Saudia Arabia

(13 Posts)
namechangeforprivacy77 Fri 01-Dec-17 13:38:09

DH is currently in discussions about a role in Saudi, in Riyadh. We have 3 children and I have a full-time career of my own. I don’t really know what we will do if he’s offered the job - is KSA as bad as it sounds for women?

OP’s posts: |
BeetrootTart Fri 01-Dec-17 13:40:37

It's not as disastrous as you imagine but it will most likely be a disaster for your career...

I live and work in Saudi (not Riyadh). I wouldn't contemplate being a trailing spouse but many do.

namechangeforprivacy77 Fri 01-Dec-17 13:45:35

Thanks for the reply. Giving up my career and my independence is a terrifying thought. I actually don’t know if I can do this. It’s terrible but I’m secretly hoping he doesn’t get the job!

OP’s posts: |
namechangeforprivacy77 Fri 01-Dec-17 13:46:19

What sort of work do you do beetroot? I currently work in Tax - not much demand for that in KSA, I’d imagine...

OP’s posts: |
SandLand Fri 01-Dec-17 13:53:10

Also in KSA.
Actually, you might be surprised about the tax - lots of questions about returning to UK, and tax implications, TOR forms (VAT, I think) and people having self assessment forms for the first time in their life. If you have knowledge of personal tax, you may be ok as a freelance adviser.
You might also get snapped up by a finance department of a school, as a partially qualified person for that.

I've waved bye to my career (which was frankly about to go down the drain anyway), but everything else is fine.
Yes, there is no booze, no pork, and you need an abaya to go out, but actually, it feels safer in some respects than in the UK. The driving is frankly terrifying - im hoping that will calm down when women get their licences in June.
Happy to answer other questions , either here or on PM.

DamsonGin Fri 01-Dec-17 14:01:55

I have a (male) friend out there and he said its still strict but there are noises about things changing and getting more relaxed. They're was an interesting bit on radio 4 about it yesterday, will see if I can find the link.

BeetrootTart Fri 01-Dec-17 14:04:14

I work in Admin for the national oil company. Its not impossible for you to find work but it would depend on your visa. As you'd be under your husband's iqama I'm not sure what the rules or procedures are.

What sort of package are they offering?

Do bear in mind that life is getting more expensive here. VAT and income tax are on the horizon - not at UK levels, but it is becoming less financially appealing to expats as the country moves towards its 2020 and 2030 initiatives (away from oil and reduced foreign employment).

Women will be able to drive from summer 2018 which will be interesting. Driving standards here are truly atrocious. Very dangerous.

I agree that I feel safer here from a petty crime perspective. I do get sick of being gawped at though... Far too much shameless staring.

If you are motivated purely by finances however, I've never had so much spare cash in my life. I earn more than twice than I did in the UK and my monthly bills are less than £100...


DamsonGin Fri 01-Dec-17 14:04:23

BeetrootTart Fri 01-Dec-17 14:35:16

Thanks for sharing that DamsonGin. A good summary even for someone who does live here.

SandLand Fri 01-Dec-17 14:55:56

I assume I live very close to Beetroot given who she works for.
I think Riyiadh is a tougher location than the East, and probably tougher than Jeddah too.
Check into school provision. Decent schooling in lower Primary is incredibly difficult to come by where we are. The older the kids, the easier it becomes - and I imagine you would benefit from sibling priority from the oldest too. In fact, I'd be tempted to say school admissions is one of the toughest bits we've experienced being here.

Even if DH gets the job, he may not secure a visa. Being offered a job is not a guarantee of getting over here.

"Letter of consent" for spouse to work, but remain under husbands iqama is possible with the right employer.

Will listen to the podcast once kids are in bed, and I'm not subjected to DanTDM and avenger simultaneously!!!

BeetrootTart Fri 01-Dec-17 15:00:55

Waves to Sand

Whyamistillawake Fri 01-Dec-17 15:30:10

Saudi (and the UAE) introduce VAT on 1 January. Massive demand for tax professionals at the moment. However, I don't know how that works with being a woman in Saudi. Maybe look for companies that might recruit in your field and send some speculative emails?

Orangebird69 Fri 08-Dec-17 01:01:13

I've found Riyadh a bit easier then Jeddah... jeddah was nice because of the coast location but simply getting about on the humidity and the non existent cooler months was horrid. The traffic was far worse there than in Riyadh - I'm quite looking forward to be able to drive next year. Not sure if I'd have contemplated it in Jeddah.

If you want any info on schools OP, give me a shout. I know people who work and and children at the Multi national, British and American schools in Riyadh. Can also advise on decent compounds and prices. Good luck whatever happens!

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