More
Hide
Share

5 Reasons Why Saudi Arabia is Great for Expats

Saudi Arabia is full of benefits to expats and is the perfect place for expats who are looking to relocate to a new home.

5 Reasons 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.

If you don't believe us, see for yourself! We've combined the top 5 reasons why living in Saudi Arabia is so ideal for expats... 


No Tax
Many expats will cite this as one of the main reasons they moved to the country. As of August 2016, there is no “tax payable on salaries for foreign employees” in the country. There is also no sales tax in the country. However, this relished benefit may change in the future.

Recent government and media reports cite that because of forthcoming financial difficulties due to many factors, including the falling price of oil, the Saudi government may start charging sales tax in the next year or so.
 
However, the Minister of Finance Ibrahim al-Assaf announced recently that there are no solidified plans to start charging income tax on expats working in the country. Al-Assaf, and the Saudi government, are no doubt aware that this would perhaps turn some expats (and foreign companies) away from working there in the future.


 
First-Class Schools
As someone who grew up in the international school system in Saudi Arabia, I may be a bit biased to these institutions, but I think many would agree that the international schools located in the country have a proven track record in producing well-rounded, and high-achieving students.

There are many private, international schools children can attend that adhere to the standards set by Western institutions, including the GCSE, PSAT/SAT, and the International Baccalaureate system.

SEE ALSO: 8 fun facts about Saudi Arabia

Tight-Knit Communities
Most expatriates in Saudi Arabia live on “compounds,” or isolated communities provided by companies for their employees. These compounds are typically surrounded by concrete walls and have at least one “security checkpoint” that separates residents from non-residents. Other expatriates live in houses or apartments located outside of compounds, but these also usually sit in a predominantly expatriate location.

Due to the separation of the expat community from Saudi nationals, expats tend to form very tight-knit communities within their compounds. This fosters unique relationships among residents that resemble that of neighborhoods in any other part of the world. Some compounds also organize community events, like softball tournaments or block parties, in order to encourage community cohesiveness. Many residents even plan international trips together! 



Prime Travel Location
Saudi Arabia sits in the heart of the Middle East, making it easy for expats to travel to countries like Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon for a relatively cheap price. Want to take a weekend trip to Jordan? Easy! A direct flight from Riyadh to Amman is usually around $200 to $350, and only takes on average two hours.

SEE ALSO: Crafts and crafters in Saudi Arabia
 
It’s also perfect for traveling to other countries outside of the Middle East, like Singapore, Thailand, China and Australia. Most expatriates take advantage of stopovers while heading home for required vacation time as well. If you’re heading home to the United States for instance, then you have the option to stop in major cities like Paris, London or Brussels.
 
Entitled Vacation Time
If you’re coming from the United States (or Canada) the entitled vacation time for expatriates under Saudi law will be shocking. Under the Saudi Labor Law, all workers (unfortunately this excludes domestic workers) in the country are entitled to at least 21 days annual, paid vacation time.

That’s almost twice as much as the average in the United States! (In fact the US doesn’t even require employers to give their employees paid vacation). Some companies in Saudi even provide reimbursement to employees for flight tickets purchased for their vacation time. 


Victoria H contributor expatwomanAbout the Author

Victoria is a trained historian and political scientist, as well as an aspiring writer and photographer. She holds a masters degree in Global Affairs from the University of Toronto, and currently works as a Content Coordinator with MaRS Discovery District. As a third-culture-kid who grew up in Saudi Arabia, she hopes to use her academic background to educate people about the world through creative means. Her blog Safar, features the stories of TCKs and expats, as well as commentary on travel, politics and culture. 


On ExpatWoman Today

5 Books Your Child Will Love at Bedtime

5 Books Your Child Will Love at Bedtime

4 Effective Ways To Cope With Parenting Stress

4 Effective Ways To Cope With Parenting Stress

What You Should NEVER Say to a Parent of a Child with Special Needs

What You Should NEVER Say to a Parent of a Child with Special Needs

Review: Head to Dubai Soon For The Best Lip Fillers

Review: Head to Dubai Soon For The Best Lip Fillers

Advanced Liposuction Fat Removal Surgery in KSA

Advanced Liposuction Fat Removal Surgery in KSA

The Female Sport Scene is Taking Off in Saudi Arabia

The Female Sport Scene is Taking Off in Saudi Arabia

Driving Lessons Needed Before Saudi Women Can Get Their License

Driving Lessons Needed Before Saudi Women Can Get Their License

10 of the Most Beautiful Sunsets in Saudi Arabia

10 of the Most Beautiful Sunsets in Saudi Arabia

11 Saudi Problems That You Will Only Understand If You Live There

11 Saudi Problems That You Will Only Understand If You Live There

Futuristic Megacity

Futuristic Megacity 'NEOM' Coming To Saudi

Coca-Cola Warms Hearts With New Saudi Women Driving Ad

Coca-Cola Warms Hearts With New Saudi Women Driving Ad

12 Things That Can Land You in Jail in Saudi Arabia

12 Things That Can Land You in Jail in Saudi Arabia

Tried and Tested: ‘Vampire Facial’ and MesoNatural Therapy in KSA

Tried and Tested: ‘Vampire Facial’ and MesoNatural Therapy in KSA

4 Life Insurance Tips to Help You Get the Best Deal in KSA

4 Life Insurance Tips to Help You Get the Best Deal in KSA

Changes You Can Expect To See In Saudi Arabia In 2018

Changes You Can Expect To See In Saudi Arabia In 2018

Opening The Borders: Tourist Visas Will Soon Be Available For Saudi

Opening The Borders: Tourist Visas Will Soon Be Available For Saudi

Saudi Public Sector Foreigners Work Visas Validity Reduced

Saudi Public Sector Foreigners Work Visas Validity Reduced

KSA Citizenship Granted To A Robot For The 1st Time In World History

KSA Citizenship Granted To A Robot For The 1st Time In World History

14 Facts About Saudi

14 Facts About Saudi's New Jeddah Tower

Ancient Stone

Ancient Stone 'Gates' Discovered In Saudi Arabia

Progress On The Tallest Tower In The World: The Jeddah Tower

Progress On The Tallest Tower In The World: The Jeddah Tower

Saudi Residents To Enjoy Two Major Sport Events In 2018

Saudi Residents To Enjoy Two Major Sport Events In 2018

Earthquake Recorded Off The Coast Of Jeddah

Earthquake Recorded Off The Coast Of Jeddah

Saudi Arabia Dress Code For Foreigners

Saudi Arabia Dress Code For Foreigners

Your Guide To Working In Saudi Arabia As A Woman

Your Guide To Working In Saudi Arabia As A Woman

Saudi Women Will Drive, But Not Yet

Saudi Women Will Drive, But Not Yet

Saudi Women Allowed To Drive Is The New Viral Trend On The Internet

Saudi Women Allowed To Drive Is The New Viral Trend On The Internet

Saudi King Approves Plans To Build A ‘New City’ In Taif

Saudi King Approves Plans To Build A ‘New City’ In Taif

Cinema’s Are Returning To Saudi Arabia

Cinema’s Are Returning To Saudi Arabia

Top 5 Financial Moves to Make to Secure Your Money

Top 5 Financial Moves to Make to Secure Your Money

Review: How Botox Helped Me Get Youthful Skin!

Review: How Botox Helped Me Get Youthful Skin!

4 Questions Saudi Should Ask Themselves About Women Driving

4 Questions Saudi Should Ask Themselves About Women Driving

Saudi Women Driving: The Best Reactions On The Internet

Saudi Women Driving: The Best Reactions On The Internet

Women In Saudi Arabia Will Soon Be Allowed To Drive

Women In Saudi Arabia Will Soon Be Allowed To Drive

Women Allowed In A Sports Stadium For The First Time In Saudi History

Women Allowed In A Sports Stadium For The First Time In Saudi History

Saudi’s 87th National Day – How Everyone Celebrated Together

Saudi’s 87th National Day – How Everyone Celebrated Together

9 Most Important Events In the History Of Saudi Arabia

9 Most Important Events In the History Of Saudi Arabia

Female Cyclists Are Becoming A Trend In Saudi Arabia

Female Cyclists Are Becoming A Trend In Saudi Arabia

6 Beautiful Hidden Gems in Saudi Arabia to Explore

6 Beautiful Hidden Gems in Saudi Arabia to Explore

Voice And Video Calling Apps Will Soon Be Unblocked In Saudi

Voice And Video Calling Apps Will Soon Be Unblocked In Saudi

Mixed Feelings About The Tourism Industry In Saudi Arabia

Mixed Feelings About The Tourism Industry In Saudi Arabia

Saudi Has Tightened The Reigns On Women-Only Shops And Markets

Saudi Has Tightened The Reigns On Women-Only Shops And Markets

New

New 'Sarahah' App Is Becoming A Concern