Expat guide for living and working in Saudi Arabia

Living and working in Saudi Arabia could be very hard for expats. Not only that you are moving to a new country, but you are also moving to the Middle East. It presumes changes in behavior and outlook on life. You should go there respecting their religion and have some understanding of their lives. Only open-minded persons should go to live there. Thankfully, they have wide expat community, so you can find advice and help there. There are a few things that you need to pay attention to.

  • Firstly, they are a deeply religious nation, so living and working in Saudi Arabia must include your understanding and knowledge about Islam;
  • You will need a visa for Saudi Arabia, but it is not easy to get;
  • Living in Saudi Arabia includes unusual and very strict prohibitions;
  • It is vital to know your health before moving to Saudi Arabia since they have specially defined health insurance;
  • Do not forget that Saudi Arabia has a specific climate that is not easy for foreigners to stand.

According to official information, even 33% of people that currently live in Saudi Arabia are foreign. These numbers could courage you for international moving. However, do not be fooled by these numbers. They could be very unpleasant toward strangers. You should prepare yourself for living and working in Saudi Arabia seriously.

Praying in Mecca - you should prepare for it when living and working in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is a very religious country


We know that Saudi Arabia is a religiously oriented country. It means that living and working in Saudi Arabia presumes getting informed about Islam and prohibitions that they defined. Some of them are not that strict, like behaving on the street. However, there are very serious interdictions that can put you in prison if you violate them.

Praying is specific in Saudi Arabia

Their priest calls for the prayer five times per day. At that moment they literally leave everything they do and pray. It could happen at the street, or in store. The best to do at that moment is to be patient and quiet.

Religion determines working days and hours

People in Saudi Arabia do not work on Friday. It is their holy day, so they spend it at home, praying. During Ramadan, they work only six hours during a day. On that time they do not consume food or drink.

There are no other opinions than religious

Since they have a king, who is also a prime minister, they do not have parliament or other ministers. It also means that they do not have politic or democracy as we have in the modern world. Foreign should be particularly careful. They have special police who control and monitor the behavior of non-Muslims.

Some areas are a bit more liberal

Although every part of Saudi Arabia has the same understanding of the Qur’an, there are differences in legislation over the country. You should consider using Jeddah movers for your moving to Saudi Arabia. It is known that Jeddah is a bit more liberal than Riyadh.

Alcohol is strictly banned from Saudi Arabia

It means that even possession of alcohol is forbidden. You may end in prison if you have alcohol with you. There are no clubs or restaurants where you can drink alcohol. Most of the people go to Bahrain to drink since it is a very close country to Saudi Arabia.

Women have special prohibitions

You surely know that women are invisible in Saudi Arabia. They must wear an abaya, a cloth that covers their body and face. Women cannot be alone on the street or with another man than their husband or family. There are few changes in past years, but not too much for women rights. If you are a woman and go for living and working in Saudi Arabia, you should check their legislation.

Woman in abaya
Women should prepare themselves for living in Saudi Arabia

Living and working in Saudi Arabia

After you learn all prohibitions and bans, you can freely come to live in Saudi Arabia. Although the Kingdom exists from 1932. The modern era starts in the last decade. They have changed their rules a lot in the past five years. Most of them apply to women and their cloth and behavior. Foreign in Saudi Arabia are surely confused for the first time, but luckily, they can adopt bans and rules very quickly.

They have a meager cost of living

That could be an excellent reason for living and working in Saudi Arabia. They have the lowest cost of living in the Middle East. We are sure that logistic services in Saudi Arabia will show places for living that fulfill your expectations.

You must have a visa for Saudi Arabia

It is very important to know that you cannot visit Saudi Arabia as a tourist. The only way to go there is to live and work literally. Your employer must send you an invitation letter or be your sponsor. Customs clearance in Saudi Arabia will be very strict about medicine or alcohol, too.

How to protect health in Saudi Arabia

Living and working in Saudi Arabia is not that simple mostly because of climate there. With the temperature of nearly 50C when summer and dry air, it is tough to spend a day there. On the other hand, do not forget that you cannot just go to the swimming pool and cool down. It is also important to visit your doctor before moving to Saudi Arabia.

You should be prepared for a desert-like climate in Saudi Arabia

You should visit a doctor before moving to Saudi Arabia

It should be your obligation to visit a doctor before moving to live and working in Saudi Arabia. The reason is to check your health and if your body can keep holding on climate in Saudi Arabia. You should also take all the vaccines.

They have a great health protection system

Luckily, they have a lot of foreigners that work in their hospitals, bringing modern world medical care to Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, it is costly for medical care. You should have expensive health insurance if you come to a living and working in Saudi Arabia. Also, they do not have proper emergency care. Most of the time you will need to go by taxi to the hospital.

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