Welcome to Expat Briefing

Welcome to Expat Briefing

They enforce their rules to the letter, and the punishments are severe. Punishments for foreigners may be even more severe than for locals; most Saudis in the kingdom would just get their wrists slapped. You also have to remember that your employment is linked to your behavior. If you were arrested for drinking or womanizing for instance, you would not only find yourself jailed and deported you would also lose your job and any accrued benefits you may have earned. So that one drink could cost you a huge amount of money if you were expecting a few months’ tax-free bonus at the end of a couple of years’ hard work there in Saudi. Saudi Arabia is also one of the most hypocritical societies that I have ever encountered. In a society that constantly preaches about not using alcohol and the sanctity of their women’s virtue, the queue to leave the country at the end of the working week over the bridge between Khobar and Bahrain is at least 4 to 5 hours long. The queue is made up mainly of Saudis, and I don’t think they are all going to Bahrain to visit the mosques. The fact that Bahrain has many bars and nightclubs where people can drink and chase women and not the sort of women you can take home to Mother, I hasten to add may have more to do with the length of those queues. But maybe I am wrong; perhaps if you visit the bars in Bahrain you can let me know.


Saudi Arabia is the “only modern Muslim state to have been created by jihad , the only one to claim the Quran as its constitution”, and the only Arab-Muslim country “to have escaped European imperialism. Wahhabism arose in the central region of Najd , the eighteenth century. Proponents call the movement ” Salafism “, [8] and believe that its teachings purify the practice of Islam of innovations or practices that deviate from the seventh-century teachings of Muhammad and his companions.

Saudi is one of the few countries that have ” religious police ” also known as Haia or Mutaween , who patrol the streets ” enjoining good and forbidding wrong ” by enforcing dress codes , strict separation of men and women , attendance at prayer salat five times each day, the ban on alcohol, and other aspects of Sharia Islamic law or behavior it believes to be commanded by Islam. Cinema theatres were shut down in , for example.

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Other As an international school teacher in Saudi Arabia, I want to bust a myth: Saudi Arabia, in my opinion, is not a hardship posting. Particularly, it is often portrayed as being extremely challenging for women, but some of the scare stories are inaccurate. For example, women can ride around in a taxi without a chaperone, and there are increasing numbers of women working in Saudi now.

Indeed there are huge numbers of well-educated Saudi women completing university. The country is undoubtedly changing.

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This is aimed at helping them to find a woman here in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia KSA and contains lots of advice and stories given to me by others here in the kingdom — not my own experiences I promise my wife would kill me. Therefore the stories may be exaggerated or complete fiction — or maybe they are totally true, I will let you be the judge! If you are female and wish to date a man then I am sure the advice here could be applied equally as well, but please be aware that where some men may just be slapped on the wrist if found doing something they should not; it is likely that your punishment would be severe.

You could easily find yourself in prison locked up for deportation with lashes to endure every Friday for your sentence.

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They are gated communities, often located outside of metropolitan Riyadh. Therefore the strict dress codes and rules concerning gender segregation do not apply. However, as mentioned above, they can get sort of claustrophobic after a while. Moreover, compound villas are particularly expensive — they can easily cost SR 50, about 13, USD per month. Since rent may have to be paid up to one year in advance, this will tear a big hole into your budget and may require a small loan.

No matter where you decide to live, keep the following things in mind: Make sure that you get an English rental agreement or an official translation from the Arabic before you sign anything. Check if your new place already has utility connections for water and electricity. Gas is only bought in bottles.

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Located along ancient trade routes in the Western Province of Saudi Arabia, Jeddah is ideally located on the Red Sea making it the Kingdom’s principal seaport with a rich history of trade and commerce, and the original gateway to the holy cities of Makkah and Madina. The history of Jeddah dates back to about 2, years ago when it was a tiny fishing village inhabited by the Quada’a tribe. The village was situated so strategically that it soon became a center of commerce facilitating trade between the Mediterranean and the Eastern countries.

It is also said to be one of the most ancient cities in Arabia dating back to Adam and Eve. In fact, one popular pronunciation of the city’s name is “Jadda” meaning grandmother referring to the mother of mankind, Eve. Tradition recounts that Eve came to live in Jeddah after her expulsion from Paradise and is buried there.

Laura has learned about a different way of life since moving from South Africa to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia more than two years ago. She gives us a glimpse into aspects of her life as well as those of the locals, such as the limitations on rights that people in other countries take for granted, the cost of living, and how being open-minded can help one adjust to the local culture.

October Family Life Family is considered an extremely important foundation to society in Saudi Arabia. A typical family unit consists of grandparents, parents, children and siblings. This has begun to change in recent years, with many women choosing to have their own careers. For cultural reasons, men and women normally have separate living areas.

Therefore, when invited to a local family home, you may not see the women at all during the visit. If you are new to Saudi Arabia, you may find the way of life differs from that of your home country. For example, in Saudi Arabia, men have the right to have up to four wives, although this is not common practice any more.

A female cannot hug or kiss any man apart from her husband and her sons. A man should not shake hands, or even talk to a Saudi Arabian woman in public. Saudi Arabian nationals are required to follow a strict dress code, and while expatriates may have some leeway, this does not include public areas. It is recommended that you should try to obey all the laws in Saudi Arabia as you may unintentionally commit an offence, resulting in unexpected punishment and even prosecution.

Unlike other Middle Eastern countries where people are becoming more tolerant to expats’ cultural differences, Saudi Arabia is famous for its strict rules.

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Many expats are moving to Saudi Arabia for jobs. Only Muslims are allowed in the city, with millions arriving for the annual Hajj pilgrimage. It is absolutely massive; you need only look at photos to understand. Although Mecca is quite conservative, its people are very kind Note: The city contains al-Masjid an-Nabawi “the Prophet’s Mosque” , which is the burial place of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and is the second-holiest city in Islam after Mecca.

Medina was Prophet Muhammad’s destination after his Hijrah from Mecca, and became the capital of a rapidly increasing Muslim Empire, first under Muhammad’s leadership, and then under the first three Rashidun caliphs Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman. It served as the power base of Islam in its first century where the early Muslim community developed. Medina is home to the three oldest mosques, namely the Quba Mosque, al-Masjid an-Nabawi,[2] and Masjid al-Qiblatayn “the mosque of the two qiblas”. Muslims believe that the chronologically final surahs of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet in Medina, and are called Medinan surahs in contrast to the earlier Meccan surahs.

Living in one of the two holy cities of Islam is an experience to behold.

Living Within the Walls of a Saudi Arabian Compound

Jeddah, mid s Jeddah in Some archaeologists’ studies suggest the existence of inhabitants in the region now known as Jeddah since the Stone Age seeing as they found some artifacts and ‘Thamoudian’ writings in Wadi valley Breiman east of Jeddah and Wadi Boib northeast of Jeddah. Some historians trace its founding to the tribe of Bani Quda’ah, who inhabited it after the collapse of Sad dam Ma’rib in BC.

Some believe that Jeddah had been inhabited before the tribe of Bani Quda’ah by fishermen in the Red Sea, who considered it a center from which they sailed out into the sea as well as a place for relaxation and well-being.

Jeddah is an awesome place for dining out. A lot of new restaurants offering a wide range of cuisine styles are everywhere. Mom was too lazy to cook and that only means one thing we get to dine out.

But not everybody is born with a silver spoon to be able to turn their elaborate travel dreams into a reality. So, what people have started doing, is find jobs in other countries. Working in a foreign country not only allows you to finance your stay in a country but also gives you a peek into how it is like to live in a certain country. You get to experience the real deal — the food, the culture and the people. Earlier, people were interested in working either in the USA or in the UK, but many new countries have been added to the list.

One such addition is Saudi Arabia. Today, many people are relocating to Saudi Arabia not just for discovering the beauty of the place but also for the intercultural experience it has to offer. Besides the new cultural experience and beautiful locations, the country offers great employment opportunities as well. Many people move to Saudi Arabia solely for this reason too.

Whatever may be the reason, the country is an experience in itself and if you are planning to relocate to Saudi Arabia, then I have compiled together all the information you need to know about the country before making the move. Image Source — pixabay. The country is proud to be the birth place of Islam and the religion is followed strictly by its people.

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