Hi - Moving to Riyadh

Hi All,
Just received a job offer for Riyadh. I am British living in London. I am aware that it will be a big cultural change for me.

I am looking for some information on the below:

- Good compound acco in Riyadh(need a 3 bedroom place as I have two kids). Options & approx cost?

- Assuming there is a British embassy school. Does anybody know whether there is any waiting period, application deadlines, etc?

- Approx Car(E.g: BMW 5 Series & Driver costs as my wife is not allowed to drive)

I have reviewed the forums, but everything is a bit scattered. So, would appreciate if anybody can help me from their experience. I will be continuing my research, So looking for some guidelines only.

Cheers
Mush

Hi Mush!

Welcome to Expat.com!

Armand

Hi Croydon,

Something most people overlook is the GUIDE.

Take a look.  Some good info there (and well organized)!

Oh, and welcome to the forum! :)

Hello!
Although we are already 2 years out of KSA, will try to help.
We lived for 3 years in Eid Villas compound, pretty good and expensive comp. Since you are looking for British school would recommend Al-Hamra Compond, it is next to the B.School. Highly recommend Al Hamra, wanted to move house there, but they have shortage of accomodation. On the other hand this compound had terrorist accident in 2000, when an American was killed(if I remember right). They changed security approach after that and it seems very safe(our baby went to pre-school there for 1,5years). Second option would be Arizona Compound or Kingdom Compound. Better to ask inviting party to arrange compound for you, because when we were leaving 2 years ago, almost every compound had long waiting list. I suppose it would be easier for Arabs to negotiate and find.
It is realy difficult to find a reliable driver there, even good money offer does not help. Plus, many women manage without personal driver, since compound is running 2-3 buses per day to different directions, and there is school bus, and limousine service from compound. Hope i helped little

Alliecat,
Thanks for your response. I have gone through the guide already.


Kugahara,
Thanks for your insightful suggestions. My employer will not be arranging accommodation for me, but will be paying me the housing allowance. I have pushed them hard enough!

I checked with Al-Hamra, (assuming this is the same as Al-Hamra Oasis Village) and they seems to have a long waiting list. :-(

Will check with Arizona compound later today.

Much appreciate all the responses.

Thanks,

Cheers
Mush

Croydon_2012 wrote:

Hi All,
Just received a job offer for Riyadh. I am British living in London. I am aware that it will be a big cultural change for me.

I am looking for some information on the below:

- Good compound acco in Riyadh(need a 3 bedroom place as I have two kids). Options & approx cost?

- Assuming there is a British embassy school. Does anybody know whether there is any waiting period, application deadlines, etc?

- Approx Car(E.g: BMW 5 Series & Driver costs as my wife is not allowed to drive)

I have reviewed the forums, but everything is a bit scattered. So, would appreciate if anybody can help me from their experience. I will be continuing my research, So looking for some guidelines only.

Cheers
Mush

Here is the link to the British school website. I am currently going through the process of getting my son enrolled there for this fall. 

http://www.britishschoolriyadh.com/

I live in the FAL compound which off the Airport/East Ring North road. Don't know what their status is on apartments right now.  Their phone number is +966 1 12483770.  Been here about 6 weeks and getting adjusted to the place.  Family is coming over later this Spring and hopefully have everythng ready for them.  Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions.  Most of the people on this blog are pretty helpful.

Good Luck

Eldon

All,
Thanks for your help. I received response only from the Arizona compound team, and they have a waiting list of 6-18 months :-(

Will continue to contact the other compounds to check availability.

Regards
Mush

Croydon_2012 wrote:

All,
Thanks for your help. I received response only from the Arizona compound team, and they have a waiting list of 6-18 months :-(

Will continue to contact the other compounds to check availability.

Regards
Mush

Usually how it works is that people come here and live in hotels or furnished apts. for a few weeks while making the rounds of compounds.

Get to know the managers and when they see you're actually here (you'd be amazed at the number of people who claim they're going to come and then just suddenly disappear), you might find that list gets a LOT shorter!!

Good luck :)

hmm. interesting point. I am planning to travel anyway, company provides hotel for 1 month. Hope this is a good time to signup for a house/villa within a compound.

Cheers

You will also find its who you know that helps as well, find yourself a good wasta and you'll be well away with saudi life ;)

Thanks All. What is the best bank for UK EXPATS?

Croydon_2012 wrote:

Thanks All. What is the best bank for UK EXPATS?

SAMBA or SAAB !!

http://www.samba.com/english/index_01_01_en.html

http://www.sabb.com/1/2/

A 2012 brand new BMW 5 Series would cost something between SR200k to SR285k. But, I think your employer would privide your family a car with driver (in case that is stated in your contract.
I have been to a few western compands in Riyadh and I liked Al-Hamra Compaound at exit 8 the most, it is expensive though.
Hope that would help
Amin

Aminstar2 wrote:

I have been to a few western compands in Riyadh and I liked Al-Hamra Compaound at exit 8 the most, it is expensive though.
Hope that would help
Amin

Agreed, Al-Hamra is among the best !!!

wellcome to riyadh

welcome to a new world...u will find good advice here about the culture shock too

Thanks All

Hi all.

just in early discussions about a role in Riyadh so finding this board really useful.

One of the compounds that seems to have space is Fal so am interested to hear what people think.

Thank you

Hi Sibbers,

Please note that this thread is quite old. :)

Regards,

David.

Hi Guys ,

Both my family & I are planning to move to Riyadh within the coming few months.

Would you let me know what are the top five compounds in Riyadh , I'm looking for a 3 BR villa . & what are the current prices & waiting lists ?

Thanks

Take a look:

https://www.expat.com/en/guide/middle-e … iyadh.html

You really won't be able to do anything till you're on the ground.

Good luck!

Alliecat wrote:

Take a look:

https://www.expat.com/en/guide/middle-e … iyadh.html

You really won't be able to do anything till you're on the ground.

Good luck!

Thanks @alliecat

Hi Mush

If your job offer is not REALLY REALLY and REALLY worth your while I will not come to this country.

I have been in contact with MANY people here in Riyadh and more or less everyone has the same story: salaries NOT being paid, salaries eventually paid but NOT as offered although there is a contract, salaries paid only weeks after month end. Here is NO respect for a salary paid on time.

The culture change IS big: IF you want to raise your kids living indoors all day cause of the heat yo are welcome. I personally will NOT bring my kids here: it is a HARD country on kids as well as your wife. NOT being able to drive: if you do not employ a driver your wife will NOT be able to get help quick when an emergency might happen. MY predicament!!
To raise kids in a country with SO many restrictions on freedom it NOT the way to go!

Here are just TOO many compromising that you have to do on a DAILY basis. Just TOO frustrating!!
If you do not have a SOLID marraige. Do NOT come here. Marriages do not last. just too many stress cause of TERRIBLE traffic and constant tiredness because you will be driving your wife to do shopping AFTER work. To be able to combine all the errands keeping in consideration the prayer times as well (when ALL is closed) is al logistical feat.

Compounds are VERY expensive. The houses are buil on top of each other with very little space. everyone is in everyones space lol!

Here a many international Schools. Ive heard they have passed a law that even in the international schools boys and girls are not allowed to go to the same school anymore. remember in saudi: the boys and girls do NOT go to mixed schools!!

Sorry for sounding so negative. Saudi is not a nice place for Westerners with a CONSCIENCE to be.

Most of us only came here for the money and BOY DO we pay a price!! Yes and we are the OLDER brigade. Mostly the 50 plussers. The mad ones LOL!!

Rather take a job in UAE :)) There you will be able to have a lifestyle. Here ? NOPE.

If you leave your phone number I can contact you via whatsapp and give you my e-mail addy u. I do not want ot give it on a public blog. i can put you in contact with people who has been living here as well as other FB sites for thes questions of yours.

Regards
Nassie

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