Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, covers a large part of the Arabian Peninsula and is one of the world’s largest producers of crude oil. Of its population of 33.4 million*, 20.7 million* (approximately 62%) are Saudi nationals.
Its largest city is the capital, Riyadh, closely followed closely by Jeddah. Both cities are popular with expatriates due to the fact that they are where companies are based. As such, they offer a wide range of amenities and accommodation. Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, the epicenter of the Kingdom’s oil industry, also attracts many expatriates working in the sector.
The cost of expatriate accommodation in Saudi Arabia vary, depending on whether you’re living on or off “compounds”. Most non-Saudis live in compounds which feature community amenities - gyms, swimming pools, even supermarkets - and provide a cosmopolitan lifestyle and good security. Not surprisingly, high demand has driven up prices and there may be waiting lists for some of the more popular compounds.
Living outside the compounds is a cheaper alternative, and a good way to experience local life. If you choose this option, it helps to have an established network of friends, otherwise it can be an isolating experience.
Most expatriate families send their children to international schools. It advisable to do your research into the available education options early, or reach out to a relocation specialist like GAC, as there may be long waiting lists and entrance examinations involved.
When in public, women are required to be dressed in an abaya, a long black cloak to cover their normal clothes and conceal their body shape. A headscarf, also known as a hijab, is optional.
Whether you are moving to, from or within Saudi Arabia, GAC can handle your move expertly. Contact us for a free quotation.
*According to Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Statistics