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Saudi Arabia - or other ME countries

(5 Posts)
lalasmum11 Tue 16-Aug-11 09:08:53

Hubbie is looking for a job at present , and ME seems to be one of the few options he has. The jobs are offering full family packages - need to get into the nitty gritty of that of course.

I have a very good job here in Dublin, but it is a job I could move around the world with - though from what I am reading, Saudi would not be a possibility to work in.

If I decided maybe to take a few years out, spend some time with the kids ( 4 and 18 months), maybe have my third - what is life like there?

Is it very oppresive?

laptopwieldingharpy Tue 16-Aug-11 09:22:08

You need to talk to mumoverseas or rather "muminsurrey" if am not mistaken as she has just returned to the UK from the KSA

kittensliveupstairs Tue 16-Aug-11 11:07:12

Not somewhere I would be keen to move to, but horses for courses.
We lived in Oman for three years. That's like ME lite. Lovely country, lovely people (if you can ignore the injustice to workers from the Indian sub continent), cracking weather and DD was born there.

JaneBennet Thu 18-Aug-11 07:50:13

We know people who live in Saudi. Some who were posted there from Dubai and some who moved straight from Europe/US. It seems that it's a better family posting than for a single person. If you live on one of the better compounds, life can be quite good.

A friend that moved from Dubai a few years ago is really enjoying herself and has made far more proper friends than she did in Dubai. More people popping in and out during the day etc. The international schools are on par with the rest of the ME.

Obviously, there are quite a few major constrictions. Women can't drive so they need to wait for hubbie or a driver to take them anywhere. There are a limited number of places to go. You must cover up when out and about.

I'd go for a limited period just for the experience i.e. 2 years, myself. We've lived in the UAE and Oman, which really are very different to Saudi Arabia.

mumofsoontobelawstudent Fri 19-Aug-11 19:53:45

hello, ears were burning then! MOS here (sorry for any confusion on name, thought ought to change from mumoverseas when I moved back from KSA and am trying out new names for size!)

lalasmum think very carefully before going to Saudi. I had a very good career before I moved out there 5 1/2 years ago and found it very hard being a 'mere' woman in a mans world. As someone else has said, women can't drive so you have to rely on your husband or a driver. Wouldn't recomend taxis out there. The compound I lived on was about 45 mins from the town centre and although there was a shopping bus the times were very restrictive.

You will have to cover up in public (as soon as you leave the compound) long black abaya and headscarf. Obviously no alcohol and pork either although the homebrew isn't too bad if watered down with 7up!

Also, beware of the 'package' your DH's company would offer. Over recent years I have known many families who have been very upset when they have arrived and found the package is not quite as promised. The main issue was accommodation. Often promised a 3 bed villa many families ended up in apartments and were on waiting lists of up to 4 years for a villa. Very hard when you have young kids and are in an upstairs apartment.

People either settle really well or not at all, there never seems to be anything in between. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the first few years there but found it very hard losing all my independance. Of course the money is good but losing your independance and freedom is a high price to pay. I've been back now for 6 weeks and am loving getting in my car and going where I want when I want, sitting where I want in Starbucks (segregated in Saudi) and of course the odd glass of wine

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