Employment and Wealth
Believed to have over 20% of the world’s petroleum resources, Saudi Arabia has a rich and robust economy generating over $182 million in GDP every year.
The petrochemical industry still dominates the economy and many expats move to the country to take on skilled roles in this sector. There are also excellent opportunities for engineers and construction workers as well as doctors, nurses and English teachers.
Many employers are offering generous packages to entice skilled expats. As well as competitive salaries, many pay packages will include accommodation, transportation, education costs and healthcare insurance.
The desert heat can get a little much, but Saudi Arabia has some great holiday destinations just a few hours away. The beautiful beaches and ancient history of Turkey is just a four hour flight away and Athens is just over five.
For a complete cultural change, the North African hotspots of Morocco and Tunisia are both around five hours away. Or head east to experience the exotic delights of Jakarta or Singapore in just nine hours.
You can also fly to London or Manchester in around nine hours directly from Jeddah for those occasional trips home. For any trip, however, you will need the permission of your sponsor and an exit visa.
But how easy is it to move there?
Moving to Saudi Arabia is a relatively straight forward procedure, providing you secure work prior to departure. Once a job offer is confirmed, your employer will act as your sponsor and arrange your work visa and residency permit, known as an Iqama, your sponsor can also help find suitable accommodation.
Most of those with a stable, well paid job will be allowed to sponsor their spouse or dependent children, but it is complicated and difficult for a sponsored spouse also to work.
For women moving to Saudi Arabia, it is worth noting that it still illegal for females to drive. A car and driver can be arranged, sometimes at the expense of the sponsor. Women are also expected to behave and dress moderately in line with the country’s strict Muslim beliefs. An Abaya must be worn when in public and most also carry a head scarf at all times.