before I go-I need to know!

Hi! I am so hoping for some answers here before I commit to coming to teach in Riyadh for the upcoming year!

How do women get around? We will have a bus coming to pick us up and bring us back between school and apartment but how do women get to other places? Can they take a cab? Are there buses? Are they safe and simple to use for women? Can a woman go out alone like to the market?

I will not be living in a compound-so where else can Americans and other expats meet up that is safe and culturally more
relaxed for them to socialize?

Can women purchase tobacco products?

What essentials should be brought from home? I will have a furnished apartment-they provide satellite tv and internet service-what is the electrical current there? Should I wait to get a laptop there or will mine work with a converter?

I do not have an international phone service-would you recommend getting an international phone there?

Thank you for any and all help and tips you can give me!

MZCDB62 wrote:

Hi! I am so hoping for some answers here before I commit to coming to teach in Riyadh for the upcoming year!

How do women get around? We will have a bus coming to pick us up and bring us back between school and apartment but how do women get to other places? Can they take a cab? Are there buses? Are they safe and simple to use for women? Can a woman go out alone like to the market?

I will not be living in a compound-so where else can Americans and other expats meet up that is safe and culturally more
relaxed for them to socialize?

Can women purchase tobacco products?

What essentials should be brought from home? I will have a furnished apartment-they provide satellite tv and internet service-what is the electrical current there? Should I wait to get a laptop there or will mine work with a converter?

I do not have an international phone service-would you recommend getting an international phone there?

Thank you for any and all help and tips you can give me!

These questions are interesting.

Yes, women could easily and freely use TaxiCabs all the time, and I don't think public buses are available for women, nor do I recommend them, as they tend to be very congested and bad in quality. The upgrade projects of city buses are years to execute. She could walk freely in streets or have a family member drive her.

I say taxi cars, or rented cars with drivers the two most convenient, but not necessarily cheapest, options for females in Riyadh city. Some people who know each other tend to carpool and assist each other, but do not depend on that.

Women could legally walk alone anywhere in the Kingdom, so do not worry about it, except from the annoying heat.

People tend to form connections and social circles that could make their stay easier and more fun. If you are living in one of the compounds, I say your chances to get by is way easier.

Yes, women could purchase tobacco products, my aunts do.

Electrical outlet there are 110/220 V, so electrical devices working in the US work here. Bear in mind that the caps or the inlet to walls are cylinderical and not rectangloid. You could find these chargers for 20 cents to two dollars, so it is quite affordable and available. Electrical devices are available in abundence here, in malls, shops, and even some supermarkets and grocery stores.

Depending on the rate plans, but I say you do not need them. You could always utilize VoIP service providers like Skype or Google to perform your international calls more cheaply. Local calls are quite cheap also, expect 12 cents per minute max. You could also find these call cards almost everywhere. If you wanted to be fully sure, bring your international plan with you for one month or two, and then dispose it and end your service and switch to local providers.

If you surfed the forum, I am sure you will find tons of available information that you may/may not need.

Regards and Welcome to the Kingdom,

Thank You
You were very helpful with your answers! I was told single women should not take a taxi but you have given me a different answer
I suppose traveling with another woman or group is the best at all times
Christina

MZCDB62 wrote:

Thank You
You were very helpful with your answers! I was told single women should not take a taxi but you have given me a different answer
I suppose traveling with another woman or group is the best at all times
Christina

You are welcome.

Here are when single women are not recommended to take taxis

1- Between cities.
2- Unauthorized cars.
3- Some bad neigborhoods.

You could ask current Expatriates about that to feel better about it.

Regards,

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