We realise that relocating to Saudi Arabia is a huge step. We will do our utmost to make the transition as comfortable as possible.
Upon arrival at the airport you will be met by a hospital reprensentative to take you to the hospital or to your accommodation. You will be supplied with telephone numbers from the hospital representative in case you are delayed, or anything happens en-route.
Dress Code when you arrive at the airport
Wear some loose-fitting clothes. A dress that is calf-length, or loose trousers. A top that covers your elbows. Of course you can buy an abaya in one of the Muslim shops in Europe as well, just to wear over your clothes (put in your hand luggage). Then you will not need to buy one over there. It’s handy to have. Best to buy one in black as most people wear black abaya’s there.
We will send you information about your accommodation. All Western expatriate staff are housed together in specially designated housing compounds. Single male and female staff are housed separately, while Married staff live with their families in the Family Compounds. These compounds are secure, and no visitors are permitted without prior consent. Male visitors are prohibited from entering the female housing compounds.
The apartments / houses on these compounds are fully furnished with all the basic necessities, such as beds; bedding; towels; kitchen utensils; kitchen appliances etc. The majority of the compounds have excellent recreational facilities on site, such as tennis courts; swimming pools; gyms; squash courts; etc. Your flat is fully equipPed, however you might want to buy electrical appliances when you are there. On an expat compound, and often people leave and sell their belongings at a good price. Also, electrical and electronic equipment is cheaper over there, as you do not pay VAT.
You will need 2 pin Electricity adaptors, you can find them in travel shops.
You can apply for internet connection and Wi-FI in your flat. You do not pay for local telephone calls. You pay for international calls. There is a landline in your flat. It is best to get a Saudi SIM card as well. Take about 1000 – 2000 Saudi Riyals on the day of travel.
Your salary will be paid in Saudi Riyals. The SR is linked to the US Dollar. 1 USD= 3.75 Saudi Riyals. You can get an advance on your pay on your arrival if you want that. Also, there are ATM machines in most places, including the hospitals, and you can withdraw money there. There is no tax payable on salaries at all in the Kingdom. You should also not be liable for taxation in your home country, as most countries laws state that if you are out of the country for 183-days in a 12-month period then you do not get charged local income tax. Obviously it is best to double-check the tax laws in your own country.
Generally the salary you earn is 100% TAX-FREE!! You will also be given other benefits, such as:
Free flights on initial hire and upon completion of your contract;
Free annual flight for your vacation
Free Accommodation and amenities
Free Transportation to and from work
Free Medical & Dental care; Free recreation facilities
Free study and courses
In general safety is not a concern, provided that you abide by the Saudi laws and respect the culture and beliefs, as you should in any foreign country. The Expat Housing Compounds are secure, access-controlled areas. The Saudis have very strict laws and harsh consequences for any illegal activities, so there generally is not much crime at all. However, it is always advisable to be alert and keep valuables hidden from view. As in any country there are always exceptions to the rule and petty theft is still possible. Women should always be conservative and discreet when out in public.
Dealing with the culture shock
You might experience a culture shock. We advise you to give yourself time to adjust to your new environment. As you will be sharing this experience with many other expatriates we recommend to use this to your advantage. Make friends, go out, explore. Enjoy the differences.