Cyprus-flag-240Cypriot business culture

Did you know about business culture in Cyprus? Watch this video animation to find out some interesting facts:

Business Culture in Cyprus is characterised by: business communication, business etiquette, business meeting etiquette, internship and student placements, cost of living, work-life-balance and social media guide.

Geography & Population

Cyprus is a country located in the Eastern Mediterranean, and is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. The Republic of Cyprus is member of the European Union with a population of about 800,000 inhabitants, of which approximately 84% are Greek Cypriots, 12% Turkish Cypriots and the remaining 4% belonging to minority ethnic groups like Maronites, Armenians, Latins and foreign workers. Cyprus has a Mediterranean and semi-arid climate with mild winters and warm to hot summers. It snows only in the  mountains in the central part of the island, while rain occurs mainly in winter, with summers being generally dry. Cyprus is in the Eastern European Time Zone and adheres to EET (UTC +2) during the winter and EEST (UTC +3) during the summer.


The history of Cyprus spans almost 9,000 years of civilization, throughout the Persian, Egyptian, Roman, Byzantine and Venetian empires.  The Hellenisation of Cyprus started sometime after 1400 BC, when the first Greeks came to the island. Indeed the Greek influence continues to this day with the diffusion of their language, culture and religion. In 1571, the island was invaded by the Turks and Cyprus became part of the Ottoman Empire until the 1st World War although it was administered by the British Government from 1878. Cyprus was declared a Crown colony in 1925 and proclaimed independence from the United Kingdom in 1960. Τhe Republic of Cyprus has been divided into two main parts since 1974: the southern area controlled by the Republic covers about 59% of the island’s area; and the northern side of the island remains under Turkish control. Northern Cyprus is considered to be an occupied territory of the Republic by the international community, and the UN has operated a peacekeeping force on the island since 1964. . Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus, known as Lefkoşa by the Turkish Cypriots, and it is divided by the ‘Green Line’, a border that separates both the city and the country in two.


The economy of the Republic of Cyprus is characterised by the dominant role of the private sector, with the Government providing policies in order to promote and maintain investments and support private initiatives. The domestic market is small and companies are often small businesses. For this reason, all the sectors of the economy are oriented towards the international markets. Cyprus exports primarily to European countries and, in particular, the UK, Greece and Germany. The main exports are manufactured goods like clothing, pharmaceutical products, wine, cement, furniture and agricultural products. Cyprus acceded to the European Union in 2004 and has been a member of the Eurozone, using the Euro as official currency, since 2008.


The Republic of Cyprus is a unitary presidential constitutional Republic. Cyprus is divided into six administrative districts, which are headed by a District Officer. The main function of the local representative is to coordinate the activities of all the Ministries in the District. Local government representatives are elected by universal suffrage and provide administrative and public services to citizens in towns and rural areas (Municipal Council) and in villages (Community Council), respectively.

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Xenophobia: being a foreigner in Cyprus

People in the Republic of Cyprus are warm, friendly and welcoming. Although Cypriots are mainly Christian (Greek – Orthodox), religious freedom is guaranteed by the Constitution. The majority of Cypriots speak Greek, but English is widely spoken. French and German are also spoken, especially in tourist areas, although not as widely as English.

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General education

Education is free and compulsory for students in Cyprus until they are 15 years of age. There are three levels of public education: Primary School, Secondary School and High School.  Secondary School is further divided into two levels, whereby the Lower Secondary School offers a general education, whereas the Upper Secondary School provides a more specialized education. Apart from the public school system in Cyprus, there are many private schools that offer primary and secondary education, including those following other educational systems, mainly English and French. When students complete secondary education with a leaving certificate, they are able to continue into higher education. In Cyprus, there are three state universities, the University of Cyprus [], the Cyprus University of Technology [] and the Open University of Cyprus []; and five private ones, the European University Cyprus [], the University of Nicosia[], Frederick University [], Neapolis University Pafos [] and UCLAN Cyprus [].

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Ministry of Education and Culture

Other issues such as transport infrastructure

Smoking etiquette: Smoking is prohibited in all public places and also in private cars, if there are passengers under the age of 16.

Mobile etiquette: Cypriots tend to talk more on their mobile phones compared to most other Europeans. According to a study on Social Attitudes to Road Traffic Risk in Europe, Cypriots talk on their mobile phones while driving, although the use of a mobile telephone with your hands while driving has   2-4 penalty points and a fine of approximately €85.

Cultural taboos

You should avoid speaking about politics and the division of the island, because it’s a sensitive issue both for the Greek and Turkish communities. Even though the Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus is not officially recognised as legitimate by the international community, the Turks themselves believe in their entitlement and see themselves as citizens of the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ rather than as invaders or a minority group. Visitors to both sides of the island should be aware of the religious sensitivities and wear conservative clothes that cover the legs and arms when visiting churches and monasteries, out of respect.

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