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Riyadh Reality Check and a Few Questionss

Riyadh Reality Check and a Few Questionss

Old Jun 6th 2024, 9:17 am
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Default Riyadh Reality Check and a Few Questionss

I'm in discussion for an opportunity in Riyadh likely in the range of 50-55k/month all in. It will be myself, my wife, and a 5-month-old baby.
We would want a compound accommodation to offer some social life to my wife and the young one as he grows up. Hoping for a 2-bed apartment but more importantly a decent compound.

Expenses/month:
  • Rent - 12,500
  • Groceries - 2000
  • Nursery - 3000
  • Utilities - 1000 (are they covered in the compound?)
  • Internet - 400
  • Mobile - 400
  • Transport - 3000
  • Entertainment/Eating Out - 2000
  • Misc - 1000

Total: 25300/Month
Trips abroad will be paid by savings. Would potentially looking to purchase a basic car in some point.

Is the above sensible, I don't want us to leave miserably over there but also need this to make sense given I will be leaving a half-decent career behind in the UK.

My main question about compounds is how on earth do you get in touch while you are abroad? They do not seem to be responding to emails even the more upmarket ones. Anyone with local knowledge can offer some thoughts?

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Old Jun 6th 2024, 7:34 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh Reality Check and a Few Questionss

Originally Posted by Ramaya
We would want a compound accommodation to offer some social life to my wife and the young one as he grows up. Hoping for a 2-bed apartment but more importantly a decent compound.

Expenses/month:
  • Rent - 12,500
You won't get a 2 bedroom on a 'decent compound' for anything near 12500. Think closer to 20000 a month. Also, keep in mind that compounds will want a year's rent in advance (sometimes they will accept two payments of 6 months and 6 months), so it's a lot of cash to be handing over. You may wish to speak to your employer about that too.

Some compounds will answer email, many won't. I'd ask your employer for someone local to support housing or booking into a serviced hotel/apartment for a month or two while you visit compounds to sort that out. Saudi is not geared for a rental market like Dubai and/or everywhere else, so email and phone is hit-and-miss. Best to visit in person.

Last edited by clownshow; Jun 6th 2024 at 7:52 pm.
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Old Jun 6th 2024, 8:40 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh Reality Check and a Few Questionss

Thanks for the reply and the heads up maybe gives me a point to negotiate towards the upper range of that offer. Is it normal to ask for support from the employer in the compound payments?

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Old Jun 6th 2024, 8:50 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh Reality Check and a Few Questionss

Yes, most ask for assistance though it's not guaranteed. Accomodation used to be included as standard in a Saudi package, but now more and more companies are giving a housing allowance rather than providing compound accomodation (this being a contribution' towards housing that is far cheaper than paying for a compound). If the company tells you its up to you, then at least you know the score.

I'd also raise your budget for groceries, car rental and pretty much everything else. A compound will want about 5000sar for furnishings, another 5000sar for a wifi router and groceries are expensive. Eating out is also expensive with the price being double that of London. On average you'll pay around 500 to 1000sar for a meal for 2 out in Riyadh (PF Changs, Cheesecake Factory etc).
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Old Jun 6th 2024, 9:10 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh Reality Check and a Few Questionss

Would you say that the offer on the table is on the low side for expat salaries in Riyadh? Obviously a life changing decision for us so don’t want to jump on something that actually is not worth it.
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Old Jun 7th 2024, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh Reality Check and a Few Questionss

I don't know what the job is or what your qualifications and experience are so can't say as to whether the money is good or not. Salaries range from 25k up to 100k and there is no transparency when it comes to what companies pay here, so 50k is middle of the road. If you are paying your own housing and transport, that gives an approximate base salary of 25k, with 15k for housing and 10k for transport. A car will set you back around 5k a month, maybe a bit less depending on what you want so it's do-able provided you are not expecting to live like royalty. 25k a month is around 5000GBP, so a 60k salary without the tax. Not the rock star money many think Saudi pays.

If you have a good job, with job security in the UK, then I'd think long and hard about making the move to KSA.
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Old Jun 8th 2024, 3:53 am
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Default Re: Riyadh Reality Check and a Few Questionss

I do have a decent job here and good prospects but no way I would be able to save £30-40k a year in the current UK climate. The reason I would do it would be to save some money for a few years and also experience a different part of the world while our little one is still young. Your advice has been most valuable and have managed to get some responses back from a few compounds so a revised expense would look like this:

Expenses/month:
  • Rent - 18000 (Furnished 2-bed Apartment within a decent compound)
  • Groceries - 2000
  • Nursery - 3000 (Seems about the going rate maybe would go up to 40k a year)
  • Utilities - 500 (Partially covered within the compound price, including internet)
  • Mobile - 500
  • Transport - 3000 (Would purchase a basic car after selling ours back in the UK, maybe we could use a part-time driver so leaving this cost in)
  • Entertainment/Eating Out - 2000
  • Misc - 1000
Total 30000/month

On 55k/month all-inclusive salary that leaves me with 25k/month in savings or 300k/year which is roughly £62k a year. Assume £10k for holidays/travelling a year for a family of three £2k for visas, entry/exit fees that leaves me with £50k savings. Which is the reason why I'm looking at this. I guess need to push for 55k and above to make this worthwhile.





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Old Jun 8th 2024, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh Reality Check and a Few Questionss

You will be able to save more than you ever would in the UK, that's for sure. Best of luck to you.
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Old Jun 15th 2024, 12:03 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh Reality Check and a Few Questionss

Just a small tip. I've found getting a multi sim package with an unlimited data package work perfectly for sticking one in the router and one in the phone. About 400 per sim, so 800 in total ish. But check STC, Mobily, Virgin, etc for current prices.

Groceries are still probably a little on the low side..but should be manageable depending on what you require. A toothpaste tube is 40 sar plus if you buy imported..so it can be expensive in Saudi, but it can also be made cheaper.

Good luck on your new adventure.
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Old Jul 11th 2024, 1:08 am
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Default Re: Riyadh Reality Check and a Few Questionss

Originally Posted by Ilovegregggs
Just a small tip. I've found getting a multi sim package with an unlimited data package work perfectly for sticking one in the router and one in the phone. About 400 per sim, so 800 in total ish. But check STC, Mobily, Virgin, etc for current prices.

Groceries are still probably a little on the low side..but should be manageable depending on what you require. A toothpaste tube is 40 sar plus if you buy imported..so it can be expensive in Saudi, but it can also be made cheaper.

Good luck on your new adventure.
reminded me of my early days where I would gargle with Evian rather than use the treated sewage water but yes, there are cheaper alternatives to everything here if you look around. I had lunch yday for 400 SAR and today for 25 SAR, both were great.
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