Are you about to move to Saudi Arabia or are you thinking about what it would be like to live there? We can understand that. While it is rightly considered one of the strictest Islamic countries in the world, it has also already modernized in many ways.
Saudi Arabia used to be almost completely closed off from the outside world – only business travelers were allowed to leave the country. In the meantime, the country is taking a different direction and now also welcomes normal visitors. And the rights for women are also increasing. We are sure that moving to Saudi Arabia will prove to you how extensively this country has already changed.
But how do you plan your move in the first place? We’ll go into a little more detail about that in this post.
Finding a job for your move to Saudi Arabia
The wealthy Gulf state of Saudi Arabia has long not been an enticing prospect for foreigners seeking employment. Recently, however, this has changed, and there has been a veritable rush of foreign workers.
The Saudi government, like the governments of many countries, has sought to prioritize its own labor force over foreign aid. Moreover, it has recognized that it must expand its austerity beyond the currently limited energy sector. As a result, it has restricted the jobs for which expats can apply.
If you do not already have a residence permit for Saudi Arabia, you will need to apply for a work permit. This can be a complicated process. To do so, you will first need a certificate from a company that has permission from the Saudi Ministry of Labor to hire foreign workers.
Jobs in many private sectors have recently been restricted to Saudi nationals, and foreign workers can no longer apply. However, if you have special skills, especially in areas such as engineering, you should still be able to find available jobs.
Get health insurance after your move to Saudi Arabia.
Numerous expatriates purchase private health insurance because healthcare in Saudi Arabia is expensive and certain treatments and procedures are not available.
If you are taking out health insurance, then you should look at factors such as the maximum amounts for regular and ongoing benefits there and whether there are any denials that could affect you. In addition, you should check to see if you are limited to treatment by certain types of health care providers and if the policy covers emergency evacuation for medical treatment.
All too often, expats looking to move to Saudi Arabia only pay attention to cost when purchasing health insurance. However, they don’t consider the specific benefits. Some plans are cheaper for a reason – they often include high deductibles on future claims and may impose stifling restrictions on the benefits covered under the plan.
Don’t buy insurance without studying the policy carefully. Ask questions if you are unsure, and don’t fill out all forms completely until you are completely satisfied.
Rent an apartment after you move to Saudi Arabia.
Although there are no concrete statistics, it is estimated that about half of the population in Saudi Arabia lives for rent. Numerous expats cite the unpredictable geopolitical conditions as one of the reasons why they are reluctant to invest in real estate there. The most popular types of accommodation among expats are compound plots on reopened landholdings, with security and amenities close by.
The average cost of rent in Saudi Arabia compares quite favorably to some other Middle Eastern countries. In most cases, these costs also include services. Contracts are usually signed on a periodic renewable basis. But you have to pay the rent for a certain period in advance when you rent an apartment.
You will also have to pay a refundable deposit, which is usually the amount of one month’s rent. All rental contracts in Saudi Arabia must be registered through the electronic system “Ejar”. Failure to properly register as a tenant in Ejar may result in your work permit not being renewed.
Cultural Differences to Consider When you move to Saudi Arabia
It is important to keep in mind that Saudi Arabia is governed by strict Islamic laws and is very different from countries like the United Arab Emirates or Qatar. For example, same-sex relationships are illegal and can be punishable by public flogging or even the death penalty.
Furthermore, strict dress codes must be observed. For example, women must be covered and men are forbidden to wear women’s clothing – this also applies vice versa. Unbound togetherness, unions and cohabitation are prohibited except between immediate family members or when accompanied by family members.
Now you have been able to gather some information thanks to our article. We keep our fingers crossed for you and wish you all the best for your move to Saudi Arabia.
Of course, if you have any questions, we are at your disposal. You just need to send us a message describing where you are still not quite sure. We will answer you as soon as possible and provide you with comprehensive support to successfully complete your move to Saudi Arabia.