Gift Etiquette For Buying Abroad

Ever had one of those moments when you’re in a foreign country or meeting a business client from abroad and you’re frantically searching for a gift? Most probably, we’d guess. Now imagine you had a handy list of all the dos and don’ts for gift etiquette around the world. You can visit this link to get more information about it.


UK – Never give lilies as a gift as they are associated with death

Spain – If giving flowers, do not give 13 stems (an unlucky number in many cultures), dahlias or chrysanthemums

Germany – Whisky, books or classical music are considered good gift options

Italy – Avoid using black and gold when wrapping gifts as these are traditionally associated with mourning

Portugal – When invited to someone’s house, bringing expensive chocolates or flowers (except chrysanthemums) is good practice

France – Always give a high-quality gift wrapped beautifully (check out luxury gift wrapping services at House of Rokoko)

Netherlands – Do not be excessively generous with your gifting, keeping it modest is preferable

Russia – Always give gifts that are considered “unattainable” or at least hard-to-find

Switzerland – If someone gives you a gift it is customary to return the favor


Argentina – It is considered  impolite to give clothing as a gift

Brazil – It is common practice to send a bouquet of flowers before or after visiting someone’s house for dinner

Canada – It’s frowned upon to give gifts of red roses or white lilies, the colours of the Canadian flag

Mexico – Try to bring or send flowers when you’re a guest in a Mexican household

USA – Don’t give money as a present

Venezuela – Some say you should give a present of fine wine or Scotch


Australia – Wine is considered a gift that doesn’t show much effort

China – Apparently clocks are symbols of death so don’t give one as a gift unless you want to offend your host

Japan – It is best to present a gift with a both hands and a slight bow (as you will have seen in countless TV shows and movies)

South Korea – Don’t wrap gifts in dark colours or red, instead go for bright, vivid shades

Malaysia – It is inappropriate to give money or alcohol as a gift

Singapore – If you’ve been invited for a meal, it is always good etiquette to bring a gift for the host or hostess

Thailand – It is not customary to open a gift in front of the giver, you must wait to be asked

Vietnam – It is generally recommended to choose practical gifts wrapped in bright paper


Egypt – If you’re visiting someone’s home for the very first time it is polite to bring a gift

Ghana & Nigeria – Don’t give a gift with the left hand only

Ivory Coast – It is a custom to give gifts to people who are well respected in the community

South Africa – 21st and 40th birthdays are the most important in South Africa and presents are typically lavish


Abu Dhabi – Giving a personal gift, one that required thought, is appreciated

Dubai – When offered a gift, it is impolite to refuse it

Qatar – Always give a gift of high quality

Saudi Arabia – Avoid giving flowers, perfume or alcohol (the latter applies in much of the Middle East, since Muslims don’t generally drink alcohol).