Living and working in a foreign country can be an amazing experience. If you take the time to learn the language and the local culture, the locals will surely give you a warm welcome. This is also true for Saudi Arabia. The life of an expat can be full of adventure in Saudi Arabia if you choose to make it so. Still, you should know that Saudi Arabia is quite different from other popular expat destinations in many ways. So, you surely have many questions about this country, and you should find out the answers before moving there. To help you, packers and movers in Saudi Arabia have prepared this list of 10 questions about expat life in Saudi Arabia in 2022.
The first question you may have about expat life in Saudi Arabia is about the life there
You might be wondering: What is it really like living in Saudi Arabia? Well, that depends on your attitude and expectations. As with any other place, you should get to know the place well if you want to become part of it. So, if you are planning your relocation to Saudi Arabia, you should be familiar with Sharia law and Islamic culture in general. For a long time, Saudi Arabia has utilized a strict interpretation of their religion. In fact, it forms the basis for their legal system. Still, the situation is not so severe anymore and the country is practicing a more moderate application of the laws, both in the professional and personal spheres.
Secondly, how much does it cost to live in Saudi Arabia?
The next question an expat could be asking about Saudi Arabia is whether the cost of living is too high. According to recent research, some cities in Saudi Arabia are among the world’s most expensive cities for expats. For example, Riyadh is getting more expensive in recent years. The major cost for expats consists of rent, which can cost you up to a third of your monthly salary. So, when moving to Saudi Arabia, try to find a position that offers benefits such as accommodation or transportation allowance.
Next on the list of questions about expat life in Saudi Arabia is: What are the job opportunities for expats in Saudi Arabia?
Before discussing the job opportunities, you should know you will need a work visa to work in Saudi Arabia. It takes about two months to secure the visa, so you should start the process on time. Also, expats are not allowed to receive a pension from this country. This is why employers usually give gratuities at the end of the contract.
The fourth question about expat life is about finding a place to live in Saudi Arabia
Working abroad, you may have some questions about expat life in Saudi Arabia regarding the living arrangements. As we have said, rent tends to be high here. That is why some people choose to share accommodations while working here. On the other hand, you may want to make Saudi Arabia your permanent home. If this is so, you may be glad to know that now foreigners can purchase property here. So, before hiring relocation services Saudi Arabia has to offer, decide on where you want to live.
Another question about expat life in Saudi Arabia is: What are the main cities here?
In Saudi Arabia, there are three main cities for expats. If you have a question about the best city to move to as an expat, you can choose from Jeddah, Riyadh, and Dammam. Jeddah is the largest cargo port, so it is a great choice if you work in the transport or commerce industry. If you choose to move here, you can choose from one of the many packaging companies in Jeddah to help you with the move. Furthermore, you may want to choose the capital Riyadh as it has a vast expat community and plenty of job opportunities. Or, you can opt for Dammam, the heart of Saudi Arabia’s economy.
The sixth question: What is society like in Saudi Arabia?
As we have said, Saudi Arabia’s society is heavily influenced by religion. This means that women’s rights are different here compared to the rest of the world. Still, things are improving for women and they have gained some new freedoms in recent years.
Question seven about expat life: What is the food like here?
Recently, food is getting better in Saudi Arabia as well. If you were worried about living as an expat in Saudi Arabia, you will not have to worry about the quality of food. You can expect reasonable prices, but there are also luxury restaurants you could want to visit.
You might also be wondering about the rights and freedoms here
Even though Saudi Arabia is not famous for its free press or liberal women’s rights, the situation is slightly improving over the past few years. In the last three years, women have seen more freedoms, such as the right to work and travel without the consent of a male guardian.
So, what is the worst thing about working in Saudi Arabia?
The strict laws and conservative culture may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Many people find it hard to adjust to such a lifestyle as there are many regulations and public decency laws to adhere to.
And, what is the best thing about working in Saudi Arabia?
On the other hand, the social environment of Saudi Arabia could be perfect for Muslim expats. Also, families enjoy raising their children here since it is quite safe. The Magic Kingdom is at quite an interesting crossroads right now, and you could be helping reshape it for the future.
As we have seen, the expat life can be both challenging and rewarding. From Sharia law to great job opportunities, Saudi Arabia can be both constricting and amazing. Hopefully, we have answered some of your more important questions about expat life in Saudi Arabia.