During my last night in Jeddah, our family friends took us to a local sheesha spot popular to most of the locals called “Palm Tree” in Arabic.
There I got a chance to observe all around me as people came in and greeted their friends at their tables. Similar to Lebanese and most Arab culture, kissing the cheeks is a big part of greeting others. The number of kisses is directly proportional to how formal you want it to be. For example, three kisses to an older aunt or family friend but one kiss for a friend. Nowadays close friends simple skip the kisses and hug as a more intimate way of saying “hi, good to see you friend!”
In Jeddah, there’s a unique kissing style. Picture this with me: you approach the person with a handshake, “kiss” the person’s left cheek with your right cheek and then switch sides and “kiss” the right side twice. It’s almost like a dance, watching the heads bob back and forth. If you really like someone, the right cheek “kiss” can go on for four, five or even six times. I witnessed it in front of me!
Keep this in mind fellow Lebanese friends or you’ll accidentally switch back to the left side and completely confuse the person you’re greeting. It actually happened with me! The woman greeting me was leaning in for the third right kiss and I began to move to the left, almost kissing her on the mouth. Oops!