Mistakes expats make in Saudi Arabia

Hello everyone,

Did you make any mistakes when you first moved to Saudi Arabia? What were they?

How did you address your mistakes? Did you learn anything from them?

With hindsight, what would you do differently?

Are there any tips you could give future expats in Saudi Arabia to help them avoid these kinds of mistakes?

We look forward to hearing from you!


1. I bought an old car and little expensive too. When you are new in Saudia try to have new car.

2. I hired big house. Even above my requirement. That too with all house holds. It took me 3 years to rectify the mistake.

3. School for my son was not upto my standard. But i have to compromise. Schooling is Saudi Arabia is expensive and not to the standard.

4. you must know basic cooking. I feel i never tried this and i felt disgusting.

These all above


In reference to your query, please note that i've not made any mistakes while i first moved to saudi arabia. I had gone to saudi as a bachelor who was working in a construction company and then after 1 year of stay i brought my family there and stayed there about 5 yrs. Yes, the current situation in Saudi arabia is not good at all especially for expats & that from South Asia. Job opportunities has been extremely difficult now a days due to their govt. rules regarding mandatory employment of locals in all sectors and in almost all the fields. Even though it's very hard to survive there due to strict rules and regulations i had enjoyed my stay with family members for last 4-5 yrs. If i get a chance again, i might travel again to KSA.

Hence, it depends on someone's job profile, company and other issues before moving to saudi arabia as expats.

Actually I don't have opportunities to avoid others I am here struggling people's avoids everyone here so what the actual problem here is don't have any idea

Job is my need i am struggling for that really people avoide me I think language is the key i don't have strong command in arabic

Hi everyone, hope these advises be helpful:
1. Before signing any contract; you have to contact some employees that working in your future company, just search for them through linkedin and ask them about increments, salaries timing, ethics, allowances, insurances,.... etc. (Glassdoor.com helpful for company reviews as well).
2. Try to buy a new or almost new car, not Chinese not German and if you will get it through monthly installments (try to make the installments big with short period at max 3 years) and look for respectful car agencies (ask google).
3. Try to find some rental house close to your work location with reasonable rent amount based on your salary (max 30,000).
4. You have three month as a test period, you don't have to spend the whole period if you don't like the atmosphere there, just leave immediately.
5. Search for the ministry of labour site to get the latest update of the labour law to know your rights clearly and compare it to your contract (discover the discrepancies if any).
6. Never raise a case against your company ever (it will take a years).
7. Don't deal with credits ever.
8. Especially in these days the market is so weak and the living expenses has been raised, try to not bring your family at least for six months.
9. Don't come to the kingdom with labour profession (your visa title) or any profession doesn't match your profession/degree, don't believe any promises about changing it, you will suffer in the future due to this title.

Finally, good luck for everyone.

With Regards & Best Wishes

I didn't find any mistakes coming here to Saudi Arabia. God's grace if the company where Ur working have good work environment. U will be happy and for me no regrets shifting here. This is my view

mantra to survive and be happy in saudi arabia is "patience....lot lot lot of patience"

I did a very big mistake by trusting consultancy, at the time of interview my M.D said this is a good company with large numbers and having many projects in Railways and buildings. I agreed for 4000 SAR with 3 years experience in India.

But now after reaching here on the first day my M.D said me that my salary was decreased to 3000 SAR because due to lack of work. it was almost 6 months for me in Saudi Arabia, there is no work & no single employee for him and salary is also not in time.

my best advice don't come for very less salary and suffer a lot in small companies. better choose Big & Good companies.

I will be speaking from personal experience
1. Before accepting a contract, try to contact friends and colleagues already working in the Kingdom to help you know what is obtainable.
2. Know what your basic salary is as it should be at least 70% of your take-home salary.
Do not accept a relatively low salary as compared to what others in your company get
3. Cheaper to own a new car than renting or paying for the services of taxi drivers.
Cheaper to prepare your meals than regularly patronize food vendors.
4. It's not worth working for employers who show no concern as to your welfare or well being.
5. Register your displeasure in regular occurrences you find abnormal about your working conditions/ relationship rather than swallow than swallow every pills "madness"

Hello Everyone,

Did you make any mistakes when you first moved to Saudi Arabia? What were they?
I am been moving a lot since my childhood between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. I don't think remember making any mistake but i wish If I could travel by road, that's my dream!

I would like if someone would like to help me in this as countries coming on the way are Kuwait, Iraq, and Iran and I dam care about war.

How did you address your mistakes? Did you learn anything from them?
Well; most of the companies provide housing, car and medical etc. I recommend buy your own car better buy a used one imported car instead of new car, u can use cash or installment. In long term you wont regret it.
But if your visit is for short term, then better decide yourself.
I am using company car (Camry 2006) i drove this almost now 300K+ and still I love this car, had chance to replace twice but didn't.

With hindsight, what would you do differently?

Are there any tips you could give future expats in Saudi Arabia to help them avoid these kinds of mistakes?

Now things are changing here, IF someone is coming here to work, I would recommend him to think twice... and also carefully read all company policies medical benefits etc.
The Saudi Government policies are changing abruptly and no clear communication in English especially.


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