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Hi, would really appreciate some input from Saudi residents- my husband is being chased for a job in Saudi, and they are offering increasingly silly money. I grew up in Doha/ Abu Dhabi and RAK so I am very open to being an expat- but I have always said 'anywhere but Saudi'. DH has a good job at the moment but one where he has to commute home to us probably 2 weeks in 4, there is a possibility he could take a sabatical. He is keen, he wants to set us up financially, he sees it as a short term thing which would have long term effects on how comfortable we are, paying off lots of the morgage etc.
I still feel very reluctant at heart. I dont want to live somewhere I cant drive or work, I dont want to have to explain to my girls, why I cant drive or work. I dont want my entire existance to be the compound. When we lived in the Gulf as a child through to my early 20s we always had a boat to get out of town, we camped in the desert, I did various small jobs where I met a wider range of the expat community. I always imagined if we went back there I would be aiming for the same sort of experience. I am wondering if my ideas on Saudi, based on conversations from 15 years ago, are out of date, or is it pretty much still you are there for the money and you put up with it?
I currently teach 3 days a week and enjoy the job and the part-time-ness of it, which is not always easy to find, so that is another consideration. DH suggested I look for work in Bahrain as he would be based the other end of the causeway, but not sure how realistic that is.
Our options are- we all go and I shut up and we take the money/ he goes and we go out every holiday to visit/ I dig my heels in and we go nowhere.
Hi, I lived in Saudi for 5 1/2 yeas due to DH's job. A lot will depend where you are, ie what region and which compound. I lived on 2 different compounds in Riyadh. The first was very small and cliquey but the second one was massive with lots of families and a wide range of activities.
Quite a few residents did go off compound at weekend out into the desert but of course you need to be careful where you go.
I'm guessing that your DH might be thinking of Dhahran as you refer to the causeway. You need to allow up to an hour to get across to Bahrain, sometimes longer during busy periods.
As a qualified teacher you would probably easily find a job in KSA at one of the British or International schools there.
How old are your children? My eldest daughter was there from aged 9 to 12 and my youngest two were both born there and lived there until they were 4 and 2.
If you have any specific questions, please feel free to PM me.
Hi, thanks for the reply, sorry don't know how to pm people- and too knackered to work it out just now! . My girls are 5 and nearly 8 and I can see that they would be fine, access to a swimming pool and all is well with them. I hadn't considered being able to work, that would make a difference. We have friends in the UAE so we could get out for r and r. I think my gut feeling is I don't want to do it, but I have been waiting for dh to be in a position to leave uk for the last ten years really and now he is saying - look we can go abroad and it's me saying no. They are going to give him some sort of presentation and then there is the question of whether it is actually possible to negotiate a sabbatical- people at his present company seem to think its been done but its all a bit vague. I may be dithering over nothing in the end. Maybe if he gets further down the line and I work out the pm thing- I will get in touch?!
PM by using the message poster bit at the top right hand of their name. One thing I've thought of, will you be able to get entry visas if you want visitors. Friends of ours went to Riyyadh and we couldn't get to see them.
ripishere is right, it is VERY difficult to get visas for visitors. It really depends on the company that employers the DH and whether they are particularly helpful. As a general rule, you could get out parents and adult children and sometimes siblings but that is it, you won't get visit visas for friends.
Cathpot if there is already a specific company/compound being considered, PM me (when you work it out) and I'll see if I can give you any personal knowledge on them.
Why are you seeing this as the only opportunity to leave the uk? Did your DH actively seek out this position, or as you say they are chasing him, was he approached out of the blue? Perhaps you should be proactively looking for work somewhere you feel happier about. It doesn't have to be Saudi or nothing! I live in Doha and the rate at which the companies here are now bringing in expat expertise is mind blowing. There will be loads of work here in the run up to 2022.