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If you need advice on moving to Saudi Arabia....

If you need advice on moving to Saudi Arabia....

Old Oct 15th 2016, 10:42 pm
  #151  
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Default Re: If you need advice on moving to Saudi Arabia....

Originally Posted by denizci
Hi everyone, after relying on this forum when I decided to move to Kuwait about 3.5 years ago from Sydney, I am again at a crossroads and seek your advice for going one better than Kuwait and move to Riyadh. I guess the first question is how difficult the life is in Saudi for a young western family with two children (5 and 1 year olds). A lot information around the restrictions imposed on women, dress, not being able to drive etc. How difficult do you or your wives, friends etc find this aspect of life?
Very difficult for some, less so for others. Wearing a black abaya in the heat is very hard. Having to rely on taxis is frustrating. There isn't much to do once you are outside the compounds. Majority of wives want to leave in my experience. Pre-teen kids here seem pretty happy in general.

Originally Posted by denizci
Second question is education, my son is going to an English school in Kuwait, which we are very happy with. How is the availability of quality education in Riyadh?
There are some OK places. It's probably similar to Kuwait, or slightly less good.

Originally Posted by denizci
Third is the accommodation. How much is a good budget for a good quality compound accommodation in a 3 bedroom villa? I am looking at the relatively high end figures here to see how my potential offer will stack up against.
budget 250k - 300k SAR a year for a decent compound villa. Al Nakhla charges 300k SAR for a 3 bed villa (if you negotiate) and less for a 2 bed. Arizona compound is 275k SAR - 300k SAR a year (no negotiation required) but old and badly maintained. There are plenty of empty compound villas (despite compounds pretending otherwise) due to several new huge compounds coming online in the last few years and people leaving due to government cutbacks, so my prediction is prices are going to come down.


Originally Posted by denizci
Fourth, is there any travel restrictions. I know there is an exit permit requirement for some public employees when they leave Kuwait. Any rules around that at KSA?
Yes, you have to get an 'exit visa' and if your employer blocks you leaving you will be stuck in Saudi for a few months minimum while you sue him getting permission to leave. Make sure your employer will give you (and pay for) a 6 month 'multi-entry' exit visa rather than a single-exit/re-entry visa (since it's a hassle to get a new visa every time you want to leave) and also means that in a SHTF scenario you can hop on a plane and leave quickly.

Originally Posted by denizci
Fifth, could friends and family visit you while you are a resident in KSA? I know there is no visitor visa and obtaining a visa to go to Saudi is difficult but is there a way around this?
No guarantees. You can get parental visit visas without too much difficulty (provided your parents are around 50+) but anyone of working age will struggle to get a visit visa unless you have influence or (it is rumored) you are willing to pay 'facilitation fees' to the customs office.

Last edited by FriendlyExpat; Oct 15th 2016 at 10:45 pm.
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Old Oct 16th 2016, 6:36 pm
  #152  
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Default Re: If you need advice on moving to Saudi Arabia....

Thanks very much for all this. Two further questions:


Re: Compounds - which ones are the best ones, popular with western expats... not just the western lifestyle...


Re: Schools - can you provide a list of schools again popular with western families?
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Old Oct 16th 2016, 10:20 pm
  #153  
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Default Re: If you need advice on moving to Saudi Arabia....

Originally Posted by denizci
Thanks very much for all this. Two further questions:


Re: Compounds - which ones are the best ones, popular with western expats... not just the western lifestyle...


Re: Schools - can you provide a list of schools again popular with western families?

Do a search on this board for endless discussions of Riyadh compounds. High end western compounds include Cordoba, Al Nakhla, Al Hamra, Arabian Homes, Eid, Kingdom, Arizona, Al Bustan, etc. Budget western compounds include Fal and Seder Village.
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Old Nov 17th 2016, 3:46 am
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Default Re: If you need advice on moving to Saudi Arabia....

Hi
Does anybody work in Al-hasa city / region of Saudi Arabia who can share the information about the area? Population?

Thanks.
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Old Nov 17th 2016, 4:43 pm
  #155  
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Default Re: If you need advice on moving to Saudi Arabia....

population? Is Google broken?

al hasa is quieter and greener than most places (that's a relative observation) because of the many data palms throughout the city... more like town really. There are some caves which are nice and cool even in the summer... for visiting, not living in.
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Old Nov 21st 2016, 12:02 am
  #156  
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Default Re: If you need advice on moving to Saudi Arabia....

In Ottoman times it was the administrative centre. Used to be main commercial centre and had a sizeable Jewish population. There is actually a Jewish Graveyard. I can show you where if you cross my palm with silver, effendi. The Jewish population here had strong family ties to Bahrain, which still has a Jewish minority.
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Old Nov 24th 2016, 5:24 am
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Default Re: If you need advice on moving to Saudi Arabia....

I was wondering if anyone could give any advise for a British woman coming to Riyadh to work.

I have a job working in aviation in Riyadh and my company are organising my visa for me, however I have been told that I will need to arrange my own medical and documents.

Can anyone advise me on the following please,
1- can I have the medical done at my own GP, filling in the form that I have found online?
2- any ideas on the cost of this as well, as all of the doctors online are charging in excess of £300
3- do I need to have this legalised by the FCO still?
4- do I need any other documents other than the medical and visa application?

I'm really sorry for all of the questions, I have tried good old google...but thought this would be better because of your knowledge.

Thank you in advance for you help.
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Old Nov 25th 2016, 4:06 am
  #158  
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Default Re: If you need advice on moving to Saudi Arabia....

A reasonable employer would do all these things for you. Failure to do that sets off alarm bells for me.
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Old Nov 27th 2016, 12:24 pm
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Default Re: If you need advice on moving to Saudi Arabia....

Hi all, I have been issued with a UK police caution for returning a clothing item to a clothing store with the wrong price tag on. Would I still be successful in obtaining my work visa for Saudi Arabia? It was some sort of silly misunderstanding, but I ended up with a caution/warning. Are there any others with a police caution and were still successful in obtaining their working visa for SA? Many thanks for your replies!
Ps This was the first (and last) time in my life that I came into contact with the police.
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Old Nov 27th 2016, 10:41 pm
  #160  
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Default Re: If you need advice on moving to Saudi Arabia....

Originally Posted by Fly365
I was wondering if anyone could give any advise for a British woman coming to Riyadh to work.

I have a job working in aviation in Riyadh and my company are organising my visa for me, however I have been told that I will need to arrange my own medical and documents.

Can anyone advise me on the following please,
1- can I have the medical done at my own GP, filling in the form that I have found online?
2- any ideas on the cost of this as well, as all of the doctors online are charging in excess of £300
3- do I need to have this legalised by the FCO still?
4- do I need any other documents other than the medical and visa application?

I'm really sorry for all of the questions, I have tried good old google...but thought this would be better because of your knowledge.

Thank you in advance for you help.
Originally Posted by scot47
A reasonable employer would do all these things for you. Failure to do that sets off alarm bells for me.
Agree with Scot - any decent employer would be doing these things for you.

However, the alternative is to do it yourself, and there are two ways.
1- The Hard Way. Cheaper, but a little fraught as you'll be dealing with the Saudi Embassy personally, and they're never the easiest, as rules change daily. Your GP may be able to do the medical for you. Some GP's do it for free, some of them charge. Once it's done, it will need attesting as far as I know. The next step is to then submit your visa application using the Saudi Embassy forms and the documents your new employer may have sent eg Offer Letter. You may also have to provide any educational certificates ( which also need attesting firstly by the FCO then by the Saudi Embassy )

2 - The Easier Way. Pay for some else to do it all. More expensive but a lot less hassle. I've used an agency in the past who will do the whole thing - the medical, and visa application. Obviously more expensive but in my view, worth it due to not having the hassle of dealing with embassies.

Good Luck.
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