In the Arab world one will frequently hear (or even read comments by viewers of this blog) who may have Abu or Umm placed in front of their name. This is meant as a sign of respect and tradition. For example if someone is addressed as Abu Abdullah or Umm Abdullah that means the individual is either the father or mother of a child named Abdullah. (Abu is father in Arabic and umm is mother) Once a married couple has a child, this allows the Abu or Umm and the childs name to be applied. It is considered an honor as children are highly cherished.
In the working world, use of Abu and Umm continues to apply with those who have regular ongoing contact with one another. Otherwise depending on where one works titles such as Doctor or Professor will apply. If not eligible for one of these titles to be used, then one may be addressed instead as “Miss” Elizabeth or “Mr” Donald.
When being introduced to a Saudi who is a senior citizen, it is respectable to address them as Aunt or Uncle (Amah or Amm).
I have further observed that in regards to housemaids it is typical for many of them to address the couple for whom they work as “baba” or “mama” meaning “daddy/father and mother.” Some may also address their employer using the Abu or Umm. I do not know of any housemaid who addresses the employer by either a first name only or Mr. or Mrs. As a westerner, I am typically addressed as “Madam” by domestic help.
Continuing on about names, I also wrote previously on understanding Arab names which explains why the Saudi husband and wife will have differing last names. See http://delhi4cats.wordpress.com/2007/10/18/understanding-saudi-arab-names/ to read the full post.
In the West and elsewhere in the world some women may choose to retain their name instead of taking the husband’s family name. This may be done for professional reasons as it can be difficult to get documents changed when one has had a professional history prior to marriage or a woman may choose to keep her family name for other reasons such as family tradition. Alternatively there are a number of western women who have also chosen to hyphenate their name upon marriage. For example, if a woman’s family name is Kendall and she marries a man whose family name is Rice she would refer to herself as Mary Kendall-Rice.
As a result, for anyone coming to the Kingdom I believe it is fair to say that Saudis are easy-going about ones name. However you introduce yourself is how you will be referred to. One closing point is to reassure a woman coming to the Kingdom who has a different last name than her husband. This should not pose a problem as long as there are supporting legal documents documents identifying the couple as husband and wife. Until they have received iqamas and are in the Kingdom on a visitor visa, have a copy of the marriage certificate handy. One iqamas are issued the wife would be identified as such on the iqama in spite of having a different name than her husband.