Living in Riyadh as an expat

Moving to another country is an experience of a lifetime. There is no better way to get to know other cultures, but yourself as well than by relocating across the seas. You may decide to move to Europe, China, or Afrika, but the outcome is going to be the same. You are going to learn so much just but being elsewhere. Still, given the fact that you would be living in such a place will put you in touch with the cultures that you never knew existed. Living in Riyadh as an expat is one of the experiences that will probably have a formative influence on you. Regardless of when you decide to move there, living in Riyadh as an expat will change you as a person. Still, before you move to such a different place, you should make sure to find out as much about the country as possible.

a square in Riyadh
Prepare for astonishment in Riyadh

Living in Riyadh as an expat – what should you have in mind?

Riyadh is a city that is far different from what we have had an opportunity to experience here in the United States of America. Still, it is the cultural diversity that attracts you to relocate to this wonderful place, right? Obviously, there is probably going to be a job offer that you could not have refused. Nevertheless, you should not be enthusiastic about living in Riyadh as an expat solely because of job opportunities. There is much more to the region that profit.

Living in Riyadh as an expat – Riyadh will surprise you

However, we have already said that Riyadh is far different from any place in the USA. The customs, the laws, the climate, and nature. All of those can represent a shock for those who go to live in Riyadh without having prepared for it previously. This should not be you. You should make sure to get ready for the change starting from knowing all about Riyadh customs clearance all the way to bargaining on the market. While it may sound complicated, it is really not. All that you should do is to prepare for living in Riyadh as an expat. We’ve got you covered.

Therefore, once you decide to move to Riyadh, make sure to bear in mind the following:

  • Saudi Arabia is different from other countries that you might have visited in the region
  • Saudi people will prove far friendlier than what you might have expected
  • There are specific times when a boy may enter a mall
  • The laws are very strictly enforced

Sound interesting? Let’s take a more in-depth look at all of the above-mentioned (mis)conceptions about living in Riyadh as an expat.

Saudi Arabia is different from other Arab countries that you might have visited so far – living in Riyadh as an expat

The first thing that we need to point out before we go any further is the fact that Saudi Arabia is probably going to be far different from what you might have experienced elsewhere.

Living in Riyadh as an expat is going to put you in touch with many different situations
Saudi Arabia is far different from any country that you might have visited before

The reason behind this is the fact that it is such a vast country. Given its size, it is impossible to have a unique experience throughout the country. Therefore, you should make sure to be as open-minded as possible. For example, the experience with logistics companies in Dammam will probably going to be different from dealing with the same company in Sakaka. Therefore, try to expect cultural differences. Prepare to be shocked, but work on expecting the things that might come next. Ultimately, enjoy your stay.

Saudi people will prove to far friendlier than what you might have expected

Next, it is the people themselves that we need to talk about.

There is a myth about the Saudi people that is simply not true. Given their customs and the clothes that they wear, the western people may have prejudices about the people in Saudi Arabia. You should not.

Once you have completed your relocation to Saudi Arabia, you will be in touch with the local people on a daily basis. Going grocery shopping, walking down the street or at work… You will have an opportunity to get to know the local mentality. Make sure you do that. Once you do, you will realize how friendly and welcoming they are. It will help you in business, but, more importantly, it will ensure that you make the most of your stay. Therefore, make sure to get to know real Saudi Arabia. The only way to do this is by being in touch with the local population.

There are specific times when boys can enter the mall by themselves

As you may already know, Saudi Arabia is very proud of its tradition. This is a dominant male society where mingling between sexes is frowned upon. This is very important to understand before moving to Jubail. Therefore, you should not be surprised to learn that there are specific times when boys are allowed in malls by themselves. This way, making sure that they behave is much easier.

image of an elderly man
People in Riyadh are far friendlier than what people in the west think

Laws are very strictly enforced

Saudi Arabia is a country that is very serious about its laws. Therefore, they make sure that the laws are very strictly enforced. So, you should make sure not to commit what in the USA would be a minor felony such as jay-walking or running the red light. Indeed, you should make sure to follow every single letter of the law. If you do not, the authorities will. And then, it will already be too late.

Conclusion

Living in Riyadh as an expat is an amazing experience. However, it is an experience that you have to be prepared for. Our guide has shed some light on the most interesting facts about living in Riyadh as an expat. Still, you should not stop researching now. Make sure to find out as much as you can about moving to Saudi Arabia. Only then will you be ready to live a relaxed life there.

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