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Guide To Life in Saudi Arabia

Guide To Life in Saudi Arabia

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Guide To Life in Saudi Arabia

Guide to Life

In this section we take a look at everything that you need to know about living in Saudi Arabia. We have all the information that you need to make your life in Saudi as easy as possible, with everything from advice about the strict dress code to paying your utility bills and everything in between.

  • 5 Realities of Growing Up in a Saudi Compound

    As a child growing up inside an expat compound, your experience is different from anyone else’s, even the adults living there. Here are five things you'll likely relate to if you grew up in a Saudi compound

  • Life as a Third Culture Kid in Saudi Arabia

    Watch this video of a firsthand account about life in KSA and how the experience is different for a child versus an adult.

  • Expats Now Limited to Two SIM Cards in Saudi Arabia

    In an effort to curb terrorism, Saudi authorities have set a maximum for SIM cards you can get. Find out more details here.

  • Saudi Women Could Soon Get Their Own Passports

    The Saudi Shura Council has approved a proposal to allow Saudi women to obtain their own passports without their guardian's permission.

  • 8 Things You Won’t Find in Saudi Arabia

    As expats, it’s important to respect and accept the religious and cultural norms of the country you chose to live in. Saudi Arabia is known to be one of the most conservative countries in the world and they do have stricter laws in comparison with their Gulf neighbours. We’ve put together a list of everyday things you might be used to having or seeing but will have to do without in KSA.

  • 8 Things You Experience After Leaving Saudi Arabia

    Moving to Saudi Arabia is an adjustment for most expats. However, after staying there for a while, you probably got used to how things are. Once it's time to go back home, you'll be surprised there is also a lot to readjust to.

  • Facts About Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia holds a number of unique and fascinating facts. Some facts are widely known across the globe, while others are a hidden treasure for you to discover...

  • All About Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia is full of fun and exciting facts, that you probably had no idea about! Just like any other country in the world, Saudi Arabia has its quirks and a number of amusing facts that you never knew about...

  • Myths versus Reality of Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia is a country full or heritage and culture, and everyone is well aware of that. However, with every country comes a list of misconceptions and myths that speak far from reality.

  • What I Miss About Saudi Arabia

    If you've ever lived in Saudi Arabia, you will probably realize that there is a lot that you will miss when you leave this beautiful country...

  • Activities for Teens in Saudi Arabia

    Every expat kid who grew up in Saudi Arabia developed an uncanny ability to turn anything into entertainment – from mere necessity. Here are six things expat kids do in Saudi Arabia – from every generation.

  • Growing up in Saudi Arabia

    Whether its long walks at night, indulging in delicious shawermas all summer long or simply getting hooked on the Arabic lingo, it's safe to say that Saudi Arabia offers a certain culture unlike any other.

  • Why Saudi Arabia is Great for Expats

    Saudi Arabia is full of benefits that most people aren't aware of. That's why its the perfect place for expats who are looking to relocate to a new home.

  • Saudi Arabia to Start Imposing Taxes on Harmful Products

    Taxes will be implemented on soft drinks, tobacco and energy drinks as well as other general taxes being added. Here is all the information you should know.

  • Residence Visa Requirements - Saudi Arabia

    In order to get a residence visa in Saudi Arabia you must have a sponsor. In the case of working and non working expats the sponsor is usually the employer or the spouse respectively. Having a residence visa does not automatically grant the resident permission to work. If you are sponsored by your husband you must have a work permit before you can be gainfully employed.

  • Visa Medical

    You will need to set up an appointment with your doctor to complete the medical examination including the required lab tests and medical forms. You should do this is soon as you get the paperwork for the visa as medical tests can take time and this will prolong the visa process. The medical lab tests and medical reports must be completed within three months of the date your visa is submitted to the embassy.

  • Iqama Medical

    The Iqama is the Saudi name for an ID card. All expatriates are required to apply for an Iqama once they have their residence visa and have settled into life in the Kingdom. You will have to go to a clinic in Saudi with an array of documents listed herein and they will perform the necessary medical tests, but fear not - the process is quick, easy and relatively painless.

  • Exit / Re-entry visa

    When you are leaving the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for any purpose including business, leisure or for the purposes of studying abroad you will have to have an exit/re entry visa in order to return to the Kingdom. The visa itself has an expiry date and it cannot be extended by the Saudi embassy, students have a longer visa than other visa holders.

  • Dress Code

    The Dress Code in Saudi Arabia is governed by Sharia law and is quite strict. It is unacceptable for Saudi nationals to disregard the dress code and while expats are given some leeway, especially within their compounds, they are expected to follow the dress code when out in public. The dress code is quite easy to follow, for both men and women especially once you are used to it.

  • Travel Restrictions

    Before travelling into Saudi Arabia familiarise yourself with the items that are prohibited by the Saudi customs officials. Take note of their very strict regulations regarding consumables that are considered haram and their unforgiving policy regarding illegal drugs. If it is not allowed beyond the Saudi border, do not attempt to bring it in, however harmless you may deem the item.

  • Our Favourite Blogs

    While spending a lot of our time online looking up blogs has become almost a second nature to reguler surfers of the World Wide Web. We have travelled from region to region in the Gulf to bring you our favourite blogs. Saudi Arabia has a diverse number of people, many who live there as expats and many who have settled into the life there with a Saudi spouse.

  • Currency

    The Saudi Riyal is the name of the Saudi Arabian currency. It is currently pegged to the US Dollar at a fixed exchange rate meaning that new expats will be able to calculate their salaries accordingly. It is abbreviated as SR (Saudi Riyal) and is subdivided into 100 Halalas. The Saudi Qirsh is 5 Halalas. Once you are used to it, the Riyal is easy to use.

  • Electricity & Water Payments KSA

    (SADAD) was established by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) to be the national Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) service provider for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The core mandate for SADAD is to facilitate and streamline bill payment transactions of end consumers through all channels of the Kingdom’s Banks. SADAD was launched on October 3rd, 2004.

  • Code of Conduct

    Saudi Arabia follows Sharia Law, thus the religion of Islam, as well as the conservative customs of Saudi Arabia shape the dress code and the code of conduct of the land. Religious police, more commonly known as Muttawa (Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice), enforce the Sharia law and are enabled to arrest any man or woman who does not comply with the local customs.

  • Climate

    Saudi Arabia is a true desert region with a climate to match. Most of the Kingdom experiences extreme heat during the day and an abrupt drop in temperatures in the night time. This is because the sand does not retain the daytime heat well due to the fact that it has large porous granules. The desert climate is also characterized by extremely low annual rainfall.

  • Language and Demographics

    Saudi Arabia is a large country. It is best known for its oil reserves and strict Shari law. However there is an array of expatriates from the world over who live and work in Saudi Arabia making it a multi-cultural society. While the official language is Arabic, one can also hear Urdu, Tagalog and English spoke widely throughout the country.

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