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Whats the life as an expat in Hail, Saudi Arabia?

This is Boon from Sydney and hope everybody is doing well in Hail, Saudi Arabia.

I have been offered an assistant professorship at the University of Hail, Saudi Arabia for a year. I am just wondering if you will be happy to provide some insightful info as an expat

I have compiled a list of questions so if you do not mind to help out a little:
1. weather? culture? people? architecture? food?
2. My position will be assistant professor and based on my understanding, will be entitled a one bedroom apartment without sharing? How’s the size of the apartment? Do they have what we need? (Oven, fridge, dryer and washing machine)
3. Am a single male so would be keen to know if there would be any potentials around? How do they see expats?
4. How big is the university? Are there many expats living there? What nationalities generally?
5. What about the cost of living in Hail, just wonder if you could give me a few examples like how much you paid in Europe/Australia in comparisons to Hail?
6. Do expats date expats?
7. Do you feel the isolation?
8. I heard that expats generally work there for a year and then leave, so wonder if thats the case? I am hesitant to do that so work condition is crucial for me.
10. Do they have Chinese/Japanese food over there? I only take pork and chicken, just wonder if they are widely available in a muslim country.

Cheers,
Boon

I've lived in hail for 3 months, It's a very small silent city 300 miles from the capital Riyadh, Weather is quite colder there in winters and in summers it is less hotter then other hottest cities of the kingdom.
Well you won't find any potential one there easily as it's a small city and also most of the expats population there are mainly asians.
University of Hail is big one, I have worked there,
Expats work here as long as they are making good amount of money but some are not happier to be there due to the Less creative environment here...
In Riyadh You will find many Cuisines but in Hail, You won't find any..
For more, Feel free to ask anything. Thanks

This is Boon from Sydney and hope everybody is doing well in Hail, Saudi Arabia.

  I have been offered an assistant professorship at the University of Hail, Saudi Arabia for a year. I am just wondering if you will be happy to provide some insightful info as an expat.

I have compiled a list of questions so if you do not mind to help out a little:

* Hi Boon, I will try my best to answer your queries below one by one based on personal experience and perspective as a newly employed Assistant Professor at the UoH.

1. weather? culture? people? architecture? food?

* Weather can regarded as moderate compared to other parts of KSA. I am a new comer here so have only experienced winter here which is quite ok.

* Cultural experience so far is narrow but its as accommodating or challenging as a person like me moving to some part of Australia (as I did back in 2014).

* People generally nice, more communication is with colleagues in the college. Most of them have degrees from foreign universities so they are quite supportive and accommodating. People outside university may be a bit different and not very fluent with the understanding of English so little to no communication. Students here, in general have regards and respect for the teachers.

* Architecture and Food seem ok so far, nothing too exceptional to mention (as far as I see it...)


2. My position will be assistant professor and based on my understanding, will be entitled a one bedroom apartment without sharing? How’s the size of the apartment? Do they have what we need? (Oven, fridge, dryer and washing machine)

* Generally and in my case joining this year a lump sum payment of 25000 SAR is paid for housing each year and 12500 SAR for once while residing in KSA as the furnishing allowance. May be from next year they provide accommodation at UoH (not confirmed yet). But in either case allowance is good enough to get a spacious home and save some amount and if the university provides the accommodation instead of the allowance that will be far more than a single bed. (Allowances or Accommodation facilities are same for Assistant, Associate or Full Professor)

3. Am a single male so would be keen to know if there would be any potentials around? How do they see expats?

* In a city like Ha'il, social life can be limited and the chances for potentials around are extremely rare (as a personal view)


4. How big is the university? Are there many expats living there? What nationalities generally?

* University by its area, future development and student size is quite big (being the state university in Ha'il). To my surprise its quite multi-cultural with mostly Asians (Indians, Pakistanis) or locals with Egyptians. Some of them may have EU or foreign passports too.

5. What about the cost of living in Hail, just wonder if you could give me a few examples like how much you paid in Europe/Australia in comparisons to Hail?

* Very economical (fuel. electricity, food, grocery, car, rents) every single thing compared to Sydney is way much cheaper.

6. Do expats date expats?

* sorry mate no clue.


7. Do you feel the isolation?

* Depends, you may or may not based on one's cultural backgrounds and preferences. Its a small city so a bit relaxed and some good bit of malls and alike places around to have some outing.

8. I heard that expats generally work there for a year and then leave, so wonder if thats the case? I am hesitant to do that so work condition is crucial for me.

* What I have experienced so far is that expats are working here as long as 5 to 10 odd years and happy because of the relaxed environment.

10. Do they have Chinese/Japanese food over there? I only take pork and chicken, just wonder if they are widely available in a muslim country.

* Chinese/Japanese food may be available you may just have to look and explore the locality. Not sure how authentic the food would be. Chicken yes, pork never (as far as I know).

On a side note, having a car is a must in Ha'il. Its like a basic necessity. Public transportation is virtually non-existent. All in all, ok experience for me so far. Good saving.

  + Quite environment, super relaxed job, lots of vacations, better financial saving,

  - Way off main stream cities like Riyadh or Jeddah, a bit closed circle of friends

By the way, if you may like to share about what college/department you are planning to join at UoH. Make sure in your contract (the detailed version) the amount or details about your Housing Allowance and Furnishing Allowance are clear and explicit. If any doubt you must get them clarified!

I hope that helps and if any further information may be needed, feel free to keep posting. Good Luck!

Cheers,
Boon

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Hello.
Please guide me if there r gud schools for kids. We are moving from germany to hail.
Wat could be the expense of a family with 2 kids schoolgoing

Rayyan - there are some decent schools for kids in Ha'il (no personal experience but based on general discussion with colleagues and their school going kids).

The expense is a relative issue, depending on one life style. Ha'il is normally an economical place. Basic estimates (approx - monthly basis):

Rent: 12000 - 15000 SAR per anum for a decent family house

Kids Schooling: 300 - 350 SAR per month/child

Electricity Bills: Winter 50 SAR/month, Winter upto 200 SAR/month

Medical is free at public hospitals, which are quite good.

Petrol: Normally 30 - 35 SAR to get the tank full for 1.3 - 1.6 liter engine.

Unlike Germany or alike countries, public transport is virtually non-existent here, only a few taxis. Car/vehicle is a MUST while moving in with a family. Purchase of car and its operational aspects quite economical. 

I have slightly limited experience as myself also moved here, recently. I do hope the above indicators provide you with the basic estimates.

Regards and Good Luck!

I have just moved from Hail to Riyadh after just 2 and a half years in Hail.
Hail is what you make it, they call it the friendly city and yes the people are friendly. There are some beautiful mountains arround the city and you can go up into them. Yes there is chinees restaurants in Hail and they do deliver. Kung po chicken is nice. In the 2 and half years i was there i can honestly say i saw only one or two people from the Uni. They seem to keep themselves to themselves and stay in their compound. Living is cheep there, i had several suits made at a cost of one hundred english pounds each and very good quality. There is an indian area with lots of shops its good to visit. There is a good applebees restauant as well. Hail is what you make it. The city looks a little run down but that is because it has a lot of construction taking place. But Hail is more conservative than Riyadh. To enjoy the city get out and explore. Since being here i have experienced a saudi wedding been camping in the mountains, visited a friends little farm, been off road driving in the desert and so much more. At first it did feel very claustrophobic but I learnt you have to get out to enjoy it. Show respect and you will find friends and have fun. Good luck

Hi
Does any body know about housing provided by university of hail? I am offered a position at University of Hail and planning to move in July/August 2017.  Also, how to search accommodation (a 3 bedroom house/apartment) and what is average rent as I could not find anything online. Could someone tell me about Mishar compound?
Also, any idea about tuition fee for grade 2 kids at Al-Masarat International or any other american school?   
Thanks in advance

Hi
I have applied to University of Hail for a faculty position one and a half month back. I did not heard from them any thing. Can some one share the experience of their hiring process. what type of interview, the interview questions and specifically the total turn around time of the whole process. Any tips will be highly appreciated.
Regards

Hi Newbie,

as per last year, the housing allowance was provided to expat employees. The best is to arrive here and than look for a home. Initial 3 days accommodation is  provided by the university. Reasonable house can be between 13 - 16 K per anum.

Hope it helps...

Hi Seeamir,

You may hear from them till Mar - Apr (just an estimate), if no call by that time, than application may not be considered for this year. Typical academic hiring process like skype/web interview and to judge the suitability of the candidate for the position.

Hope it helps...

Hi Beautiful_Mind,

Thanks for your response.
Fingers crossed and waiting to hear from Hail.

Thanks a lot Beautiful_mind :)

Welcome!! and in case any further relevant information may be need. Feel free to ask.

Thanks!

Hi there,
I applied for a faculty position at the Univ. of Hail and was interviewed through skype last week. what will be next step and how long will it take?
thanks

If you get the job then everything will be fantastic.thats all about it.nothing is nicer and enjoying thet working in your field here.

Hi
Best of luck WaterlooMario for your job interview. Expert my comment on the process onward.

Hello,
I had a skype interview for a faculty position from the Univ of Hail on mid-February, but haven't heard anything from them. Will you please share your experience if you have any...

best wishes

If you had a skype in Feb, wait till April to get some feedback, most process takes time here.  If you have contact details of the Univ, or recruiter send them a mail and ask for an update.

I, myself was interviewed in Apr and in Jun got the offer - last year. I would say Min 3 months time to get any update/final outcome should be considered as normal...

thanks

Hi,
Thanks to all for your useful contributions to this blog.
I may be coming to Univ of Hail and have questions about the schooling of kids.
1- Does Hail have its own elementary school for kids (of staff n faculty)?

2- If not, what kind of good schools  (International/American/British curriculum) are around in the area that is commutable?

3- What kind of support (Financial) is available from the Uni. of Hail for sending kids to school? 
I have heard that some employers (universities) will pay the fee directly to the schools, what is the case here?

Please let me know to the best of your knowledge.

Thanks a lot.

Dear Rayyan, we are also a family from Germany which are planning to move to Hail.  My husband has a offer as assistance professor  from the university.
Would be very nice to stay in contact with you  :)

When will you come to Hail?  What about your visa?  Did you already get it? We got the letter of the culture office and are on the way to fulfill the steps they want from my husband.(Endbeglaubigte Promotionsurkunde).
But actually till now we didn't understand how it will work. Will first he get the visa and travel without us to Saudi Arabia and than we can follow when his "iqama " is clear? ??

Maybe also someone else from the community can help me?

And what a about the school for our kids.  When should one contact them? We are interest in al Masarat.
  Will the University pay also the fee for kids under age 6? Our daughter will be 6 in Dezember.  Not yet when school season starts im September.

Hope to hear from you.

Viele Grüße.

Hi Sanfur,
You need to get in contact with saudi cultural attache in berlin. They will guide you how to proceed for the visa application and work contract letter.
If you already got visa authrisation letter and initial offer letter signed by the rector of Hail university. Then you can contact cultural
Attache.
They will will guide you regarding your degree attestation from Bundesverwaltungsamt and authentication from saudi embassy. Then you can apply for visa appointment.

......And degree first will be attested from the university then city prasidium office after that Bundedverwaltubgsamt. Then you can send to cultural attache.

Thanks Rayyan for your answer.
We already send the Promotionsurkunde to our lokal office for legalisation in Stuttgart and are waiting. Then i now we will have to send it to the Bundesverwaltungsamt in Köln. How long did these steps took in your case?
But what about the Health test (HIV....)? Just my husband has to do them?  It is not clear for us.
And will he has to go first to Saudi Arabia and we come later?

Grüße aus Karlsruhe

.... @sanflur
As I mentioned in previous message to get in contact with cultural office. You will get all information from there.
1- medical test for both of you
2- children vaccine book copy
3- you all will get visa at the same time
4- cultural attache will give you the letter for getting visa

The best option for you is to contact frankfurt consulate and cultural attache in berlin for current infotmation
Good luck :)

Hi did your house come with furniture or did you have to buy furniture?

Are there any means of public transportation like drivers to contact to take one to the university.

Hi,

the university provides the furnishing allowance than it is up to the individuals to go for whatever they like - furnished or unfurnished.

There is no concept of the public transport, except for the Taxis. Yes, drivers are available to provide the pick and drop (the better option than Taxis)

Thank you for the information.

welcome!

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