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Young Family moving to Saudi, Riyadh

Young Family moving to Saudi, Riyadh

Old Jul 29th 2023, 6:41 pm
  #1  
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Default Young Family moving to Saudi, Riyadh

Hi everyone, hope all all well.

I wanted to ask about anyone who has taken a young family out to Riyadh and what their experience was? We are a family of 5, children between ages 8-3years.
My husband will be working out there, and the idea is that he goes out prior to us, to check out the areas etc and find suitable accommodation for us etc.

Please can anyone help with the following:

1) The package offered to husband does not include housing. Is this something that needs to be negotiated?

2) What british curriculum schools are reccommended? I have read up about BISR, but im aware there are others too, that may be an option.

3) Compound living vs off-compound - what is advised? And which compounds are not eye wateringly expensive. Whilst i appreciate that the wage will be tax free, the aim is to save as much as possible!! Ideally we would like a 3 bed villa. What is value for money?

4) Leading on from the above point, can one purchase a house and rather than paying rent, pay a mortgage?

5) What areas would be advised to stay within if off-compound?

Apologies for the long list of questions, but with young children we need to really consider everything before uprooting them and moving to a new country!!

Many thanks
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Old Jul 30th 2023, 3:01 am
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Default Re: Young Family moving to Saudi, Riyadh

Originally Posted by SumeraUK
1) The package offered to husband does not include housing. Is this something that needs to be negotiated?
Yes, unless he has been given a very significant base salary. Have they offered money for school fees? These I have been told start from about 30k a year for the cheaper schools and 60k for the more expensive. Price does matter here.

3) Compound living vs off-compound - what is advised? And which compounds are not eye wateringly expensive. Whilst i appreciate that the wage will be tax free, the aim is to save as much as possible!! Ideally we would like a 3 bed villa. What is value for money?
A compound, for the social aspect and the general standard of housing provided. Riyadh also has pretty awful traffic issues, so hours commuting can be a daily burden.
4) Leading on from the above point, can one purchase a house and rather than paying rent, pay a mortgage?
I'm not sure you'd want to buy any real estate in Saudi. Construction quality is something that doesn't quite exist here.

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Old Jul 31st 2023, 10:18 am
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Default Re: Young Family moving to Saudi, Riyadh

Originally Posted by SumeraUK
2) What british curriculum schools are reccommended? I have read up about BISR, but im aware there are others too, that may be an option.
Other than BISR, take a look at Reigate Grammar School (Previously called The Multinational School) and Kings College. It will depend on availability in each year etc.

Last edited by fezzer; Jul 31st 2023 at 11:06 am.
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Old Oct 11th 2023, 6:56 am
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Default Re: Young Family moving to Saudi, Riyadh

Hi Sumera.

How are you getting on with your research? We are in the same situation (moving with our 3 year old and need a British school) and any advice would be really appreciated!
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Old Oct 15th 2023, 9:41 am
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Default Re: Young Family moving to Saudi, Riyadh

Originally Posted by SumeraUK
Hi everyone, hope all all well.

I wanted to ask about anyone who has taken a young family out to Riyadh and what their experience was? We are a family of 5, children between ages 8-3years.
My husband will be working out there, and the idea is that he goes out prior to us, to check out the areas etc and find suitable accommodation for us etc.

Please can anyone help with the following:

1) The package offered to husband does not include housing. Is this something that needs to be negotiated?

2) What british curriculum schools are reccommended? I have read up about BISR, but im aware there are others too, that may be an option.

3) Compound living vs off-compound - what is advised? And which compounds are not eye wateringly expensive. Whilst i appreciate that the wage will be tax free, the aim is to save as much as possible!! Ideally we would like a 3 bed villa. What is value for money?

4) Leading on from the above point, can one purchase a house and rather than paying rent, pay a mortgage?

5) What areas would be advised to stay within if off-compound?

Apologies for the long list of questions, but with young children we need to really consider everything before uprooting them and moving to a new country!!

Many thanks

Hi Sumera -

1. All salaries are made up of a base salary, 25% housing + 10% transport allowance per the Labour law however in practice, the all-in figure is quoted for brevity given its entirely up to you how you spend it. So your husband will have a housing element as standard but the standard housing component is unlikely to be enough for a Western style compound. Most expats are given an additional housing allowance on top of the monthly all-in figure, or accommodation is arranged and paid for by the company. Either option is fine, one removes all the hassle but limits choice, the other gives you much more flexibility. Saying that, if your husband package is a local contract, then there may not be anything further to add.

2. All the western schools are pretty much the same, limited choice despite some new names popping up this year, so its a no brainer just to go with BISR - they have an AL HAMRA and DQ campus so depends on where you will live, as per pp, you want to avoid younger kids have a horrendous commute every morning and afternoon. The AL HAMRA campus is moving to a brand spanking new building next year. Budget 60k per child per annum, although its a little cheaper for the younger kids plus a third child discount applies. Things are changing and not all companies provide school fees, but the decent ones should at least have a contribution for each child, unlikely to get uncapped fees these days, lucky if you are.

3. Good compounds are eye-wateringly expensive - decent start at 200k up to 450k SAR, ok ones can be had for 100-150k SAR. Usual names in no order of preference - AL HAMRA, CORDOBA, CALIFORNIA (apartments), WADI QURTABA, NAJD etc. Off compound is entirely a personal choice, much cheaper and some nicer areas in the North like AL MALGA, YASMIN, prob get a large villa for 150 but your kids and yourself may be bored / isolated - suggest a year in a compound to find your feet, then look around.

Mortgages are possible but not straightforward, but honestly don't bother. A large number of families, for whatever reason, dont make it past the first 6 months - you get to 2 years and you'll prob end up staying for much longer, especially while the kids are younger.



Last edited by Mearns; Oct 15th 2023 at 9:46 am.
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Old Feb 4th 2024, 4:27 pm
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Default Re: Young Family moving to Saudi, Riyadh

Originally Posted by Lauryna
Hi Sumera.

How are you getting on with your research? We are in the same situation (moving with our 3 year old and need a British school) and any advice would be really appreciated!

Hi there!!

Im So sorry, i just your message now!!

We have found places for our children at Kings College. Accomodation secured at a nearby compound, District. i belive its under new managemnt, and the the lady is very responsive. My husband is there already and staying in a hotel whilst they ready the "villa".

Please email me if you would like to connect and i hope we can support each other through this nerve wracking situation!
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