A question that has been bugging me for quite a while was raised by some communication between my employer and a partner organisation based in Dubai. It turned out that more than once, it's been noticed that this other party tend to use a particular tone of address in letters and emails. Whereas they will address male members of staff as 'Mr Bloggs' - which is quite acceptable and polite, even somewhat deferential given that it's quite uncommon and most other third parties tend to address you by first name after it's been quoted at least once in the exchange - they rigorously insist on referring to female colleagues as Miss Helen, and so on. That is, declining to use the individual's (known) surname, and presuming unless corrected that she is unmarried.
Is this due to some antiquated perception of propriety in English correspondence, or is it a custom originating from the culture of the people involved? I would lean toward guessing the latter; since in parts of the Middle East having women in the workplace is less common and perhaps one might presume that a female employee is unmarried, unless it is determined otherwise. Is it thought by the demographic that we are talking to that using the maiden name of a woman known in a professional capacity is in some way vulgar?