Saudi Arabia at a Glance

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.



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