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Saudi Arabia is located on the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia, bordered by the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. Home to the holiest cities in Islam, Mecca and Medina, as well as several heritage sites registered in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Arabic is the official language but English is widely spoken and is classed as a close second.
Saudi's rich heritage and traditions have been shaped by its religious ancestry; being the birthplace of Islam, but are continually evolving to meet the contemporary world of today.
Packed with nature, culture and adventure, Saudi has a lot to offer. Plenty of unique experiences not forgetting the heartfelt Saudi Arabian hospitality.
The Future of Living
Brand new cities are being built to enhance the quality of life. Neom; is a city that is set to revolutionize living. One of the signature developments is “The Line”. The Line is a unique concept of putting human health and well-being as a priority, this city will be running on 100% renewable energy, no cars, no emissions and will eventually accommodate up to 9 million people.
What a way to live! See more here
Large Expat Community
More than 1/3 of Saudis Arabia’s population is made up of expats living mostly in Riyadh (the capital) and Jeddah. These two cities have plenty of western and international amenities.
You will find families mainly residing in the compounds and gated communities.
The apartments and villas are usually fully furnished and the compounds are complete with swimming pools, fitness centres, shopping centres, restaurants and schools; you will rarely feel the need to step outside.
Most international schools offer a variety of backgrounds of a high-quality education catering to students from around the world with curricula from British, America and other schooling systems.
You can check here for schools in Riyadh
You can check here for schools in Jeddah
Healthcare is a top priority for the Saudi Arabian Government. They are expecting to spend $36.8 billion this year to expand and improve healthcare and social development across the country. The plan is to launch ‘health clusters’ across Saudi, each cluster will be an integrated network of health care providers serving approximately 1 million people.
Your employer will register you for private health insurance and you’ll receive a health insurance card when complete which can be used for doctors, hospitals and therapy treatments.
Now, this is a biggie. Many countries tax their expats up to 50%, you can enjoy a luxurious tax-free lifestyle here with added benefits depending on your employment package making it a no-brainer for some.
Leisure Activities & Transportation Facilities
Alongside the beautiful scenery, fascinating culture and historic sights there are plenty of activities to keep you busy in your spare time.
From desert adventures to scuba diving in the reefs of the Red Sea, hiking at Jebel Fihrayn or exploring new flavours on the delicious Arabian Food Tour, there's something here for everyone.
For more ideas check out this website!
In major cities like Riyadh, you will find a vast array of sports and clubs such as football, tennis, archery, horse riding and golf to name a few. Find out more here.
If you are looking for something slightly more chilled there are probably too many mall options (if that’s even possible), offering copious amounts of world-class international shops, food and cinemas.
Cars and taxi’s are the easiest way to navigate the cities. However, you may not always need a car to get around in Saudi Arabia.
Improvements have been made to trains and bus services and it's expanding year by year.
Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Transport have been developing the railway network, the four largest cities in Saudi will all have a multi-line metro network by the end of the decade. Riyadh Metro is expected to open by the end of 2022!
The Saudi Public Transport Company (SAPTCO) operates intercity bus routes throughout Saudi Arabia. You can use the app to search for routes and book online.
Uber and Careem apps are available too to grab a cheap cab!
See here for further details
Saudi’s capital city, Riyadh, has a major international airport with non-stop passenger flights scheduled to 98 destinations in 39 countries. From local destinations such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Cairo and Amman to further afield, London, Paris, New York and Barcelona.
On the doorstep, The Red Sea Project is an upcoming mega-development that you will soon be able to travel to. This will offer an indulgent experience where luxury and a natural environment combine. Over 90 beautiful islands and coastlines- this is set to be a serious tourist hub!
If you are looking for an all-year-round glow, Saudi is your answer! The sun shines most of the year but be mindful that it is a desert climate! The hotter months are between June and August. Winters will be mostly dry and cool. Rainfall is scarce but can be found between the cooler months November-April.
The Expat Women in Saudi
Deciding what to wear as a woman in Saudi may be slightly confusing. Many Muslim women wear an abaya and headscarf to cover their body and hair, some still wear a full Saudi Arabia burqa. Since 2019 it is no longer required for women to cover their hair and body and allows you to be freer in your choices. It is recommended to wear respectable clothing and cover as much skin as possible when outside to respect the culture of the country.
On the social side for ladies, there are lots of women's groups within the compounds that offer classes for learning new skills and hobbies- a great way to meet some like-minded people! The compounds also offer Zumba classes, boot camps, water aerobics and other fitness activities on your doorstep! Click here for more options!
Monthly coffee morning bazaars are held at larger compounds for women to attend, relax, get to know one another, and meet fellow entrepreneurs starting up small businesses.
Saudi has recently started to become a sporting event capital hosting some of the most legendary events including Formula One, World Championship Boxing (Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz), Golf (Saudi international), Tennis and the Saudi Cup (horse racing). This will allow you to see the world's biggest sports stars live! You can see the fixtures here!
Saudi Esports (computer gaming) has been introduced to put Saudi on the world gaming map.