Saudi Arabia is an exciting place to live. With over 20 million tourists on average per annum, we can indeed say there is something pulling people close to this Country.
This article explores the many aspects, perks, and know-how of living in Saudi Arabia.
- Perks of living in Saudi Arabia
- Things to know about Saudi Arabia
- Popular sports in Saudi Arabia
- Popular places to visit in Saudi Arabia
- Here are some places which you can visit while in Saudi Arabia
- Life of An ex-pats in KSA
Perks of living in Saudi Arabia
Many people move to have a better life in Saudi Arabia since it has a decent economy. Petroleum and oil dominate Saudi Arabia. There are many job opportunities for young graduates.
The job market is decent since many international companies are interested in the Country due to its resources. All in all, it is a promising country with excellent career prospects.
Tourism is easy:
Saudi Arabia is close to many countries, such as UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and many more. This makes traveling more convenient and relatively less costly.
It also means that traveling to, say USA or Australia would also not take an ample amount of time since Saudi Arabia is known to be in the middle of the world.
Strict law enforcement:
This is another good reason this Country is an excellent place to live. Saudi Arabia, especially in recent times, has enhanced their security.
The crime rates are meager, and there are little to no safety threats. Additionally, police and other such officials are exceptionally equipped for any needs.
Moreover, in a survey, Riyadh was among the top 50 safest countries in the world.
High education standards:
Saudi Arabia has commendable schools and universities. Saudis give significant importance to education. Many schools offer a wide variety of subjects, and university degrees are globally recognized.
In a survey done in 2020, it was seen that the literacy rate in Saudi Arabia was 97.5%.
Perks of earning:
Usually, an employer can quickly get up to 30 days of paid leaves. Additionally, if you are an ex-pat, there is a high chance that your employer will pay for round visits you take to your home country once or twice a year.
Perhaps the best part is that there is no income tax. Yes! You heard that right. You have to pay no income tax at all.
This is refreshing for many people since many countries take as much as 30% of a person’s pay for the tax.
Things to know about Saudi Arabia
Like every Country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a few rules and customs that one must abide by. If you plan to relocate there, it is crucial to know that the laws will be strictly based on Islamic principles and Sharia law.
Additionally, if you are someone who consumes alcohol and pork, both of them are banned, and there is severe punishment if anyone tries to sell or purchase such eatables.
Another vital element is the climate. There is scorching heat almost yearly, except for 2 – 3 months.
Weather records up to 55 degrees Celsius, and 50 degrees are pretty standard. The air is primarily arid, and the nights are hardly windy.
However, with air conditioners readily available, it is not that big of an issue. And, one does get used to the different climate in some time.
The capital city is Riyadh. The currency used and accepted is Saudi Riyal. It is wise to convert your money to that Riyal if you plan to visit.
The dialing code is +966, and emergency numbers are: 999 (police), 997 (ambulance), 998 (firefighters).
The national language is Arabic. Knowing a bit of Arabic is good since some Saudi locals may find it easier to interact with you.
However, English is also widely spoken, and you can get around with just knowing English as well.
If you are planning to relocate, you must sort out your health insurance and residency and see nearby spots by your living space. Many employers give residence to ex-pats.
Commonly, there are compounds where workers all live. Such compounds offer many facilities relating to sports and leisure.
This makes it easier for people who are not well acquainted with the likes of the Country and places just yet.
Popular sports in Saudi Arabia
Recently, there has been a lot of focus on sports and recreational activities in Saudi Arabia. Nationals and ex-pats both now have many opportunities where they can play sports.
Different teams have also been recruited, which have gone on to play internationally.
Camel racing is unarguably one of the oldest sports in Saudi Arabia and is loved by locals and foreigners alike.
It is a sport that is a delight to watch. Many races are held annually where thousands of camels compete.
There’s more, with races, camel beauty pageants are also held, where camels are pitted against each other based on their features.
There are great places to watch a camel race in Taif square, Janadriya Riyadh, and many more.
Football is a sport that has won the hearts of many people living in Saudi Arabia. It is also said to be the most popular sport in the Country, with many new clubs and exquisite coaches to polish up players’ skills.
National clubs are gaining popularity, and many are keen to be good at this sport to open up further opportunities.
Cricket is another sport which people now commonly play. A lot of the credit for this goes to the ex-pats in the Country who take a deep interest in the sport.
Many people enjoy watching cricket matches and trying their hand at playing the sport. Along with the ex-pats, local Saudis have also merged into the teams.
If you enjoy sports, you will have a few options and opportunities while living and staying in Saudi Arabia.
Exploring their local sports and seeing what the locals enjoy the most is always great. You may end up loving them as well!
Popular places to visit in Saudi Arabia
If you are planning to visit for tourism, it is better to go in the winter when the temperature is decent. Many places in Saudi Arabia are worth seeing.
However, it is essential to know that the Holy city of Makkah is only open to Muslims. There are multiple checkpoints to see and ensure that you are of the Muslim faith before they allow you to move past.
Here are some places which you can visit while in Saudi Arabia
The ruins of Al’Ula:
These ruins are old abandoned tombs dating back to the 12th century. These monuments are a treat for people who enjoy archeology and history.
They show what Arab infrastructure was like and give a glimpse into how people lived then.
Further, you can also find writings and such on the monuments. Some have been renovated, but many haven’t been touched and stay the same as they were all those years ago.
The mud brick huts are great for exploring and show a good image of ancient times.
This is an excellent tourist spot if you want some change. Known to be one of the most beautiful spots in Saudi Arabia, Kadambal Islands is about 30 minutes from the Asir coast.
Visitors can reach the Islands by boat. There are little to no inhabitants in the area.
The Islands are famous for their clean waters. Many people go there to fish, even amateur fishermen or tourists who do it for fun. Further, it is an excellent place for swimming and deep sea diving.
There are mountains also connected to the sea, where hiking can be done. Many migrating birds also find a place to stay in the Islands, another reason to visit the islands.
Al Ahsa Oasis:
This is a large landscape with many attractions. These attractions include mountains, historical buildings, springs, gardens, monuments, etc. Many tourists spend a couple of days fully exploring the oasis.
It is pretty refreshing to see that Saudi Arabia also has attractions unrelated to desserts. There are many natural attractions such as mountains and springs.
In contrast, there are also high-end malls if you are one to like shopping. Some museums are also present to satisfy your curiosity about Saudi history.
Al Murabba Palace:
This palace belongs to the first founding king of Saudi Arabia. Along with the rich history of this palace, there are many beautiful gardens out back which one can enjoy.
You can also see many items which were the personal belongings of the king. Along with that, there are photographs as well, showing the king in his meetings and encounters with different people.
Moreover, a Rolls Royce is also present and up for display, which was given to the King by Winston Churchill.
The king’s lift is also there, and many of the speeches he gave are present, so read through them and see what ideas and notions the king supported and believed in at that time.
These are just the tip of the iceberg. Other than these, there are many more places that one should surely visit while traveling to Saudi Arabia.
Make sure to thoroughly review the attractions and choose the ones you enjoy the most. There is a lot to do.
It depends on whether you love to sightsee or are more adventurous. Whatever you do, Saudi Arabia does not disappoint.
Life of An ex-pats in KSA
Expat is a term used to address those people who aren’t Saudi nationals. People come to Saudi Arabia from other countries for a better lifestyle, career prospects, or other reasons.
Many of Saudi Arabia’s population comprises ex-pats from all over the world.
For kids, many schools are there, both Saudi and international. Parents can choose one which they deem would be most suitable.
Saudi Arabia is significant in terms of the standard of education. Children can also opt to learn Arabic in their schools, which will be an asset to them in the future.
Usually, families mostly find their way into solid community bonds. Meeting people who have moved from the same city allows more of a familial presence and dilutes the homesickness that may occur.
Ex-pats play a massive role in Saudi Arabia’s community, blending their culture with that of Saudi Arabia through different things. Such as many South Asian local foods are now widely sold and enjoyed in the region.
Some ex-pats come for a short time before relocating somewhere else or returning to their hometown. But many live for decades and call Saudi Arabia “home.”
We at SaudiScoop hope we have answered your queries on what general life in Saudi Arabia is like.
We have many more such articles giving you a more detailed glimpse into the specifics, hoping that you enjoy and love this beautiful Country as much as we do.