Saudi Arabia is a paradoxical country, between ancient traditions and modernism. So, if it’s a Saudi spouse you are looking for, there is hope. Find useful info to make the most of your expat project and get in touch with expatriates. Expatriation requires appropriate reflection and planning, regardless of the destination. Indeed, the government has also responded to hardline critics who feel the reforms have gone too far. Sons and daughters of Saudi women must transfer sponsorship after turning 18 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. First dates must be low-key affairs. 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. 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. Transgender individuals moving to Saudi Arabia should be aware that it is illegal for men to act and dress like women, and vice versa. By and large, society remains male-oriented, and women may find themselves unable to do things on their own that they take for granted elsewhere. Saudi Arabia was the birthplace of the Muslim religion and there are some must-know facts for internationals regarding religious times. That said, residents say these are being trimmed as the economic climate remains uncertain. 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. Flights to Saudi Arabia Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Saudi Arabia. They only bear the charges equivalent to the amount payable as first transfer of Iqama i.e. Saudis from more conservative families might ask to arrange initial meetings in more relaxed countries around the region. Snapchat is popular, and as a woman, you may well be asked, “Mumken Snapchat?” (literally, Snapchat possible?”). This could be Egypt, Bahrain, or the UAE, where they can get away from prying eyes. Saudi Arabia is a country of more than 30 million residents. Why should you join the Expat.com community? Either way, though, guest workers, as expat staff are referred to, agree on a couple of things: life in Saudi Arabia is vastly different from anywhere else, and an expat posting can be enormously lucrative. Outsiders may take a while to appreciate that religious and cultural elements often make their way into the workplace. However, young expats tend to prefer overseas universities, either in their own countries or at globally recognized institutions. 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. 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. 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. Universal basic vaccines are generally available free of charge for newborns and infants. However, you should expect to pay double that for a home that suits your needs, and between SAR125,000 to SAR200,000 for a three-bedroom villa. Culture shock is expected of any new destination, but with a positive and open mind, it can be very rewarding. However, mixed-gender workplaces remain uncommon outside customer-facing and creative fields. NOTE: These settings will only apply to the browser and device you are currently using. Fee for Transfer of Sponsorship; It is a general practice in Saudi Arabia that almost 99% of companies don’t bear full charges of Iqama transfer. Information Technology Manager Jobs in Saudi Arabia. Similarly, workplaces are much the same as anywhere else – so long as you keep it professional. On the other hand, stay within the expat bubble, and you are likely to miss out on the incredible adventures living away from home can bring. Obtaining a work visa can take up to two months. Again, recent reforms have played their part in bringing women into the workforce and giving them wider social roles. Offshore banking in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Expatriate News, Saudi Iqama News, Saudi Labor Laws , Expariates Life in Saudi Arabia and Expats Working, Living in Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia polarizes expat opinion like few other places. There are several ways to find an expat job, and Saudi Arabia is no different from other markets. … The global consultancy Mercer ranked the Saudi capital the 37th costliest city on a list of over 200 expat hubs. Some universities provide allowances of up to $30,000 annually. 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. Since 2005, health insurance is compulsory for all non-Saudis working in the country and they must renew it before requesting a new iqama. Saudi Arabia: 8 scenarios where expat workers can change jobs. Expatriate health insurance in Saudi Arabia, Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Saudi Arabia, Get free quotes from professionals for moving to Saudi Arabia, And get off to a great start in your new country. The nascent mortgage market offers few local options for expats, therefore your best bet would be to consider an international bank operating out of Saudi Arabia. Like everywhere else, life in Saudi Arabia is what you make of it. Should you want to switch jobs, you require your employer’s approval. However, women, in particular, may still shy away from sending photos over messaging apps for fear of family repercussions. Just under 50% of Saudis currently own their own homes. Public schools are only accessible to citizens and naturalized Arabs, and few local children attend international schools in Saudi Arabia. Expat.com utilises cookies so as to provide you with the best experience possible. 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. By law, you can only work eight hours a day (10 with overtime), or 48 hours a week including Saturdays (60 with overtime). Some scholarships and universities assist students with healthcare however, ultimately, it is your responsibility to make sure you are covered. Two disparate influences shape Saudi society: it is the ancestral home of nomadic, patriarchal tribes and the birthplace of Islam; its King is officially custodian of the religion’s two holiest sites. English is a primary medium of instruction, and there are special scholarships for foreign students. Millions of foreigners have already decided to live and work in this monarchy,enjoying the experience. 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. Saudi-Expatriates is a blog of updated information in bulk for foreigners who are staying in Saudi Arabia or who are keen to visit Saudi. 10 questions about expat life in Saudi Arabia answered, Read more about the laws on drugs and alcohol, Read more about the cost of living in Saudi Arabia, Read more in our guide to dating in Saudi Arabia, Read more about the business culture in Saudi Arabia, Read more in our guide to renting in Saudi Arabia, Read more in our guide to women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, Discover the best things to do with kids in Saudi Arabia, Read more in our guide to healthcare in Saudi Arabia. Women can drive and hire cars and remain free to go around without a male guardian. However, head and face coverings are not mandatory. Consequently, foreigners in Saudi Arabia prefer to rent apartments or villas when not provided with company accommodation. Why work in Saudi Arabia? In general, Saudis are far more private than in Western countries, and everyday activities traditionally revolve around the family. 26 September 2020 Expats beat the heat and venture out to explore Saudi Arabia Non-Saudi Muslims can take out renewable leases of up to two years within these cities. 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. Make your expat project in Saudi Arabia successful. By some estimates, Riyadh has become a much more expensive place to live as the country seeks to diversify its hydrocarbon-dependent economy. 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. Is there a possibility that our email has gone to your spam folder? More info about the labour market? Riyadh. Create a new account if you have changed your email address or your email cannot be verified. No corresponding figures are available for Saudi men married to non-nationals. The country also faces a housing shortage to meet the needs of its expanding population. For those on work visas, their companies will generally facilitate the transition and provide health insurance. 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 … In general, expats in Saudi Arabia have a high standard of living and can afford luxuries often impossible in their home countries. 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. Make sure that you have access to this email address before you request to receive a verification message. Which cookies and scripts are used and how they impact your visit is specified on the left. In addition, it penalizes violence in public and the destruction of community property. 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. Furthermore, women needed to wear black outer robes called abayas and cover their hair in public. In addition, a substantial number of policies are co-pay; meaning that you may need to contribute towards the medical fees and prescription medicines. Expatica helps make your expat journey the experience you've always wanted. 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. As it is considered both immoral and illegal for two people who are unrelated and unmarried to spend time together, you will need to be both careful and creative when seeking a partner. That said, domestic workers must have a sponsor or contract through an agency. Financial Advice for Expatriates in Saudi Arabia Make smarter and more profitable returns as an expat in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has a desert climate and is extremely hot and there is very little rainfall throughout the year. But what’s it really like to live in one of the world’s most conservative societies? When it comes to renting, there are plenty of options outside the expat compounds. "If you are young, do not be afraid to change your life because living in a different country broadens your horizons. Islamic observances underpin the Saudi way of life and Sharia principles underlie its legal system. expatriates.com has listings for jobs, apartments, items for sale, services, and community. Given these rapid changes, it is advisable for female expats in Saudi Arabia to learn about and stay abreast of changes in local laws. Buy, sell and find all you need: deals, furniture, cars, household appliances and many more. Family life in Saudi Arabia comes with other costs that expats may not have encountered before. There is a range of private schools that teach country-specific curricula; from British and American to Indian and Pakistani. This helpful article attempts to answer some of the most commonly asked questions. There is a ban on several opiates and psychotropics, while you need a prescription for others you bring into the country. Saudi Arabia Announces that Saudi Expats from 25 Countries Allow to Return to Saudi Arabia As the Coronavirus is being controlled and everything is getting back to normal. She was born in Syria and grew up therem then she moved to France, then to Germany and moved to Riyadh four years ago after finishing her Master Degree in Landscape … 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. Only Saudis may own property in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina; although inheritances are exempt. Most companies now use the Gregorian or international calendar, however, since the switch only took place in 2014, don’t be surprised to come across references to the lunar Hijri calendar in everyday life. The capital, Riyadh, has a population of over 5 … Friday is the Muslim holy day. Find your dream job and take your career to an international level. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. Enter the e-mail address you registered with. 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 … At home, nannies and domestic helpers are common, even among expats. 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. Officials have dismissed reports that hotels and restaurants will soon be able to serve alcohol. Several of these strictures have fallen away since 2017, as the crown prince’s vision of a more moderate Islam begins to be realized. Employers – or sponsors – apply for and obtain authorization from the Ministry of Labor. There are about nine million legal migrants living in Saudi Arabia with western specialists making up the majority of the more skilled among them. expatriates.com has jobs, apartments for rent, stuff for sale, services and community. Saudi Arabia: Expats must transfer sponsorship within two months of separation from Saudi spouses. 2. Contradictions abound when it comes to the status of women in Saudi Arabia. Flights to Saudi Arabia Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Saudi Arabia. Workplaces, especially in the private sector, are international, with a healthy mix of expats from around the world. Pipe Fabricator, Pipe Fitter, Fire Watcher & Helper - Jubail (Al-Jubail, Saudi … Meanwhile, families appreciate being able to raise children in a safe, stress-free, international environment. It isn’t uncommon for Saudis to live close to – or even with – their extended family. Terms and conditions 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. However, foreign residents can now purchase property units in most parts of Saudi Arabia, subject to approvals from the licensing authority. Saudi family law is complex, and when multi-cultural marriages end in divorce, expat women can end up back home without a visa or access to their children. Scroll to the property section to find out more about housing costs across the Kingdom. You can make the effort to integrate by learning Arabic and getting to know the local culture; you will be welcomed warmly, too. Temperatures approach 54 degrees Celsius at the height of the six-month-long summer, and annual humidity levels average 63% or more, depending on the region. Expatica uses technology such as cookies and scripts to personalize content and ads, provide social media features, and analyze our traffic. Place a free ad and find what you are looking for today! Most of us expats have come to Saudi Arabia for one reason, Money, the … Expats living in Saudi Arabia, including students, need to have health insurance. Asking around in your expat circles is a good way to discover date spots with relaxed attitudes. Expats seldom move to Saudi Arabia for the lifestyle, the weather, the food or any of the enticements other expat destinations may offer. As a result, expats visiting Saudi Arabia are unlikely to want for much in terms of health care. Saudi Arabia is a paradoxical country, between ancient traditions and modernism. As most Saudi society rules don’t apply within the compound, this is a great, relaxed option for couples. The website also issued the number of nationals or expatriates … As of July 2019, the law had not yet been enforced. Find a job, a place to live and everything you need in Saudi Arabia. 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. 1. As a corollary, some areas are family-only, and single men may not be allowed in; this includes shopping malls. Foreign parents cannot take their children out of Saudi Arabia by law. Dating in Saudi Arabia carries its own distinct set of rules and challenges and is a secretive affair. This website (Living in Saudi Arabia) is dedicated to all of those expatriates working and living in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Rather, Westerners tend to move there for financial reasons and remain sequestered in Western-style compounds, far removed from real Saudi … If you wish to know more, please consult our Cookie Policy. But as they say, where there’s a will, there’s a way. It seems that the email address you entered is unreachable. Foreign investors can also buy personal land over the value of SAR30 million for construction and investment. Millions of foreigners have already decided to live and work in this monarchy,enjoying the experience. For decades, Saudis have interpreted their religion rather more conservatively than elsewhere. 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. That said, same-sex men and women may find it easier to meet and socialize with potential partners. Wealth managers and brokerages offer these services, but banks in Saudi Arabia also have links to … The Kingdom is adding new capacity across the major cities, particularly in the affordable sector. An April 2019 public decency law bans, harmful graffiti, loud music, and immodest clothing such as men’s shorts. Many also covered their face. Expats have generally enjoyed a lifestyle closer to their home countries on compounds maintained by foreign companies. In this population of 30 million, the contribution of expatriates is 9.06 million. 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. Some restaurants in big cities also offer private cabins and are lax about letting genders mix within their establishment. Residents report that men and women can now work together more freely, and even go to the cinema and play sports matches together. Single professionals often share “bachelor” apartments, splitting utility and air-conditioning bills. Try it, recommend it! However, the government has tightened control over the labor market in recent years as part of ‘Saudization’ attempts to boost local employment. Life in Saudi Arabia is so different from many other countries that expats can find it difficult to adjust. According to an American research website, 5 nationalities account for 75% of the total expatriate population of Saudi Arabia. After this, the father has primary care, although as of 2018, women can apply for custody. The government’s economic diversification drive could throw up new opportunities; particularly in manufacturing, urban planning, resource management, and the services sector. Outside of these spaces, it pays to remember that dating, sex, and romance remain taboo in Saudi Arabia. With the high levels of disposable income, there is an abundance of children’s activities in Saudi Arabia. Government offices run from 7:30 to 14:30. For expats moving to Saudi Arabia, a little understanding of its culture can go a long way. You may also be asked directly for your phone number. Time: 18:00 - 01:00 Location: King Khalid Reserved – Al Thumamah To buy a ticket They might also drop by their grandparents’ home for dinner several times a week. Finding a prince anywhere requires kissing … If you manage to overcome this challenge, Saudi Arabia can be an ideal and attractive destination for expatriatio… They must also adhere to specific legal requirements about working hours and times. Have a cookie They must hand a translated version of their marriage certificate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be authenticated. These may feature two-story inflatable slides, magicians, face painters, and three-tier cakes – even for five-year-olds. Being an expat in Saudi Arabia comes with its own set of challenges and diversions. … Doctors are generally fluent in English and a variety of drugs are available without a prescription. Arabic is generally mandatory in most schools, where the academic year runs from September to June. Travel insurance in Saudi Arabia Enjoy stress-free travel to Saudi Arabia. You may change your settings at any time. For many expats, living and working in Saudi Arabia is like having a front-row seat at one of the most dynamic socioeconomic dramas of the moment. Furthermore, business owners often employ family members because family ties are so important. Despite this progress, however, the country remains one of the worst performers in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index. Click below to consent to the use of this technology on our website – and don’t worry, we respect your privacy. expatriates.com has jobs, apartments for rent, stuff for sale, services and community. Many young Saudis now flirt more openly on apps such as Facebook, Tinder, Snapchat, and Whoshere. If your home country’s health insurance doesn’t cover you in Saudi Arabia, be sure to … Browse the Saudi Arabia housing ads and find the perfect accommodation. Basic health insurance is typically part of most expat packages, however, residents often take out extra coverage privately as not everywhere accepts these policies. That’s well behind neighboring Dubai (21st) and Abu Dhabi (33rd), but up from 57th place in 2017. Healthcare in Saudi Arabia is highly regarded around the world and in many cases offers facilities on par with the USA and Western Europe. Share your opinion and get in touch with professionals and services tested and approved by expats. In terms of expenses, rent is the biggest outlay for expats without these allowances; this can account for up to a third of your salary. A land of many opportunities and at the same time many disappointments. 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. 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. Children who grow up in Saudi Arabia can count on an international network of friends in later life. You have only one chance to confirm your email, afterwards this option won't be available. During the holy month of Ramadan, all Muslims must fast from dawn to dusk and ar… 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. Site map. A July 2019 report said the country plans to ease travel restrictions for women, too. Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Arab world and is home to the two most important cities in Islam, Mecca and Medina. Apply to the vacancies available. Find a job, a place to live and everything you need in Riyadh. However, the reforms don’t look likely to extend to the Kingdom’s famous no-liquor policy. 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. 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. 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. Until 2019, expats have been unable to acquire permanent residency and put down roots in the country. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. Finding a prince anywhere requires kissing an innumerable amount of frogs. 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. Expat Living in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Airlines has announced regulations for passengers returning to the kingdom, with SOPs issued, requiring passengers returning to Saudi Arabia to … Finally, although it’s one country, each of Saudi Arabia’s major regions boasts its own culture. Traveling as an Expat in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, once you do find your prince, be sure to dress conservatively and avoid being publicly affectionate. 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. Confusingly, working hours vary. The east coast areas of Khobar and Dammam, on the other hand, are busier – and often sought-after, thanks to their proximity to liberal Bahrain. Expatriates will no longer require any Kafeel or sponsor’s permission for changing jobs in kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an oil-rich, conservative Middle Eastern country where Islam is the dominating force. As the city is … Financial Advice for Expatriates in Saudi Arabia Make smarter and more profitable returns as an expat in Saudi Arabia. By continuing to browse our site, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. So, what is life in Saudi Arabia like? 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. As a result, the nation’s cultural values have often influenced the way laws were applied. With that come tremendous opportunities to help shape a country in transition across a range of different sectors; from education and entertainment to banking and blockchain. At the end of this adventure I will ... How to register a Marriage in Saudi Arabia, Carry Out Contract Installation & Maintenance for AC, Ummy Sumaiya Maids, House Helps and House Cleaning, Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Saudi Arabia. As of 2018, petrol, diesel, food, and utilities are subject to a 5% value-added tax. Finally, get ready to work on Sunday. On the other hand, it does mean that there are over 300 days of sunshine a year on average. 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. It is almost as if the weather conspires to make you stay indoors in air-conditioned comfort, as some expats put it. 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. All visitors to Saudi Arabia must … SAR 33000 / Ford Fusion, 2014, automatic, 160000 KM, In Excellent Condition. 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. An expat woman living and working around the rules in Saudi Arabia. Create an event and invite expats to join: party, concert, match, festival or casual gathering... it's up to you! As might be expected, medical facilities are particularly strong in major urban areas such as … Looking for Saudi Arabia Items For Sale? And yes, you can wear a bikini on a private beach, accessible at a fee, or on a boat. Accomodations in Saudi Arabia, for one night up to several months.
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