For decades, Saudis have interpreted their religion rather more conservatively than elsewhere. Is it easy to find love in Saudi Arabia? More seriously, expats may find themselves unable to navigate the cultural landscape, while the total bans on alcohol, recreational drugs, and LGBT+ activities are a strong deterrent for many. Saudi Arabia: Expats must transfer sponsorship within two months of separation from Saudi spouses. Scroll to the property section to find out more about housing costs across the Kingdom. Expatriation requires appropriate reflection and planning, regardless of the destination. In Saudi Arabia, the weekend spans Friday – the traditional day of rest in most of the Middle East – and Saturday; so it may take some time to adjust to the workweek. Given these rapid changes, it is advisable for female expats in Saudi Arabia to learn about and stay abreast of changes in local laws. Selected for you by Expat.com, Financial Advice for Expatriates in Saudi Arabia, Make smarter and more profitable returns as an expat in Saudi Arabia, 7th International Coffee and Chocolate Exhibition, Follow the adventures of an American expat working in Saudi Arabia. expatriates.com has listings for jobs, apartments, items for sale, services, and community. As of July 2017, expats bringing their families into the Kingdom (typically, a man sponsoring his wife and children) must pay a dependent fee of SAR100 per person per month. When moving to Saudi Arabia, it is important to understand the country's cultural and religious subtleties. Men and women who weren’t related to each other were unable to interact with each other and life was scheduled around the day’s five prayer times. Financial Advice for Expatriates in Saudi Arabia Make smarter and more profitable returns as an expat in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Arab world and is home to the two most important cities in Islam, Mecca and Medina. Attention! RIYADH: The repatriation of expatriates from Saudi Arabia has gathered pace, in coordination with authorities, embassies and airlines. At home, nannies and domestic helpers are common, even among expats. A land of many opportunities and at the same time many disappointments. Expat.com utilises cookies so as to provide you with the best experience possible. You have only one chance to confirm your email, afterwards this option won't be available. Some universities provide allowances of up to $30,000 annually. During the holy month of Ramadan, all Muslims must fast from dawn to dusk and ar… More traditional establishments may work to a split shift, from 8:00 to noon and 15:00 to 19:00, but others work straight through, with an hour’s lunch break. However, making Saudi friends can be difficult, and the expat bubble they grow up in can leave them without the street smarts they need to deal with real-world situations. However, the government has tightened control over the labor market in recent years as part of ‘Saudization’ attempts to boost local employment. Saudi Arabia has a healthy economy and job prospects for foreigners remain positive across a broad spectrum of industries. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. No corresponding figures are available for Saudi men married to non-nationals. In addition to a wide range of parks and museums, parents can find classes and clubs for everything; from yoga and ballet to horse-riding, chess, and Koran lessons. These are as follows. Foreign parents cannot take their children out of Saudi Arabia by law. As an IT manager, you’ll … The capital city has a population of approximately seven million and is located on a desert plateau; this is the seat of power of the royal family and government. That’s well behind neighboring Dubai (21st) and Abu Dhabi (33rd), but up from 57th place in 2017. Many local customs, such as the focus on home life, have been at least partly influenced by the searing heat. Residents report that men and women can now work together more freely, and even go to the cinema and play sports matches together. In addition, it penalizes violence in public and the destruction of community property. Expats living in Saudi Arabia, including students, need to have health insurance. That said, residents say these are being trimmed as the economic climate remains uncertain. Travel insurance in Saudi Arabia Enjoy stress-free travel to Saudi Arabia. When it comes to renting, there are plenty of options outside the expat compounds. What is life as an expat woman like? Find your dream job and take your career to an international level. New developments are particularly popular with investors across the country. Make sure that you have access to this email address before you request to receive a verification message. For some, it is the safest place on earth, others, however, rail against the guardianship system that requires women to ask their husband’s or father’s permission to travel or get a job; although this is not officially a law. Try it, recommend it! As might be expected, medical facilities are particularly strong in major urban areas such as … And the moral police, who controlled social interactions and pulled over men with long hair and women whose abayas were too short, have been defanged and are now only seen infrequently. However, foreign residents can now purchase property units in most parts of Saudi Arabia, subject to approvals from the licensing authority. A July 2019 report said the country plans to ease travel restrictions for women, too. Confusingly, working hours vary. Finding a prince anywhere requires kissing an innumerable amount of frogs. In 2019, Saudi Arabia has introduced a new scheme known as the Premium Residency (informally Saudi Green Card) which grants expats the right to live, work and own business and property in the Kingdom without need for a sponsor. They must hand a translated version of their marriage certificate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be authenticated. This could be Egypt, Bahrain, or the UAE, where they can get away from prying eyes. The capital, Riyadh, has a population of over 5 … Workplaces, especially in the private sector, are international, with a healthy mix of expats from around the world. And even if you find a frog in Saudi Arabia’s deserts, you won’t be able to kiss it right away – and certainly not in public. expatriates.com has jobs, apartments for rent, stuff for sale, services and community. For those on work visas, their companies will generally facilitate the transition and provide health insurance. As a corollary, some areas are family-only, and single men may not be allowed in; this includes shopping malls. Expats seldom move to Saudi Arabia for the lifestyle, the weather, the food or any of the enticements other expat destinations may offer. With few outlets for entertainment, birthday parties are a highlight. Following this, you will need to undergo medical tests for contagious and lifestyle ailments from approved centers in your home country. They might also drop by their grandparents’ home for dinner several times a week. Why should you join the Expat.com community? By continuing to browse our site, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. Saudis from more conservative families might ask to arrange initial meetings in more relaxed countries around the region. Have a cookie Apply to the vacancies available. Outsiders may take a while to appreciate that religious and cultural elements often make their way into the workplace. © 2020 Expat.com, All rights Reserved All visitors to Saudi Arabia must … The landmark move was accompanied by other freedoms; namely, the ability to take part in physical education classes and attend sporting events. Yet, Saudi Arabia remains one of the few places in the world that continues to offer expat packages that include accommodation or an allowance in lieu; as well as transport and education payments. They must also adhere to specific legal requirements about working hours and times. expatriates.com has jobs, apartments for rent, stuff for sale, services and community. The oil industry highly contributed to the country's prosperity but it is not its only source of income: a dynamic tertiary sector will offer job opportunities to expats, especiallyin finance, bank or trade. Saudi Airlines has announced regulations for passengers returning to the kingdom, with SOPs issued, requiring passengers returning to Saudi Arabia to … Make your expat project in Saudi Arabia successful. Marriages are still often arranged between conservative families, and the bridal couple may sometimes not even set eyes on each other until a few days before the wedding. In general, Saudis are far more private than in Western countries, and everyday activities traditionally revolve around the family. Initiative announced by Ministry of Human Resources to improve contractual relationship Government offices run from 7:30 to 14:30. Just under 50% of Saudis currently own their own homes. There is now a ban on forced marriages, and a woman must consent to any wedding in writing, That said, contracts may still be hammered out between the bridegroom and his father-in-law. Most of us expats have come to Saudi Arabia for one reason, Money, the … Is there a possibility that our email has gone to your spam folder?If so, please click on the "Send verification email" button to send a verification email to and follow these instructions to remove our emails from your spam folder. But what’s it really like to live in one of the world’s most conservative societies? The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an oil-rich, conservative Middle Eastern country where Islam is the dominating force. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. The global consultancy Mercer ranked the Saudi capital the 37th costliest city on a list of over 200 expat hubs. French Expat Living in Saudi Arabia - Interview with Shérine Shérine is a French expat living in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) with her husband who has a job there. Saudi Expatriate News, Saudi Iqama News, Saudi Labor Laws , Expariates Life in Saudi Arabia and Expats Working, Living in Saudi Arabia According to an American research website, 5 nationalities account for 75% of the total expatriate population of Saudi Arabia. An April 2019 public decency law bans, harmful graffiti, loud music, and immodest clothing such as men’s shorts. However, these are extreme situations, and women typically have custody up to the age of nine. The Kingdom is adding new capacity across the major cities, particularly in the affordable sector. While the oil and gas sectors are the cornerstones of Saudi Arabia’s economic foundations, expansion in the logistics sector as well as retail and consumer goods provide expats with a larger variety of … Although women may drive and even take public transport if they have their own iqama, they must wear the abaya; a long outer robe in public. While some enjoy living in traditional expat compounds, others struggle to deal with cultural aspects such as gender segregation and the country’s intolerance to alcohol. If you are the kind who wants to live in interesting times, you could do a lot worse than a country affectionately referred to as the Magic Kingdom. Children who grow up in Saudi Arabia can count on an international network of friends in later life. This website (Living in Saudi Arabia) is dedicated to all of those expatriates working and living in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. On the flip side, Saudi Arabia levies no income tax, petrol prices remain low, and cars are relatively cheaper than in Western countries. There are about nine million legal migrants living in Saudi Arabia with western specialists making up the majority of the more skilled among them. That said, domestic workers must have a sponsor or contract through an agency. Only Muslims can marry in Saudi Arabia, therefore expat couples of other faiths need to wed outside the country; or at the embassy of either partner. Should you want to switch jobs, you require your employer’s approval. Life in Saudi Arabia is so different from many other countries that expats can find it difficult to adjust. Site map. As a result, the nation’s cultural values have often influenced the way laws were applied. Universal basic vaccines are generally available free of charge for newborns and infants. In general, expats in Saudi Arabia have a high standard of living and can afford luxuries often impossible in their home countries. Until recently, men and women weren’t allowed to meet in public, and strict Salafist regulations effectively curtailed any heterosexual romantic activity outside expat housing complexes. With the high levels of disposable income, there is an abundance of children’s activities in Saudi Arabia. Higher education has come a long way in Saudi Arabia. Millions of foreigners have already decided to live and work in this monarchy,enjoying the experience. However, mixed-gender workplaces remain uncommon outside customer-facing and creative fields. As the city is … For expats moving to Saudi Arabia, a little understanding of its culture can go a long way. Non-Saudi Muslims can take out renewable leases of up to two years within these cities. … Life in these self-contained holiday villages is relatively unconstrained; they offer greater security and a wide range of facilities, such as shops, restaurants, swimming pools, and sporting facilities. They only bear the charges equivalent to the amount payable as first transfer of Iqama i.e. Saudi Arabia to End Kafala (Sponsorship) system for Expats The announcement has been made and the change are scheduled to be initiated early next week and come into effect in the first half … Similarly, workplaces are much the same as anywhere else – so long as you keep it professional. Follow me on this magic carpet ride through the Arabian desert, while I share with you a personal account of all things that make living in this world special. The website also issued the number of nationals or expatriates … However, head and face coverings are not mandatory. Again, recent reforms have played their part in bringing women into the workforce and giving them wider social roles. Travel insurance in Saudi Arabia Enjoy stress-free travel to Saudi Arabia. Time: 18:00 - 01:00 Location: King Khalid Reserved – Al Thumamah To buy a ticket And of course, for everyone, there’s that little matter of tax-free incomes, that are usually higher than in many other parts of the world. 1. Expatica uses technology such as cookies and scripts to personalize content and ads, provide social media features, and analyze our traffic. Flights to Saudi Arabia Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s healthcare system has a good reputation in the Middle East, and many facilities are on par with European and US clinics; particularly in the major cities of Riyadh and Jeddah. The vast majority of skilled expats in Saudi Arabia work and live in one of the country’s three main urban centers. So, what is life in Saudi Arabia like? These may feature two-story inflatable slides, magicians, face painters, and three-tier cakes – even for five-year-olds. One of the best aspects of being an American expat in Saudi Arabia is its proximity to the rest of the world. You can of course change your mind and withdraw your consent at any time, by returning to this site after clearing the cookies on your computer or device. It isn’t uncommon for Saudis to live close to – or even with – their extended family. As of 2018, petrol, diesel, food, and utilities are subject to a 5% value-added tax. If you live in the same compound – or can let them into yours – you will likely spend your first date at the movies or the compound’s restaurants. Despite this progress, however, the country remains one of the worst performers in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index. Foreigners usually have interviews from overseas and accept jobs after companies advertise the position to Saudi nationals. Accomodations in Saudi Arabia, for one night up to several months. Doctors are generally fluent in English and a variety of drugs are available without a prescription. Your choices will not impact your visit. As most Saudi society rules don’t apply within the compound, this is a great, relaxed option for couples. Terms and conditions Only Saudis may own property in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina; although inheritances are exempt. Saudi Arabia: 8 scenarios where expat workers can change jobs. Meetings may take place around prayer times, for instance, and Saudi women may choose not to shake hands with men they aren’t related to; even at an introduction. Prayers are observed 5 times per day and everything stops: stores close, businesses stop and everyone goes to pray in the mosque, in the office or even in the street 2. 26 September 2020 Expats beat the heat and venture out to explore Saudi Arabia Foreign investors can also buy personal land over the value of SAR30 million for construction and investment. Women have been able to nominate candidates for municipal elections since 2015 and allowed to drive since 2018. Saudi Arabia polarizes expat opinion like few other places. Many also covered their face. However, women, in particular, may still shy away from sending photos over messaging apps for fear of family repercussions. Many expatriates open offshore accounts when banking in Saudi Arabia as this can be the most effective way to save, invest, and manage money while living abroad. You may change your settings at any time. Single professionals often share “bachelor” apartments, splitting utility and air-conditioning bills. That said, same-sex men and women may find it easier to meet and socialize with potential partners. Unfurnished one-bedroom apartments are available from about SAR27,000 per year; you will need to sign post-dated cheques for six-months to a year in advance. Traveling as an Expat in Saudi Arabia. You may also be asked directly for your phone number. First dates must be low-key affairs. Saudi Arabia is a paradoxical country, between ancient traditions and modernism. Several of these strictures have fallen away since 2017, as the crown prince’s vision of a more moderate Islam begins to be realized. On the other hand, it does mean that there are over 300 days of sunshine a year on average. The government’s economic diversification drive could throw up new opportunities; particularly in manufacturing, urban planning, resource management, and the services sector. However, the reforms don’t look likely to extend to the Kingdom’s famous no-liquor policy. Friday is the Muslim holy day. Basic health insurance is typically part of most expat packages, however, residents often take out extra coverage privately as not everywhere accepts these policies. By law, companies must provide separate facilities for women; this includes bathrooms, prayer rooms, and private lunchrooms. However, you’d better be up for several challenges; to find and snag your princess, to win acceptance from her family and from officials, and to convert to Islam. However, young expats tend to prefer overseas universities, either in their own countries or at globally recognized institutions. Groceries are generally cheap by Western standards – as much as 75% lower by some estimates; although imported items and eating out in Saudi Arabian cities can be eye-wateringly expensive. Several conditions apply, and once you are actually in the country, there’s another round of tests to obtain your Iqama. For Muslim expats, there’s the added appeal of a lifestyle modeled around Islamic values with easy access to Islam’s holiest sites in Mecca and Medina. Top Ten Tips For Expats In Saudi Arabia. Overall some 700,000 Saudi women – or 10% of all married Saudi women – have foreign husbands. Find a job, a place to live and everything you need in Saudi Arabia. Find useful info to make the most of your expat project and get in touch with expatriates. Saudi Arabia is a country of more than 30 million residents. There is a ban on several opiates and psychotropics, while you need a prescription for others you bring into the country. Meanwhile, Jeddah blends old and new in a relatively relaxed atmosphere. More info about the labour market? By law, you can only work eight hours a day (10 with overtime), or 48 hours a week including Saturdays (60 with overtime). Transgender individuals moving to Saudi Arabia should be aware that it is illegal for men to act and dress like women, and vice versa. Just follow the guide, British Teacher seeking teaching role in Yanbu, Jeddah, Medinah, Makkah or Taif, Find info on accommodation in Saudi Arabia, I Am Offering A BIG Room In My Flat For Rent With Electricity Bill Included and free WIFI, For Rent A Ground Floor Of A Villa In Sulaymaniyah Close To The Military Hospital, Personal Driver's Visa / No driving licence, REJECTION FROM SAUDHI COUNCIL OF ENGINEERS, KSA Visit visa stamping in Dubai for person on Dubai visit visa, Similar discussions about life in Saudi Arabia. The fee is expected to increase gradually to a maximum of SAR400 in 2020. International schools in Saudi Arabia can also put a significant dent in your wallet (expect to around $30,000 per year as of 2018), and parents will be expected to cover the cost of uniforms, textbooks, and extra-curricular activities. Like everywhere else, life in Saudi Arabia is what you make of it. Click below to consent to the use of this technology on our website – and don’t worry, we respect your privacy. Meanwhile, families appreciate being able to raise children in a safe, stress-free, international environment. Contradictions abound when it comes to the status of women in Saudi Arabia. Place a free ad and find what you are looking for today! Start date: December 31, 2019 End date: January 1, 2020 Saudi Arabia to celebrate New Year’s day for the first time in its history. While laws have relaxed considerably in the wake of the recent reforms allowing for greater cultural expression, much more can be done on this front. Saudi Arabia was the birthplace of the Muslim religion and there are some must-know facts for internationals regarding religious times. Women can drive and hire cars and remain free to go around without a male guardian. You can make the effort to integrate by learning Arabic and getting to know the local culture; you will be welcomed warmly, too. Saudi Arabia has a desert climate and is extremely hot and there is very little rainfall throughout the year. "If you are young, do not be afraid to change your life because living in a different country broadens your horizons. Looking for Saudi Arabia Items For Sale? Outside of these spaces, it pays to remember that dating, sex, and romance remain taboo in Saudi Arabia. Offshore banking in Saudi Arabia. There are several ways to find an expat job, and Saudi Arabia is no different from other markets. Expats have generally enjoyed a lifestyle closer to their home countries on compounds maintained by foreign companies. Indeed, the government has also responded to hardline critics who feel the reforms have gone too far. It seems that the email address you entered is unreachable. Financial Advice for Expatriates in Saudi Arabia Make smarter and more profitable returns as an expat in Saudi Arabia. Expatriates will no longer require any Kafeel or sponsor’s permission for changing jobs in kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Pipe Fabricator, Pipe Fitter, Fire Watcher & Helper - Jubail (Al-Jubail, Saudi … Expats are banned from doing 41 different jobs, and aren’t eligible for Saudi pensions; therefore, they are handed a gratuity at the end of their contract. As with anywhere else, it makes sense to do your research when considering a move to Saudi Arabia; ideally, by reaching out to expat friends already in the region. SAR 33000 / Ford Fusion, 2014, automatic, 160000 KM, In Excellent Condition. Asking around in your expat circles is a good way to discover date spots with relaxed attitudes. The maktab al amal rules or the labor court rules in Saudi Arabia are quite transparent. Foreign residents also welcome the relatively relaxed rules, saying it is now much easier to go out and watch a movie, for example, or to hang out with friends of any gender. Discover Saudi Arabia with Other Expats! Saudi Arabia is a paradoxical country, between ancient traditions and modernism. Buy, sell and find all you need: deals, furniture, cars, household appliances and many more. Some scholarships and universities assist students with healthcare however, ultimately, it is your responsibility to make sure you are covered. It is important to understand the country also faces a housing shortage to meet and socialize with potential partners 2014! Also buy personal land over the value of SAR30 million for construction and investment overseas universities, either their. The majority of the world reflection and planning, regardless of the world requesting a new account if are... To raise children in a safe, stress-free, international environment closer to their home countries allowed to drive 2018... Account if you have access to this email address or your email address you is... Others you bring into the workforce and giving them wider social roles to... 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