Customary Vacation for Expats

Hi,

I am considering an opportunity in Riyadh and wanted to get some information on standard and customary vacation benefits provided to expats.  I currently live in Canada and have 25 years of IT experience.  The position is with a US-based company.

How much vacation leave is typical for expats working in Saudi Arabia?

Thanks!

This is the same as every other job related question, there is no average anything in saudi, there are so many variables that. You know how much holiday you get in your home country - again variables still apply but thats about as good as you can get as a guess. I have some teacher friends working just 160something days a year but my driver gets paid for everyday so works the better part of 340days a year when he doesnt go home.

For Western expats, the rule of thumb seems to be between 30 and 60 days.  Sometimes this includes the two EID holidays, sometimes they're extra (which means approximately two weeks more).

All in all, the PTO here beats anything I ever had at home!

Apart from 2 eid vacation (10 days each), usually paid 22 working days off per annum. Or say one calendar month.

Hi,

Thanks to everyone who has replied so far; this is certainly useful information!

As a separate question, does anyone have any current pricing for compound living costs?  I would be looking for a two bedroom villa, and am wondering what price range these go for.  Also, I have heard that some of the compounds have very long waiting lists.  Is this still true?  Thanks again!

Cheers,

Erik

i get 44 days total, and a round trip plane ticket foe me and my wife

Hi Freshlikesushi,

Does the 44 day allotment include weekends?  What about Saudi stat holidays? Otherwise, 44 days is just 1 day short of 9 weeks, which is pretty amazing!

I am just wondering if there is a "normal" amount of vacation typically offered to US and Canadian expats.  Thanks again.

Cheers,

Erik

30 days, plus some normal saudi vacations.
i can bring up my contract if you need to specify the days

ewynn wrote:

I am just wondering if there is a "normal" amount of vacation typically offered to US and Canadian expats.  Thanks again.

It may vary company Erik. The vacation policy in my company is:

1) 10 days for first Eid
2) 10 days for Second Eid
3) 22 working days in a year (including weekends that will be 30 days)

It's the same for all expats irrespective of the nationality and we have many americans and brits who get the same.

By the way, apart from the list mentioned above, there is ONLY ONE saudi official holiday which is 23 September (called National Day).

Something that I was stunned to learn here (the hard way!) is that if your vacation includes weekend days, those days also count as vacation days!  So, for ex., if you're going away for two weeks, the two weekend days in the middle count as vacation days, so instead of 10 days off, it's counted as 12!!!

Also, where I work, the Eid holidays aren't 10 days.  They're 5 days each.  This is what the Saudi's get off.

I completely agree with TLL, that it usually differs from company to company.

We have 38 days paid holidays, apart from regular weekends and gazetted holidays.

Here it is for 2012, for our company
- 21st of Jan
- 24th of March
- 9th of June
- 18,19,20,21,22nd of Aug
- 23rd of Sep
- 27,28 of Oct

So all in all - 38+11+104 (52x2) = 153(Maximum)

@ Alliecat - Yeh that logic for wasting your 2 days of the weekend, if you are away for 2 weeks is actually very annoying. But the best part is you can always play the game within the rules.

saimans wrote:

@ Alliecat - Yeh that logic for wasting your 2 days of the weekend, if you are away for 2 weeks is actually very annoying. But the best part is you can always play the game within the rules.

Maybe for you--but if you live FAR away from here (USA/Canada), you can't make 9 day trips home (cost is prohibitive and the time traveling is killer).

Alliecat wrote:
saimans wrote:

@ Alliecat - Yeh that logic for wasting your 2 days of the weekend, if you are away for 2 weeks is actually very annoying. But the best part is you can always play the game within the rules.

Maybe for you--but if you live FAR away from here (USA/Canada), you can't make 9 day trips home (cost is prohibitive and the time traveling is killer).

I Completely agree, as if i had any other option... lol :)

Weekends are not counted in my vacation either

Alliecat wrote:

Something that I was stunned to learn here (the hard way!) is that if your vacation includes weekend days, those days also count as vacation days!  So, for ex., if you're going away for two weeks, the two weekend days in the middle count as vacation days, so instead of 10 days off, it's counted as 12!!!

Also, where I work, the Eid holidays aren't 10 days.  They're 5 days each.  This is what the Saudi's get off.

Depends on the company policy and eventually the contract. My contract says 22 WORKING DAYS that implies: no matter how many weekends in-between.

For Eid holidays, we notice an undocumented skew everytime. It has to be 10 days; whatever it takes :)

The contract I signed before I got here said 'working days.'  Then I got here and the word 'working' was omitted :mad:  They claimed it had been a mistake.

Ever notice that 'mistakes' never favor the individual?? lol

Alliecat wrote:

The contract I signed before I got here said 'working days.'  Then I got here and the word 'working' was omitted :mad:  They claimed it had been a mistake.

Ever notice that 'mistakes' never favor the individual?? lol

this is the 4th time they are rewriting my contract :)
Ive seen too many people get screwed by saudi companies to not have EVERYTHING in my contract they promise

Hi everyone!

This thread is definitely helpful,

Freshlikesushi - in regards to your post, I'm also afraid that the company I may work for may not honor the contract. If that does happen what steps should be taken?



And as for vacation, lets say you normally work only 4 days of the working week, is your vacation going to count the days you don't work for vacation, and pay for it also? This is quite troublesome to hear, if it is true, definitely something I will discuss with my agency/contractor.

That is something you have to look at in your contract if it is paid or not.  I have a standard monthly salary that doesnt include overtime. Weekends are not required to work, and if i do, it is overtime.

Make sure everything you want is in your contract. if they dont honor it, you either leave, or deal with it. not much you can do about it from past experiences

Thanks Freshlikesushi,I guess I'll have to find out once my contract comes in full writing.

At my work place we get 45 days per year plus 9 days for Eid and Haj plus two tickets to Canada(mid year ticket + end of contract ticket).

That definitely isn't bad at all, especially from where I come from!

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