Moving to Riyadh

Hi all.
Just found out hubby will be moving to Riyadh in March and myself and then 4 children (expecting in june) will join him in September.
I know the basics but have lots of little questions I wondered if anyone could help me with?  Here goes!
1)Which compounds have Mosques close by?
2)Are pampers nappies and SMA formula available?
3)Are there any nursery shops I am able to look at online as hubby will have to equip a nursery before I get there.
4)My eldest daughter is currently in cubs in England and my son in Beavers.  I noticed on the British School website boys and girls seem to be split between rainbows and brownies and beavers and cubs.  Is this correct or are girls able to go to both groups?
5)Is there provision for musical instrument lessons in school as in England?
6)This one got to me having just celebrated Christmas and having Children!  Really no Christmas trees able to be bought anywhere?  Have heard they let in decorations but not trees.
7)Bringing things over, how expensive is it to have things container shipped?
8)I want to bring over personal nik-naks like ornaments, silk flowers, pictures etc etc, is this allowed?  I read no statues not sure whether this meant ornaments?  Have lots of photo albums I wouldn't want to leave behind.  Does anyone have an extensive list of exactly what can and can't be brought over?  I wouldn't want anything important being confiscated at customs.
9)Sky TV.  Is it available?  If not are there any English channels, kids channels, what is there to watch?
10)Is internet available?  Are you able to download and stream television on the computers?
11)  Have heard houses don't have many electrical sockets is this true?  Any electric goods to be brought over do we just use a converter plug or do we need to buy new?
12)Does anyone know what luggage allowance is available for children coming over by plane?  Also heard soft toys are confiscated at customs, going to be a nightmare getting them and clothes into suitcases!
13)Medication- I am on some meds but cannot find an actual list of banned medication, I only know codeine is one of them.
14)We have a dog to bring over, have looked into it she won't make a very good guard dog however as she is blind in one eye and is on various medications.  Has she to have a complete bill of health to come over?
14)This is the worst one. Am having to leave behind my disabled Mother who is alone and I am her only carer.  I know I cannot bring her with me but can anyone tell me about the ins and outs of her visiting?  I know there is a 30 day rule but have read you can extend this twice by paying is this true and if so her being disabled will this put pay to this or to her visiting full stop?  She is 78.
15)Do the shops on the compounds sell english branded foods like Heinz and HP and other English bits and pieces?!  Strawberry jam lol!

Well sorry about the huge amount of questions, I'm sure I will come up with more but these are all things I haven't been able to find answers to on the internet and are keeping me awake at night.  If anyone can help me with these I would be very very grateful!
Michelle x

You can get anything you want if you look in the right places ...

Dont know anything what so ever about schools so dont even have an opinion on that ...

Supermarkets are the same as anywhere else they stock all normal foods, toiletries and whatever else you may need including for the baby. They may not always have your wanted brand but you will find what you are looking for. That also includes christmas trees and other items. Plenty of english foods including jams :)

There is always a mosque close by

Shipping varies with companies and size and whether you share a container ... a 6metre seems to cost between 1500 and 2000 pounds including door to port insurance etc. Generally dont bring anything that might be considere offensive. Pictures are fine but no nude art etc. same with staues I believe, I have seen plenty of them all over just no naked guys and girls flaunting their bodies.

There is sky/cable TV and there are plenty of kids channels and you even get eastenders Same for internet, they are a fair way behind the western world at times but internet does exist and again you can get anything from it. Some sites are resitricted but you can get programmes to bypass this.

Again they are not completely primative, electrical sockets do exsist in pretty every room from what I have seen. We have all UK points in our home which is a bit of a pain but our last place was all 2 point plugs ...

Flight allowances depend on the airline so obviously you will have to look at them for an answer on that one

You use codeine or you know it is banned?? You will need prescription from you doctor to bring it with you and I'm of the understanding it needs to be translated to arabic as well. Again most meds can be found in Saudi aswell.

Sont know about the dog but i imagine it wont be easy bringing her with meds, i know a friend had her dogs in quarentine for a fair while due to various problems with nothing to do with health.

Depending on your husbands company i dont see why she definately cant come with you. Visit visa I had at first was 90 days and I was allowed to renew it as many times providing I returned to the UK between. and obviously that my husband was still my sponsor

A lot of people have there gripes with Saudi but it really isnt that bad ... i actually likme it :)

Louise xxx

hmm .. i Quick read you questions and ill try to answer as much as i can of em :)

1)Which compounds have Mosques close by?
most of the compounds have close mosques to it .. mosques are spread all over riyadh. :)

2)Are pampers nappies and SMA formula available?
you can get those either from supermarkets which is also spread in all riyadh or you can get em from pharmacies and there is alot of em here also :).

3)Are there any nursery shops I am able to look at online as hubby will have to equip a nursery before I get there.
there lots of baby shops in riyadh dont worry about it.

4)My eldest daughter is currently in cubs in England and my son in Beavers.  I noticed on the British School website boys and girls seem to be split between rainbows and brownies and beavers and cubs.
have no information about that sorry, but if you already looked into school for them try to contact it.

5)Is there provision for musical instrument lessons in school as in England?
not sure if they arrange that in schools, but there is always an easy way to find a private classes.

6)This one got to me having just celebrated Christmas and having Children!  Really no Christmas trees able to be bought anywhere?  Have heard they let in decorations but not trees.
well since i work in a compound i saw few of Christmas trees around so i guess there is places to find them, but where exactly? i dont know :$

7)Bringing things over, how expensive is it to have things container shipped?
have no info about that sorry.

8)I want to bring over personal nik-naks like ornaments, silk flowers, pictures etc etc, is this allowed?  I read no statues not sure whether this meant ornaments?  Have lots of photo albums I wouldn't want to leave behind.  Does anyone have an extensive list of exactly what can and can't be brought over?  I wouldn't want anything important being confiscated at customs.

as far as i know most of the things you mentioned no problem for it, but im not sure about statues or anything similar to it.

9)Sky TV.  Is it available?  If not are there any English channels, kids channels, what is there to watch?
yes its available and there is lots of channels and kids channels to watch.

10)Is internet available?  Are you able to download and stream television on the computers?
yes internet is available but dont compare it to the western one :p

11)  Have heard houses don't have many electrical sockets is this true?  Any electric goods to be brought over do we just use a converter plug or do we need to buy new?
you always can use extensions ..

12)Does anyone know what luggage allowance is available for children coming over by plane?  Also heard soft toys are confiscated at customs, going to be a nightmare getting them and clothes into suitcases!
have no information about that sorry.

13)Medication- I am on some meds but cannot find an actual list of banned medication, I only know codeine is one of them.
as Louise said most of meds can be found in here.

14)We have a dog to bring over, have looked into it she won't make a very good guard dog however as she is blind in one eye and is on various medications.  Has she to have a complete bill of health to come over?
not sure, but as i heard from friends its not easy to bring a dog over .. but still you can keep asking maybe people knows.

15)Do the shops on the compounds sell english branded foods like Heinz and HP and other English bits and pieces?!  Strawberry jam lol!

not sure if you can find every brand you want but i guess there is other choices in markets here. :)

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