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Expat Life in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Expat Life in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Old May 13th 2014, 10:40 am
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Default Expat Life in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Hello,

Today I have officially accepted a position in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Prior to accepting the offer I did my diligence on the Kingdom and found mixed views. However I am young and thought 'why not' as I enjoy challenge and adapting/working within the Saudi culture looks like it will be a challenge.

To give you a bit of background I am 23 years old (male), I hold a degree and will be working in a construction consultancy. My package offered is circa 275k SAR + Car + Accommodation + Healthcare - I felt this was a good starting package, it is obviously not the BIG money you hear about in the ME but I am fully aware you have to start somewhere and prove your worth - FYI the consultancy I am going to work for is a Western consultancy.

However my main aim from this post is to get a little feedback on life out in Riaydh i.e.

- Is there much of a social life for expats?
- In regards to sports (watching and participating) is there many facilities for this?
- Safety, is it safe to venture out of a western compound?
- Will work be my only life out there or can you build a social life too?

Any other advice on living in Riyadh would be great also! Thanks in advance.
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Old May 14th 2014, 3:48 am
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Default Re: Expat Life in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Social life is what you make it. There's not a lot to do here, but once you get to know a few people you'll find that there are quite a few things going on like parties, bbqs etc. A lot of sports teams set up or informal meetups to play.

Totally safe out of the compounds and unless you work on one you'll be doing it every day when you go to work. Apart from the off 'f*** you!' shouted out from a passing car I have never had any problems here. Most people are very friendly and quite often strangers will offer you food/tea etc.

You'll probably get some sort of social life through people from work and then after a while that will expand. Some people are into all the embassy bashes as a way to meet people. Not my scene personally but each to their own.

Come here with an open mind, it's not the hellhole that a lot of people make out. If you come here thinking it's going to be shit then it probably will be.
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Old May 14th 2014, 6:57 am
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Default Re: Expat Life in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Thanks for the response nonthaburi, I am going to go in to it with an open mind but from obtaining information from people who have been there like yourself I am starting to think that I will actually enjoy it.

Just cannot wait to get out now! Thanks again.
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Old May 15th 2014, 6:03 am
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Default Re: Expat Life in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

As you're male, you'll be fine. Find out where the nurses and air hostesses compounds are. Then you're all set.
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Old May 17th 2014, 9:10 pm
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Default Re: Expat Life in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Originally Posted by nonthaburi View Post

You'll probably get some sort of social life through people from work and then after a while that will expand. Some people are into all the embassy bashes as a way to meet people. Not my scene personally but each to their own.
Do people typically get invited to embassy parties or are they fairly hard to get into? I assume that's where all the nurses/flight attendants are every weekend
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Old May 18th 2014, 3:25 am
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Some are invites, some are buy a ticket in advance, some turn up on the day.
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Old May 19th 2014, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: Expat Life in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

First post: keen to keep an eye on this thread. I'm much the same; 30 year old chap very new to Riyadh looking to get involved with sports (rugby, touch rugby, football, squash, Hash) and to be social where possible. It's early days for me so I expect to meet people at work, but a helping hand outside of that circle would be great.

Cheers
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Old May 20th 2014, 5:06 am
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Default Re: Expat Life in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Originally Posted by Craigybear View Post
First post: keen to keep an eye on this thread. I'm much the same; 30 year old chap very new to Riyadh looking to get involved with sports (rugby, touch rugby, football, squash, Hash) and to be social where possible. It's early days for me so I expect to meet people at work, but a helping hand outside of that circle would be great.

Cheers
A guy I know goes to the British School for touch rugby. They also do climbing there. Riyadh Road Runners is worth a look too. They do a marathon every year as well.
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Old May 20th 2014, 5:13 am
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Default Re: Expat Life in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Thanks for the tip nonthaburi, could you ask if he'd be willing to provide details/contacts so I can get involved?

Any other tips greatly appreciated. I've found a couple of rugby club websites but they're very out of date.
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Old May 20th 2014, 8:47 am
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Will do, I'll speak to him later today.
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Old May 22nd 2014, 5:40 am
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Default Re: Expat Life in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Originally Posted by nonthaburi View Post
Will do, I'll speak to him later today.
Any joy? Thanks for your help.
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Old May 26th 2014, 4:22 pm
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Default Re: Expat Life in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Any news on the touch rugby contact? Be good to get some details.

What consultancy are you going to be working for OP?
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Old Jul 10th 2014, 9:35 am
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Default Re: Expat Life in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

well to be honest i was in the same posittion as yourself where i was will i or wont i... i finally went and have been here nearly four years... yeah it will never be like england but its what you make of it.. there are plenty of gyms if you like sort of thing and there are a few football teams in the area so there is alway that.... other than that its all about how much coffee you can drink....

the way i decided was if i go and dont like i can leave simple as that... but truthfully its not as all as bad as it seems....

ps i dont live in a compound and ive never had any issues the option was there but i thought im here to make money so the extra cash saved just renting outside of compound was quick an amount..

good luck and go on take the step
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Old Jul 10th 2014, 1:36 pm
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Default Re: Expat Life in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

My father moved to Saudi when I was young on his own and my parents ended up buying their first house out of the money he made. He hated living there but it was great for his career and his financial situation. Which consultants r u working for? My husband is pondering a job offer in Saudi in building services for a consultancy but financially it has to be worth it for us to go.
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Old Jul 15th 2014, 11:49 am
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Its a really good package for a 23 year old......actually they don't usually hire young people in a consultancy unless its the tea boy
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