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Riyadh? total newbie, some questions (£££)

Riyadh? total newbie, some questions (£££)

Old Aug 27th 2009, 3:28 pm
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Default Riyadh? total newbie, some questions (£££)

Hi,
I'm being asked if I'm interested in going for a contract position in Riyadh for a year. I know very little about the area (been to Dubai on holiday but that's about it).

I'm married & in my 40's (no kids) and the pay is £2,500 to £3,000 tax free per week but I need to cover all expenses, is that any good and would I be able to accrue some decent savings, which is the only reason for me going. I'm reading on here that compounds are hard to get into, so would need to find my own accom,
Also, and I know its probably a stupid question really but is it totally a dry country even for westerners and on a compound?

Thanks & pardon my ignorance!
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Old Aug 27th 2009, 4:16 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh? total newbie, some questions (£££)

Originally Posted by freebo View Post
Hi,
I'm being asked if I'm interested in going for a contract position in Riyadh for a year. I know very little about the area (been to Dubai on holiday but that's about it).

I'm married & in my 40's (no kids) and the pay is £2,500 to £3,000 tax free per week but I need to cover all expenses, is that any good and would I be able to accrue some decent savings, which is the only reason for me going. I'm reading on here that compounds are hard to get into, so would need to find my own accom,
Also, and I know its probably a stupid question really but is it totally a dry country even for westerners and on a compound?

Thanks & pardon my ignorance!
Hi - £2500-3000/week is a very good salary - you'll be able to save quite a bit out here. Compounds are hard to get into, but there are alternatives - some compounds have serviced apartments which are cheaper than hotels - and you could try contact some of the compounds now to try get on the lists.

Saudi is a dry country - but compounds are a different story so a friend has told me - but this information is way out of date - might be changed these days.
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Old Aug 27th 2009, 5:03 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh? total newbie, some questions (£££)

That salary is obscene...
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Old Aug 27th 2009, 5:11 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh? total newbie, some questions (£££)

Originally Posted by Shadya View Post
That salary is obscene...
I had no intention to offend anyone, just wanted to know if it was good/bad/normal for the area.

Its not a salary as such its a daily contract rate, I'm not employed but provide consultancy services and need to cover all my costs (in the UK that includes all tax & NI etc).

TBH I'm not going for it, I'm hoping to get emigrate to Australia this year and I'm not convinced I'd (or my wife) be happy living/working in Riyadh.
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Old Aug 27th 2009, 5:21 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh? total newbie, some questions (£££)

£3.000 × SR5.99 smthin like 18000 per week ! it is very good offer
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Old Aug 27th 2009, 5:40 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh? total newbie, some questions (£££)

Thanks for the replies, I've asked if compound accommodation could be arranged, even at a lower rate of pay (i.e. deducted from my rate).
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Old Aug 27th 2009, 8:21 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh? total newbie, some questions (£££)

That's a phenomenal rate of pay! Get me a job on those rates please....

Compounds can be hard to get into to, long waiting list etc, and may want at least a years lease, Danajj posted up prices for Riyadh compounds, so have a look at this post and work out the costs. Exchange rate at the moment is around 6.1 SR to £1.

Most compounds as you imagine, are inhabited by expats, so you may be able to get your hands on home brewed stuff - wine and beer, but outside of there, it is totally dry.

Depending on what your wife will be doing ( working ? ) she might find it a bit boring being restricted to compound life, as women are not allowed to drive, so she will find some 'restrictions' on what she can / cannot do on her own.

Good luck
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Old Aug 27th 2009, 8:42 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh? total newbie, some questions (£££)

Originally Posted by Shadya View Post
That salary is obscene...
How dare you?

I'm sure it's the going rate for whatever it is that he does........
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Old Aug 28th 2009, 3:51 am
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Default Re: Riyadh? total newbie, some questions (£££)

Originally Posted by freebo View Post
Hi,
I'm being asked if I'm interested in going for a contract position in Riyadh for a year. I know very little about the area (been to Dubai on holiday but that's about it).

I'm married & in my 40's (no kids) and the pay is £2,500 to £3,000 tax free per week but I need to cover all expenses, is that any good and would I be able to accrue some decent savings, which is the only reason for me going. I'm reading on here that compounds are hard to get into, so would need to find my own accom,
Also, and I know its probably a stupid question really but is it totally a dry country even for westerners and on a compound?

Thanks & pardon my ignorance!
First of all welcome to BE.

You mention you have been to Dubai. That place is no where close to Saudi in terms of lifestyle or surroundings, Saudi is a very strict place but at the same time very safe and family friendly.

The rate of pay is very good for a contract and you will be able to take a good wad of cash back home. living in Saudi is very cheap and fuel is like in the region of 14 pence a litre if I am not mistaken.

You are correct in saying it is a totally dry country, about being on a compound I dont really know as I have a private villa (not as glamourous as it sounds, very lonely and depressing at times). Yes compounds are hard to get into and waiting lists are as very long. Prices are also extortionate.

But I really wish you the best and I would suggest give it a shot.
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Old Aug 28th 2009, 11:37 am
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Default Re: Riyadh? total newbie, some questions (£££)

Again thanks for all the useful info, I'm asking if a compound villa can be provided and the cost taken from my pay. I'll use the compound costs in the other thread as a cross-check

If anyone could provide info on what life on a compound is like I'd be really greatful, it will be for myself and my wife, other than gym & swimming I'm guessing she won't have much to do and is considering using the time to take a correspondance course. I'd also be interested in more info on the cost of living, I see fuel is v cheap but how about food, cars, insurance etc.

Is there anywhere to go which is more liberal at weekends? I see some people spend time in Jeddah, presumably thats a via a flight.
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Old Aug 28th 2009, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh? total newbie, some questions (£££)

Originally Posted by freebo View Post
Again thanks for all the useful info, I'm asking if a compound villa can be provided and the cost taken from my pay. I'll use the compound costs in the other thread as a cross-check

If anyone could provide info on what life on a compound is like I'd be really greatful, it will be for myself and my wife, other than gym & swimming I'm guessing she won't have much to do and is considering using the time to take a correspondance course. I'd also be interested in more info on the cost of living, I see fuel is v cheap but how about food, cars, insurance etc.

Is there anywhere to go which is more liberal at weekends? I see some people spend time in Jeddah, presumably thats a via a flight.
Hi - there's quite a few things for the wives to do on compound - all have a daily itinerary - ranging from coffee mornings, shopping and city visits, cooking classes, keep fit classes - the list goes on - of course some compounds are better than others - but most are roughly the same.

Cost of living is relatively cheap - cars are a lot cheaper than the UK and food is cheaper or on par with food back home - depends what your tastes are. You are definitely going to better off financially - trust me.

Jeddah is more liberal and easy going than Riyadh and you can easily get a flight there - personally - I'd go to Bahrain every few weekends - to really let the hair down - again - a short flight - or 4/5 hr car journey.
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Old Aug 29th 2009, 1:30 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh? total newbie, some questions (£££)

Originally Posted by freebo View Post
Again thanks for all the useful info, I'm asking if a compound villa can be provided and the cost taken from my pay. I'll use the compound costs in the other thread as a cross-check

If anyone could provide info on what life on a compound is like I'd be really greatful, it will be for myself and my wife, other than gym & swimming I'm guessing she won't have much to do and is considering using the time to take a correspondance course. I'd also be interested in more info on the cost of living, I see fuel is v cheap but how about food, cars, insurance etc.

Is there anywhere to go which is more liberal at weekends? I see some people spend time in Jeddah, presumably thats a via a flight.
Jeddah is more liberal than Riyadh, and an easy flight - but is still heavily restrictive. Unfortunately you will have to leave the Kingdom if you want western style of weekend entertainment. This means Bahrain. Drive in 5 hours from Riyadh, and you can get anything you want - or wish to do. If you decide to go you may hear of 'stuff' being brought back into the Kingdom (pork labelled as beef, alcohol in cola bottles etc.), my advice is don't be tempted. Last time I was there they were pulling seats out of cars and taking door trims off on the Saudi customs side. The driver looked ashen-faced and about to burst into tears. Enjoy yourself but leave what belongs in Bahrain there.
Compound life is generally good, I have heard of very few complaints, and cost of living is a bit cheaper than the UK. Come with the right attitude, low expectations and you will enjoy your stay in the Magic Kingdom.
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