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whats Riyadh like for a western family

whats Riyadh like for a western family

Old Nov 30th 2009, 6:05 pm
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Default whats Riyadh like for a western family

Anyone care to comment as we are a family travelling frm the UK to Riyadh in January and will live and work in Riyadh
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Old Dec 1st 2009, 3:37 am
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Default Re: whats Riyadh like for a western family

Originally Posted by cerianne View Post
Anyone care to comment as we are a family travelling frm the UK to Riyadh in January and will live and work in Riyadh
have you not visited Riyadh? how old are your children? I think you must be mad.
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Old Dec 1st 2009, 6:56 am
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Default Re: whats Riyadh like for a western family

Scary that you are moving there so soon without haveing checked out what your life will be like.

Isn't there a link at the top of one of the ME pages to a thread by The Dean about life in Saudi?

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Old Dec 2nd 2009, 9:56 am
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Default Re: whats Riyadh like for a western family

Originally Posted by Blue Cat View Post
have you not visited Riyadh? how old are your children? I think you must be mad.
Many families are very happy here and life is what you make it. Its is a wonderful experience if you come with an open mind and accept that life here is very different from UK. I love living here and so do many of my friends. Do more research and dont listen to too many critics. They have obviouslyy not made the most of the opportunities and experiences. Everyone is different. Good Luck
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Old Dec 2nd 2009, 10:58 am
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Default Re: whats Riyadh like for a western family

I feel sorry for you and the kiddies but hubby will probably find working in Riyadh okay.
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Old Dec 2nd 2009, 11:06 pm
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Default Re: whats Riyadh like for a western family

It's funny how everyone not living in Saudi loves bashing it, but the people who live there actually think it is okay...don't you think?

I live in Khobar myself so not best placed to comment on Riyadh, but Saudi in general isn't as bad as some people claim. Yes of course there are things to get used to, but if the money is right and you have an open mind those things shouldn't stop you.

However, research is key. Make sure you know what to expect before you arrive.

Good luck...
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Old Dec 3rd 2009, 2:35 am
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Default Re: whats Riyadh like for a western family

Originally Posted by norsk View Post
It's funny how everyone not living in Saudi loves bashing it,
Originally Posted by norsk View Post
but the people who live there actually think it is okay...don't you think?

I live in Khobar myself so not best placed to comment on Riyadh, but Saudi in general isn't as bad as some people claim. Yes of course there are things to get used to, but if the money is right and you have an open mind those things shouldn't stop you.

However, research is key. Make sure you know what to expect before you arrive.

Good luck...
how do you know that the comments being made aren't from people who have lived in Saudi? Lionheart did his stint there, my husband did 8 years in Saudi. Whilst I haven't been I don't think it is fair to criticise those who haven't lived there. I have been a member of this board long enough to hear enough horror stories about life in Riyadh to be able to pass comment. Nic1 a regular member on this board, who I knew when she lived in Dubai did two years in Riyadh and won't return. I trust her opinion over a strangers.
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Old Dec 3rd 2009, 8:27 am
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Default Re: whats Riyadh like for a western family

Originally Posted by norsk View Post
It's funny how everyone not living in Saudi loves bashing it, but the people who live there actually think it is okay...don't you think?

I live in Khobar myself so not best placed to comment on Riyadh, but Saudi in general isn't as bad as some people claim. Yes of course there are things to get used to, but if the money is right and you have an open mind those things shouldn't stop you.

However, research is key. Make sure you know what to expect before you arrive.

Good luck...
Exactly!!! It is what you make it. Just like any where else in the world. I have made some wonderful friends (including Saudis) you learn and experience so much that you would never see if you didnt come here. Some people never get that opportunity. You must accept it is dufferent, embrace the culture and enjoy it!
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Old Dec 3rd 2009, 8:28 am
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Default Re: whats Riyadh like for a western family

As a single Male person living in Riyadh.
My family are back home and this climate at this time isnt suitable due to the kids education etc.
How ever my Better half lived with me in Taif When i was there.
Some people say Taif was the rear end of the world, we enjoyed it very much i think its what you put into it is what you get out of it also.
A decent compound with access for things for the kids to do is very important, my compound here in Riyadh is a small quite type compound and not suitable for families with kids.

It has been said on here many times it takes a special person /s and married couples to live here in Saudi,
I lived for 7 years in the UAE. i liked the 5 years in Abu Dhabi / Al Ain
I hated the 2 years in Dubai (mind you that was 10 years in Dubai. )
So its the old horses for courses i suppose.
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Old Dec 3rd 2009, 10:31 am
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Default Re: whats Riyadh like for a western family

Originally Posted by cerianne View Post
Anyone care to comment as we are a family travelling frm the UK to Riyadh in January and will live and work in Riyadh
Hi .. I sarted researching a few months ago for a position I am looking at in Riyadh. I asked some questions on other threads about cost of living, compounds and accomodation, and also about the british school so have a look at the responses from others as they were very valuable.

As you will no doubt learn, things for women are somewhat different, compounds are pretty full (and expensive) and the school gets good and bad reports ...

Hope all goes well for you and your family and maybe see you in Riyadh in the new year.
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Old Dec 3rd 2009, 10:55 am
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Default Re: whats Riyadh like for a western family

I can see there are some lively debates here! That's good. Means lots of input. I will also be moving to Riyadh in the new year. Husband is already there and seems to be settling down ok.

I'm looking forward to a change and certainly looking forward to some new experiences.

Our children (22 & 19) won't be travelling with us as they are both doing their own thing now. So, for us it's the next phase of our lives.

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Old Dec 3rd 2009, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: whats Riyadh like for a western family

Thank you for your comments

Its settled me a little so hear so many people are enjoying thier time in Saudi. I agree with Annie - life is what you make it and I hope that this experience will educate my son that there are different ways of life.
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Old Dec 3rd 2009, 7:07 pm
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Default Re: whats Riyadh like for a western family

It shoudl definitely do that!

Having spent my entire childhood "abroad" and my children as well, I actually think it would be good for each child to have some experience of a foreign culture. Perhaps the world would be a better place.
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Old Dec 3rd 2009, 8:13 pm
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Default Re: whats Riyadh like for a western family

Originally Posted by Blue Cat View Post
[B]

how do you know that the comments being made aren't from people who have lived in Saudi? Lionheart did his stint there, my husband did 8 years in Saudi. Whilst I haven't been I don't think it is fair to criticise those who haven't lived there. I have been a member of this board long enough to hear enough horror stories about life in Riyadh to be able to pass comment. Nic1 a regular member on this board, who I knew when she lived in Dubai did two years in Riyadh and won't return. I trust her opinion over a strangers.
I wasn't attempting to make a big point out of who has lived there and who hasn't (and I definitely don't want to stop people giving their opinion), but the fact is that this forum is full of people who are more than happy to say negative things about life in Saudi at every opportunity and sometimes it just seems a bit excessive.

Threads I have seen on here about Saudi are incredibly one-sided and it isn't because nobody enjoys their life here, but because if someone speaks up then they are more often than not told that they must be wrong as there are plenty of people who didn't like it for this or that reason.

People who join the forum to ask about life in Saudi probably aren't expecting to be told only how horrible it is and then told that they'd be fools to consider it. They are looking for objective information to enable them to make up their own minds about whether they should or shouldn't come here to live and work.

Sorry for the rant..I must not be feeling well.
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Old Dec 4th 2009, 6:53 am
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Default Re: whats Riyadh like for a western family

I think if you do a seach on Saudi there are positive and negative points about living there - I know I have posted negatively and positively about the place on various threads. But Blue Cat is right I wouldn't voluntarily live there again as it's not right for me. However, I do think it depends on where you are in your life as to how much Saudi appeals to you or not. With two young teenage children it is not a good place to be - they were, surprisingly enough, exposed to drugs and alcohol to a frightening extent - a lot of the compounds are now searching all visiting teenagers to check they are not bringing in drugs or alcohol. Both my children knew who supplied the drugs on our compound - which frankly I find scarey and skanky too. It is not normal that they can't go to McDonalds or the ciname (I wish) in a mixed, unrelated, group without getting arrested.

If you are an independant woman who is used to doing her own thing while kids are at school and husband is at work it is a hard conversion to make to being reliant on drivers (who's driving is quite frankly nine times out of ten appalling), having to sit inside a curtained cubicle to drink your Starbucks, and having to cover up what is in my case a fairly old wrinkly body that is highly unlikely to drive the local male population wild.

This is an information board and it would be bad if everyone said come on over everything in the garden is rosey - cos it isn't. No-one is saying don't go, more 'oh my god you couldn't drag me there for all the tea in China' or all the drugs available down by the pool . . . .

Give it a try - if it doesn't work out you can always move on. I think it was the sheer utter boredom that got to me the most to be honest. However, I will say again that the Saudis are lovely people who are warm and welcoming and genorous friends. Change will come but siga siga as they say here in Cyprus.

Good luck
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