hotel safe deposit box.
Hide personal documents, valuables and other important items.
(Remember to safeguard your passport.)
Read the fire safety information and know what you would do if you
need to evacuate. Know exactly where the nearest fire exits are.
In the event that you might need to leave your room quickly, keep
your room key, your glasses (if necessary), a pair of shoes and some
money by your bedside.
Travel with a flashlight.
Women traveling alone will have different issues depending upon the
mors of the society youre visiting.
As a rule, be extremely cautious and circumspect. 8.2.2017.
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Find out all the gender-based restrictions and abide by them.

Use a hotel known for its security and be sure that whatever
type of transportation you use, it is reliable and safe.
Ask hotel concierge or front desk manager to assist you
whenever you have questions about your safety. (They will also
arrange for you to have help, if you wish walking you to your
room very late at night or escorting you from a parking lot to the
hotel lobby).

The following websites offer specific advice for women:

Travel Tips for Women

Best Women's Travel Tips
Her Own Way: A Woman's Safe Travel Tips
Tips for Solo Women Travelers Women Travelers

Travel Tips

Crowded Situations

When youre in crowded places, be very careful to guard your

property at all times.
Carry as few valuable items with you as possible when you know
youre going to a crowded area. For example, expensive cameras,
PDAs and cash are easy targets.
Watch out for pickpockets who will try to distract you in many different
ways while taking your money. Even groups of children can be
working together to divert your attention while one will steal your

Safety in Your New Home City

Learn about your host country and culture. This is not only wise for
business and social purposes, but is extremely important so you can
understand what may be offensive or negligent behavior.
The more you know about your location, the safer youll be; certainly
understand written and unwritten laws and codes of conduct.
Use your Embassy. These people are here to help you.
Embassies Around the World
Even if you are living in a relatively safe country, always be sure that
close family or friends have accurate contact information so they can
find you quickly.
For helpful information: Helpful Tips
If you are living in a high-risk location, your company should have
guidelines for your safety. Be sure you have 24-hour hotline numbers
and appropriate contacts who can assist you.
No matter where you livehigh risk or low risk countriestodays
world is volatile, and you never know when a potentially dangerous
situation can develop. Keep informednot only with your countrys
published data and warnings, but by identifying sources of local
news, reading local papers and telling your local friends to keep you

Emergencies 8.2.2017.
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In an emergency that requires help by your government, such as a

lost passport or the need for money because yours has been stolen,
contact: Embassies Around the World
Make sure you know the name of the firm your company has selected
for medical emergencies and evacuation services. International SOS
provides emergency medical and evacuation services for individuals
and companies. You might want to contact: International SOS to see
if you qualify for some of their services.

Security Issues

Security is not simply a state-of-mind, nor is it a stroke of luck. Keeping

yourself and your family safe anywhere you gowhether it is an extended
trip within hours of your home or a long-term assignment halfway around
the worldrequires planning and active follow-through.

Clearly the length of time you spend and the geographic and political
profile of the countries youre living in--or traveling to--will make a
difference in your level of preparedness. Nonetheless, practicing common
sense based upon knowledge of your location will help you. Dont
underplay the importance of understanding what is culturally
appropriateit may help you avoid some difficult situations. With the
exception of the emergency telephone numbers, this information is
compiled for travelers in general and will apply in varying degrees to your
destination and personal situation. Always check to see what services your
company may offer to you.


In an emergency that requires help by your government, such as a

lost passport or the need for money because yours has been stolen,
contact: Embassies Around the World
Make sure you know the name of the firm your company has selected
for medical emergencies and evacuation services. International SOS
provides emergency medical and evacuation services for individuals
and companies. You might want to contact: International SOS to see
if you qualify for some of their services.

Prepare For Your Destination

Read about security and safety issues in the countries youll be

traveling to or living in.
For the most current, up-dated information, we recommend the
following government sites as quite comprehensive and easy-to-
Australian Travel Advisories
Canadian Travel Advisories
UK Travel Advice
US Travel Warnings 8.2.2017.
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Read about other precautions you should take for weather- and
geographic-related concerns. For example, keep enough cash on
hand so you will be all right if there are power failures and ATM
machines dont work.
Be sure you know how to contact (and get to) your countrys
Embassy and Consulate wherever you are travelingyou need the
location details, phone and hours of operation. Embassies Around
the World
See if there are any health-related issues in the countries to which
youre traveling. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has in-
depth information regarding all regions of the world.

Be sure you know how to call for help in an emergency. You may need to
reach the police, fire and other emergency personnel. Be sure you know
the words to use in the local language.

En Route

Protect your passport; it is one of the most valuable items you

possess--so protect it as you would cash, credit cards and other
valuables. If it is lost or stolen, report it immediately to the nearest
appropriate Embassy or consulate.
Avoid calling attention to yourself by wearing fancy jewelry or carrying
other expensive items.
Whenever possible carry valuables and important prescription
medications in your carry-on luggage; do not pack valuables in your
checked luggage.
Do not leave laptops, computer bags or other luggage unattended at
any time.
Be able to answer questions about your luggage and be able to open
all suitcases and packages immediately, if asked.
Use your business address on your luggage tags, if possible.
Be sure to respond completely to requests by security officials and
avoid comments about security that could be misinterpreted.
When youre on the plane or train, read safety literature and be sure
you know where emergency exits are located.
For general information when you are en route, the U.S. State Dept.
offers a wide-range of information to travelers of all nationalities:

Moving Around Safely

Always remain alert.

Avoid disturbances and loud arguments. When they occur, quickly
walk the other way.
Dress conservatively. Your interpretation of this guideline needs to be
based on local practices and customs. Attire you may think is
perfectly acceptable, may not be so youll be well served to learn
what is appropriate. Otherwise, you could run the risk of being
misinterpreted and perhaps becoming a target if your clothing is
provocative or offensive.
Ostentatious jewelry will also draw attention to you. 8.2.2017.
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Learn about transportation in your locationwhats safe and what

can be problematic and when. Trains, subways, buses, independent
taxi cabs may pose specific problems. Find out before you go if it is
preferable to hire a private driver and car. Contact your Embassy for
detailed information.
You should also ask your company about specific transportation
guidelines theyve established for your safety.
Avoid areas where you can become a victim of crime, such as poorly-
lit streets, alleys, and deserted train stations.
If you drive, keep your doors locked and windows closed, and never
pick up hitchhikers.
Be wary when you are alone in lifts. Get off if someone suspicious
gets on.
If you find yourself alone in a train car or compartment after everyone
else leaves, you may feel safer moving to an occupied car. Identify
the location of the emergency alarm system.
Experts say that if someone does attack you, give them your
valuablesmoney and passportand do not fight back.
Be sure to know enough of the language to call for help. Consider
marking and tagging the pages of a phrase book with these types of
important phrases.
Even when you have a mobile phone, learn to use the local pay
phones and keep change with you.

Know Where Youre Going

Ask people in the hotel what areas you should avoid.

When you have a specific location youre going to, ask colleagues or
people who work in the hotel if there are things you should know
about that area.
If you cannot speak the local language, carry the card of your hotel or
your address with you at all times--as well as your destination
Make others aware of your specific whereabouts, even when youre
going to business appointments.

*Sources: U.S. Transportation Security Administration 8.2.2017.