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Possible move to Saudi

(12 Posts)
dizzygirl1 Fri 12-Jan-18 19:39:41

HI DH has the possibility of a job in Saudi. We are 2 adults and 2 DC (11 and 9). All of our expenses are paid for - accommodation, utilities, medical etc. We would only need to pay for food, shopping, luxuries.
Anyone have any actual experience with living in Saudi and have any tips or knowledge for me?

Kathysclown Fri 12-Jan-18 19:46:37

I lived in Bahrain, which is very close to, but very different from, Saudi. From having a lot of friends who have lived in Saudi, your experience will vary depending upon whereabouts you will be living - Riyadh, Damman/Al Khobar, Jeddah, or in a more rural/conservative area.

Make sure that your budget will stretch to good quality accommodation in a Western expat compound, and that you have guaranteed places (and funding) for good schools. Obviously it has been very restrictive for women living in Saudi, but that is changing slowly, with driving to be allowed soon (the traffic chaos, apparently, is horrendous just about everywhere, so I believe, though).

Search for a Fb page called 'susieofarabia blueabaya saudiwoman' - it is moderated by 3 local bloggers, and you will get a good feel for life in Saudi from there.

dizzygirl1 Fri 12-Jan-18 20:05:54

Thank you! Slightly more encouraging than other posts I have seen! We have accommodation included with our package which will be within a Western compound. We would be living in Riyadh. School would also be paid for (just need to apply for the places).

I will have a look for that page thank you!

jellycat1 Wed 17-Jan-18 11:00:02

If you decide to go for Bahrain pm me. We're here and I have lots of friends whose husbands work in Saudi.

SandLand Wed 17-Jan-18 11:09:02

I'm in Saudi, closer to Jelly and Kathy than Riyiadh tho.
What info are you after? Its not for everyone, but if you come with an open mind, it can be a wonderful experience. Yes, it has it's issues, but there is also a side to Saudi that is rarely portrayed in the western media.

LaContessaDiPlump Wed 17-Jan-18 11:13:26

I lived in Saudi until I was 10 (Jeddah); I remember compound life as being rather liberating! Kids get to run around and go places alone within them, which is good. I missed that when we moved to the Emirates and lived in a flat sad

Good luck with it all!

LovetoTeach86 Wed 17-Jan-18 13:53:42

I live in Riyadh. Been here 3 years. I'm here with my husband and son. I enjoy living here. It's difficult and you will go through ups and downs. The important thing is to get on a good compound. If your company doesn't arrange you need to rely on your husband to do this while he is in the country. You won't be able to join him straight away so he can go do the leg work. The ones with plenty Westerners are Kingdom, Al Bustan, Al Hamra, Californa, Arizona and Cordoba. Any of these will do. What school is your children going to? British is on Al Hamra so you might want to stay there but all the compounds run buses to the school as well. It's a quieter life than other places in the Middle East as it is a dry country, not much for you to do outside the compound and women can't drive yet but we enjoy the pace of life and we travel alot so it makes up for it. We do go to plenty parties and socialise but not as much as we would back home. Traffic isn't that bad and it depends when you go out. I work almost full time so I don't get out during the day like I used to but I use the shopping bus the compound runs if I need to go out or a driver. Might not drive in June, depends. Let me know if you have any questions as the info on Saudi online is pretty poor.

Shmithecat Sat 03-Feb-18 21:08:09

I've been in Saudi 5 years. 2 in Jeddah and 3 in Riyadh. Happy to field any questions for you @dizzygirl1

Shmithecat Sat 03-Feb-18 21:09:16

Sorry, that's not quite clear in my post. Am still living in Riyadh now and will be for another couple of years yet.

ksa103 Sun 04-Feb-18 21:40:07

I lived in Riyadh too! Back in the UK now. Fabulous experience.

desertmum Fri 09-Feb-18 20:37:42

I was in Riyadh with teens, it's really not great. I wouldn't do it again and if I could go back and undo it I would. School was awful, a huge amount of bullying, lots of drink and drug problems. Kids coming onto our compound were searched on entry for alcohol and drugs.

It's a bit like marmite, you either love it or hate it. Only benefit is that is easy to travel to Oz, NZ, Asia etc relatively cheaply.

HappyEverIftar Wed 21-Feb-18 15:13:47

I live in Riyadh and have done for a year and don't enjoy it. That said, I don't have children and therefore don't have that automatic group of people to bond with, iyswim. Neither am I of the age that sees groups of women playing bridge or crocheting (nothing wrong with that, just a very obvious division of the two types of groups of ladies on my compound) so don't feel I fit in too much, but I'll get there. The coffee mornings at the compounds are good to meet others, as are the buses to the malls etc. I can see that families love having their kids on the compounds as it's a really safe , fun environment so if you have a good offer, go for it. smile

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