When most people are asked to name destinations they consider ideal for Business Travel, many of them will name places such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, London, Toronto, Dubai, Amsterdam and Stockholm, but the experts at CT Business Travel are keen to highlight some of the alternative destinations with growing opportunities for Business Travellers.
Algeria Key Facts: Population – 35 million (approx.) Area – 2,381,740 sq km Capital City – Algiers Official language – Arabic but French is widely used GDP per capita - $5,290 (as stated by World Bank) Airports – 8 International Airports in Algeria Despite being the largest country on the Mediterranean and the second largest country in Africa, Algeria is still one of the lesser known Business Travel destinations, despite having an ideal environment for expansion minded businesses. Algeria has long been perceived by many UK companies as too difficult, too dangerous or too “French” for Business Travel but, as stated by UKTI, this notion has no true grounding in the current state of affairs and there is nothing to suggest that these pre conceived ideas were ever true. In fact, the Algerian market is very receptive to British businesses as the UK holds such a strong reputation for quality, innovation and customer service: qualities the rapidly diversifying Algerian market truly values. In 2010, the Algerian Government launched a 5 year investment programme worth USD $285 billion with the aim to re-establish connections in the country: upgrading transport links, improving education and healthcare, providing housing and diversifying the economy from a dependency on Oil & Gas by reforming the regulatory framework to encourage private foreign investment. Algeria is known to have a unique business culture resulting from a tumultuous and restless history: Business Travellers should be aware of the importance that Algerians attach to hierarchy and titles. Some tips for Business Travellers in Algeria:
- Visa applications can prove to be a lengthy process – always ensure you leave enough time for your Travel department or TMC to get this processed before your trip (5 weeks for processing is accepted as the norm)
- Requests, invitations and proposals should always be addressed to the head of an Algerian organisation
- Office hours are generally Sat-Weds 08:00-12:00 and 12:00-16:00
- During the winter months, business people are expected to attend meetings in full suits, however, short sleeves are accepted during the summer
- Business people in Algeria generally speak in Arabic or French
- If possible, travellers should avoid visiting Algeria during Ramadan but, if this can’t be avoided, visitors should ensure that they take care to observe local traditions – especially in public places
- Algeria’s communications are mostly modern - most hotels in the major cities have in room Wi-Fi available
- The currency in Algeria is the Dinar (DZD) and banking hours are Sun-Thurs 09:00-15:30. The Dinar is non-convertible and you can’t purchase Algerian currency before arrival in-country
- FCO Travel Advice states that it is generally safe to move around Algiers and the other main cities but, as with most destinations, travellers should avoid unknown areas – especially after dark
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