Living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Discussion in 'Living Overseas' started by Ops_Offr, Mar 26, 2011.

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  1. I may have an option on a job in Jeddah and was wandering if anyone has any experience of living and working there. The role is with the SA National Guard. I am aware of the usual stories but would appreciate anyone who can provide a pepper grinding of ground truth. Thanks in advance, Ops Offr.
  2. I was considered for a civvie job in Saudi 10 years ago. I didn't do it and i still woudn't. This is a stone age society where gender segregation is the norm and non-muslims (khafirs) are always 2nd class, even white Europeans/Americans. Like said, cannot comment on how things might work in the forces, but given the current unrest in the region, you might be asked to do some very unpleasant things to the very citizens you ought to protect. Working with the Saudis isn't easy either, they are very much used to everybody else doing everything for them (such as the Pakistanis flying their jets), hence if they can get a foreigner to do a job for them, they see that as an prefered option to working their own people harder to get there.

    Oh yes, dont get me started on the no booze, porn and non practising of other religions etc. No amount of money would be sufficient for me to make this move.
  3. Worked there for five years, everything that Viceroy said above. However, there are a couple of exceptions. I have never mets so many alcoholics in one place in all my life. This includes members of the host nation. One unfortunate individual died from a drug overdose, the fact that he was a Saudi national was conveniently glossed over.

    Socially, the place cannot be faulted, the work will drive you to distraction and can be immensely frustrating because logic will never ever enter the equation.

    The one thing you must remember to do is "GRIN AND BANK IT" best of luck. DKH
  4. Thanks Guys, useful to have an idea of these things.
  5. See my bold - this problem is not restricted to SA, it can be said for all Arab countries, I came to the UAE to assist on a project with a heavy emphasis on 'Knowledge Transfer' however, on arrival it was clear that is not the case and they expect the 'experts' to do everything for them. The best advise is given below "GRIN AND BANK IT"
  6. Holy thread resurrection, Batman...

    I could be heading to Riyadh in a couple of weeks. Initial contract is six months, so if I don't like it, I won't be stuck there for too long. No booze? I doubt that, but it wouldn't do me any harm anyway. Accommodation is a "5 Star" ex-pat compound, so there should be a few women around...

    What I'd like to know is more about cost of living (I've been out of work so have to get through to first pay day somehow!), any "Do"s and "Don't"s, warnings, what to take, what not to take, jabs? ... basic stuff.

    My contact for the role is in Qatar at the moment and difficult, and expensive, to get hold of, so no use on this front, and also the reason why I don't know if I'm going yet or not. I'll probably get two weeks notice to go, so would like to be ready.

  7. six months is doable, depending on what it is and if it isn't during the summer / ramadan, even if its shit, so long the money is right. Life is cheap, as long as you do not have to spend on capital goods (you never have to as an expat). Compound life is great, though you do live in a bubble. You'll meet other expats and generally be bored (bring an xbox or PS3, one of the few things you're allowed to do).
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Thanks for that. Yeah, boredom is a concern!! I plan on a routine of long working days, gym, and whatever else will pass the time. The work is in Validation so mainly office based (hopefully air-conned!). The money's good - I'm not sure on the tax situation yet, as I'll be paid by an Irish company, but still good. Best get my PS3 fixed, then ^_~