Edinburgh Business and Etiquette

March 18, 2015 Updated: April 23, 2016

Edinburgh has a very strong economy, with tourism and finance being the leading sectors. In fact, it has recorded robust growth in economic output per person since 1995, according to the Scotland Analysis report presented in 2013 by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Many reputed banks and other financial institutions have their headquarters based in this city, and the new exchange district, located at the west end of Lothian Road, is home to many financial advisory offices. Other important sectors include education, law, local retail, government, and health care. There are also research and development studies carried out in areas of information technology, biotechnology and computer software. Also, one cannot leave the traditional industries like biscuit-making, brewing, printing and publishing.

Contribution of Tourism

Tourism is booming here all year round, and since it is a World Heritage Site, people from across the world come to see the historical sites and also take a peek at the August Edinburgh festivals, year after year; all this brings a whopping £100 million to the economy. If you are planning to visit for business, you can find attractive double room options in 3 star hotels in Edinburgh, like Piries Hotel Central Edinburgh. The period during New Year as well as the August festival season get very busy, so be sure to book your accommodation in advance to get the best reservations and deals.

Business Hours and Time Keeping

The Scots sure are jolly folks, but they do respect punctuality, so reach the venue in time. If you think you will have trouble finding your way and keeping time, the best way is to schedule your meeting in the conference room of your quiet hotel in Edinburgh. Standard professional meetings usually take place within business hours, which is between 9am and 5pm, from Monday to Friday.

Business Etiquette

The common practice is to shake hands and address the business contact with his or her last name. During the course of the meeting you will find your hosts will be very friendly and jovial, this is the case most often. After the business meeting, the Edinburgh hosts will make it a point to keep you entertained for the rest of the evening or over the weekend. The preferred choice most often is a pub or restaurant, and it is not unusual for you to be invited to a contact’s home as well. In such circumstances, it is advisable that you carry a token of appreciation like, chocolates, flowers, wine or even single malt Scottish whisky. The gift shop at your 3 star hotels in Edinburgh might have a few options that you can choose from.

Dress Code

Both men and women usually wear suits for business meetings. Women have the option of choosing a skirt suit or a trouser suit. For social occasions, an informal yet presentable dress code is followed by most. However, it is best that you carry a more formal style while dining at exclusive restaurants.

Views on Smoking

The Scots neither have a negative nor a positive outlook when it comes to smoking. However, a few restaurants and business hotels in Edinburgh might have a specific area catering for those who want to smoke. As far etiquette is concerned, it is best to smoke in like-minded company.