So you are moving to Saudi Arabia

Well, before you start here are our 10 top pieces of information for expats:

  1. There are about 9 million legal migrants living in Saudi Arabia with western specialists making up the majority of the more skilled among them.
  2. Saudi Arabia has a desert climate and is extremely hot and there is very little rainfall throughout the year.
  3. All visitors to Saudi Arabia must have a visa. In order to obtain a visa, you must have a sponsor in the country.
  4. Saudi Arabia, located on the Arabian Peninsula, has a population of approximately 26.5 million people, 20 percent of whom are non-nationals. The country remains sparsely populated. Up until the 1960s, the indigenous population was largely nomadic or semi-nomadic, descending from a number of tribes.
  5. Arabic is the official language of Saudi Arabia. English is widely spoken in the government and in the business community.
  6. There has been a strong property market in Saudi Arabia in recent years. However the lack of affordable housing is becoming an increasing issue, especially among locals, and might cause steep price rises in the near future.
  7. Saudi Arabia has grown from a desert country of limited development to the largest exporter of petroleum and the country with the most oil reserves in the world - about 25 percent.
  8. The riyal, abbreviated SR for Saudi Riyals, has a fixed rate of exchange with the U.S. dollar of SR3.75 to $1.00 and is readily convertible.
  9. Until your business is complete, do not attempt to bring a gift. It may be misconstrued as a bribe, which is considered offensive, as well as illegal in Saudi Arabia.
  10. Saudi Arabia is subject to the same general terrorist threat that exists around the world. However the Saudi authorities continue to take successful action against terrorist groups. When outside the compound westerners are reminded to be sensitive towards Saudi rules and traditions, disrespect, whether intentional or not, can cause unwanted confrontation.


Once you are settled, explore the wonders of Saudi Arabia as it is a truly beautiful country and a great place for friends and family to visit! 

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Moving to Saudi Arabia: Passports and Visa's

Those who wish to invite members of their family to visit or reside there must submit a request through their sponsor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia…

Moving to Saudi Arabia: Finding a property

Expatriates living in Saudi Arabia generally reside in compounds that have been arranged by their company or sponsor prior to their arrival. It is difficult for an expatriate to find housing on their own, but there are individual villa-type houses with walled-in perimeters…

An alternative option is using serviced apartments. This gives you the flexibility to move out immediatley when you finish your assignment or find longer term Accommodation. 

Moving to Saudi Arabia: Taking household goods

To import personal and household goods, most firms advise having a household inventory typed in English and double spaced, showing the contents of all cartons and containers with an indication of which items are new or used…

Moving to Saudi Arabia: Choosing a school

American, British, and other national schools are available to the international community in the expatriate centers of Saudi Arabia…

Moving to Saudi Arabia: National healthcare

Major companies that employ foreign nationals in Saudi Arabia must legally provide comprehensive healthcare…

Moving to Saudi Arabia: Everyday Living

Modern shopping centres in both Riyadh and Jeddah incorporate international shops with brand name and designer clothing and imported household goods, toys, furniture, and appliances as well as those offering local products…

Moving to Saudi Arabia: Social environment

Expatriates in Saudi Arabia generally live in established compounds, which are designed to accommodate Western-style living. Within these compounds, expatriate women can function and dress much as they would at home…

Moving to Saudi Arabia: Social customs

Pointing or beckoning can be considered offensive. When seated, make sure that the sole of your shoe is not facing another person, as this indicates disrespect…


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