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Saudi - costs of living for a single bachelor with family staying in UAE

Saudi - costs of living for a single bachelor with family staying in UAE

Old Oct 25th 2019, 9:56 am
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Default Saudi - costs of living for a single bachelor with family staying in UAE

Dear Forum Experts

Hoping for some advice on basic costs of living if I take a job in Saudi whilst keeping my family in UAE please?

So I have recently been made redundant from my job in UAE. Not a complete surprise as i work for a big construction engineering consultancy firm. Business has been bad for a couple of years with steady rounds of big layoffs .
Wife likes her job and kids are in a good school so not keen to beat a hasty exit from UAE. Whilst i would prefer a job in UAE most of the action seems to be in Saudi.

So if I take a job in Saudi for example Riyadh, keeping my family in UAE in the short term what would the monthly costs be for me to live as a bachelor in KSA. Would do this as a short term measure whilst figuring out my next move. Family back to UK at the end of school year or possibly find something in UAE. Would try to live fairly cheap but decent life there.

If you can give any thoughts on basic monthly costs would really appreciate it
- Studio apartment, or sharing a bachelor pad with other westerners?
- Flights back to UAE for the weekend a couple of times per month?
- Car rental - probably 2K for something basic.
- Food and drink 2K?
- I was going to put a budget for Entertainment and beers but guess that's one default saving no ;-)

TIA

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Old Oct 28th 2019, 1:06 pm
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Default Re: Saudi - costs of living for a single bachelor with family staying in UAE

Originally Posted by Benny80 View Post
Dear Forum Experts

Hoping for some advice on basic costs of living if I take a job in Saudi whilst keeping my family in UAE please?

So I have recently been made redundant from my job in UAE. Not a complete surprise as i work for a big construction engineering consultancy firm. Business has been bad for a couple of years with steady rounds of big layoffs .
Wife likes her job and kids are in a good school so not keen to beat a hasty exit from UAE. Whilst i would prefer a job in UAE most of the action seems to be in Saudi.

So if I take a job in Saudi for example Riyadh, keeping my family in UAE in the short term what would the monthly costs be for me to live as a bachelor in KSA. Would do this as a short term measure whilst figuring out my next move. Family back to UK at the end of school year or possibly find something in UAE. Would try to live fairly cheap but decent life there.

If you can give any thoughts on basic monthly costs would really appreciate it
- Studio apartment, or sharing a bachelor pad with other westerners?
- Flights back to UAE for the weekend a couple of times per month?
- Car rental - probably 2K for something basic.
- Food and drink 2K?
- I was going to put a budget for Entertainment and beers but guess that's one default saving no ;-)

TIA
I did this way back in 2006-9 so some of my information is outdated. Some is accurate as I still go to Saudi on a regular basis.

People work very hard in Saudi, so I found it really easy to just work, gym, eat and sleep and see the family every other weekend. If you want the prime time flights they'll be 1500 ish return but you can get cheaper if you go sillier times of the day or offset your weekend (tough with kids).

I had a nice little Studio in Arizona and quickly found some mates and we often shared the cooking, so I doubt if we ever spent 1k PM each on food at todays prices. Car rental should be similar to here for something basic or old.

Try to get on the embassy circuit (assuming you're in Riyadh) as that breaks the monotony from time to time and you'll find drinks cheaper than Dubai lol.

Will your wife's company sponsor her and the kids? That could be a bit of an issue unless your firm continues your residence.

I think prices for property have come down a bit, but last time I looked they were more than Dubai for on compound, much cheaper off compound.

My kids were 11,13,15 when I did it and I found that I often over compensated (read over spent) when home for the weekends which negated some of the savings expected.

Sorry its not much, but hope it helps a bit.
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Old Oct 28th 2019, 6:45 pm
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Default Re: Saudi - costs of living for a single bachelor with family staying in UAE

TheShed Thanks for the info. That totally helps.

I'm in conversation with a few companies mostly for UAE and one for Riyadh. Hoping i get offers for UAE, fingers crossed.

If i do end up getting an option that is good career wise in Saudi it really helps to be able to but a $ figure to how much extra it would need to pay make KSA worthwhile in comparison to staying in the UAE. My feeling is if I get 2 offers 1 in KSA and 1 in UAE, all other things being equal it will probably cost me at least 10-12K AED extra to be in KSA as a bachelor compared to staying with my wife and kids in UAE. Then considering that I would prefer to be in UAE anyway KSA would need to pay a fair chunk more again or offer some other advantage like progression in my career.

I know some on this forum would see it differently and be happy to be in KSA but for me its a plan B. but given that so much of the work is moving that way it could happen. 2 years ago I would have said i'm never going.

Thanks again!
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Old Oct 29th 2019, 11:49 am
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Default Re: Saudi - costs of living for a single bachelor with family staying in UAE

Originally Posted by Benny80 View Post
TheShed Thanks for the info. That totally helps.

I'm in conversation with a few companies mostly for UAE and one for Riyadh. Hoping i get offers for UAE, fingers crossed.

If i do end up getting an option that is good career wise in Saudi it really helps to be able to but a $ figure to how much extra it would need to pay make KSA worthwhile in comparison to staying in the UAE. My feeling is if I get 2 offers 1 in KSA and 1 in UAE, all other things being equal it will probably cost me at least 10-12K AED extra to be in KSA as a bachelor compared to staying with my wife and kids in UAE. Then considering that I would prefer to be in UAE anyway KSA would need to pay a fair chunk more again or offer some other advantage like progression in my career.

I know some on this forum would see it differently and be happy to be in KSA but for me its a plan B. but given that so much of the work is moving that way it could happen. 2 years ago I would have said i'm never going.

Thanks again!
Glad to be of help - hope it all works out for the best.
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Old Oct 29th 2019, 12:05 pm
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Default Re: Saudi - costs of living for a single bachelor with family staying in UAE

I have a tip that might save your life - don't tell your wife you're referring to yourself as 'a single bachelor'
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Old Oct 30th 2019, 3:39 am
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Default Re: Saudi - costs of living for a single bachelor with family staying in UAE

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
I have a tip that might save your life - don't tell your wife you're referring to yourself as 'a single bachelor'
Ha ha. SoS good catch. Honestly i did mean it like that. Anyway i was thinking there's not so much trouble / fun I can get into in KSA. Maybe need to increase my budget to get into more trouble ;-)
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Old Oct 30th 2019, 4:10 am
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Default Re: Saudi - costs of living for a single bachelor with family staying in UAE

Maybe my question should be how much money will i need to live a 'playboy' lifestyle in KSA ;-)
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Old Oct 31st 2019, 6:29 am
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Default Re: Saudi - costs of living for a single bachelor with family staying in UAE

Originally Posted by Benny80 View Post
TheShed Thanks for the info. That totally helps.

I'm in conversation with a few companies mostly for UAE and one for Riyadh. Hoping i get offers for UAE, fingers crossed.

If i do end up getting an option that is good career wise in Saudi it really helps to be able to but a $ figure to how much extra it would need to pay make KSA worthwhile in comparison to staying in the UAE. My feeling is if I get 2 offers 1 in KSA and 1 in UAE, all other things being equal it will probably cost me at least 10-12K AED extra to be in KSA as a bachelor compared to staying with my wife and kids in UAE. Then considering that I would prefer to be in UAE anyway KSA would need to pay a fair chunk more again or offer some other advantage like progression in my career.

I know some on this forum would see it differently and be happy to be in KSA but for me its a plan B. but given that so much of the work is moving that way it could happen. 2 years ago I would have said i'm never going.

Thanks again!
Keep in mind that companies don't need to pay you huge money for KSA.

As a business, why should we pay you 10-12k a month more than your UAE salary PLUS another chunk to make it worth you being away from the family? We'd just expect you to move with the family or accept a sensible KSA offer.

Just keep that in mind when negotiating, the more you talk to businesses about it being a hassle, the more likely you're going to be seen as a flight risk after hiring. The less likely you are to get the good offers.
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Old Oct 31st 2019, 10:53 am
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Default Re: Saudi - costs of living for a single bachelor with family staying in UAE

Hey Scamp. Thanks- All good points. I will heed your advice and only show positive interest.

BTW - What kind of range of % uplift is considered the normal when comparing UAE salaries to KSA salaries? Sorry if i seem cynical but i guess most people who are going are motivated by the opportunity to make some cash.
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Old Oct 31st 2019, 11:42 am
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Default Re: Saudi - costs of living for a single bachelor with family staying in UAE

Originally Posted by Benny80 View Post
Hey Scamp. Thanks- All good points. I will heed your advice and only show positive interest.

BTW - What kind of range of % uplift is considered the normal when comparing UAE salaries to KSA salaries? Sorry if i seem cynical but i guess most people who are going are motivated by the opportunity to make some cash.
Glad you took it the right way, I read it after posting and it sounds quite blunt, which it wasn't mean to be.

10-20% seems to be the target for many. Realistically the lower end whilst the UAE is slowing down. Also depends on salary. 40k in Dubai is probably 50k in KSA. 50 is probably 55-60. 60 might be 64-68, it might also be 80. It seems some of the silly money packages are still floating around but with companies you'd want to work for I'd expect to be receiving sensible returns.

All depends on the company, location and individual. Transferring with your business is the best way in my opinion.
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Old Nov 1st 2019, 2:56 am
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Default Re: Saudi - costs of living for a single bachelor with family staying in UAE

Hey Scamp, Thank you for the quality info. What you said makes a lot of sense in terms of uplift and the benefit of transferring internally within my current business. I can see the appeal of transferring internally and will look into that.

TBH your initial comment did feel a bit like a punch in the gut - Truth hearts i guess.

I've had a couple of approaches from recruiters/ companies who found my profile and wanted to put me forward for roles. It seems to me there is a bit more money to be had working directly for the clients / developers of the mega projects (for example Qiddiya / Neom, etc) rather than consultants. I can see some downsides and risks of working for the client but it is quite tempting. I know a job like that could end in a hurry with no warning but my main concern would really be how employable i would be afterwards. I want to return to UK or least somewhere slightly less hot and sandy at some point for family reasons and wonder how easy it is to sell my experience working inside a KSA developer?

Anyway thanks again for the intel, I really appreciate it!
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Old Nov 3rd 2019, 6:27 am
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Default Re: Saudi - costs of living for a single bachelor with family staying in UAE

Originally Posted by Benny80 View Post
Hey Scamp, Thank you for the quality info. What you said makes a lot of sense in terms of uplift and the benefit of transferring internally within my current business. I can see the appeal of transferring internally and will look into that.

TBH your initial comment did feel a bit like a punch in the gut - Truth hearts i guess.

I've had a couple of approaches from recruiters/ companies who found my profile and wanted to put me forward for roles. It seems to me there is a bit more money to be had working directly for the clients / developers of the mega projects (for example Qiddiya / Neom, etc) rather than consultants. I can see some downsides and risks of working for the client but it is quite tempting. I know a job like that could end in a hurry with no warning but my main concern would really be how employable i would be afterwards. I want to return to UK or least somewhere slightly less hot and sandy at some point for family reasons and wonder how easy it is to sell my experience working inside a KSA developer?

Anyway thanks again for the intel, I really appreciate it!
1000000% more money with developers / clients. For a damn good reason.

Selling ABC Consultants experience on a job nobody in London knows exists or what it is or how to even say it is one thing.
Working for Moh'd Bin XYZ Developer Land Group on a job nobody in London knows exists or what it is or how to even say it is a totally different level of unknown.

No, most people aren't idiots and will work it out but it certainly makes sense in my mind to stay with a recognisable brand than go off piste if a return soon(ish) is preferred.
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Old Nov 17th 2019, 5:58 am
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Default Re: Saudi - costs of living for a single bachelor with family staying in UAE

Benny. I'm confused.
I get people living and working in a flee pit with the family for the money.
I get people living and working in a flee pit and keeping there family at home.
I don't get working in one flee pit and keeping your family in another flee pit.
If you are going to work remote why would you not give your kids a decent education in the uk?
I can only assume you wife is on a great package in the UAE in which case good luck with the commute.
PS; 1,500/case European lager, 800 per bottle Johnny Walker black label

Last edited by HiHo; Nov 17th 2019 at 6:03 am.
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