Life in Saudi Arabia :
The move specifically to Saudi Arabia was because of my dad’s work, the whole family moved there when I was 3 years old, moving from Bahrain to Saudi Arabia was a huge change for the Family, because of the different culture and laws.
Like for example there is no mixing women with men in Saudi Arabia either in offices, schools and sometimes malls, women can’t drive in Saudi Arabia, malls and shops had to close during prayer time but in Bahrain those things didn’t happen.
We first moved to Khubar which is 15 mins away from Bahrain but then we moved again to Jeddah which is like 14 hours away from Bahrain by car and 2 hours by a plane, Jeddah has a relatively low crime rate, as it attracts religious Muslims both as visitors and as residents. Jeddah is very hot in the summer, but mild, even cool, in mid-winter. Almost every room in the city is air-conditioned; few are equipped with heaters. Many western residents live in housing compounds, some of which are very well equipped; life in these areas is not widely different from living in the West. Jeddah has a number of excellent English and American k-12 schools, for both Muslims and non-Muslims. There are several colleges. The university is generally open only to Saudi students; most foreigners send their children abroad for post-secondary education. Jeddah is a beautiful, modern city, built almost entirely in the last forty years. It’s important for non-Muslim visitors to note that dress is very conservative, and that alcohol is absolutely forbidden throughout the country.
so if you are making the move soon to Saudi Arabia here are some things you should know about the life here :
Prayer Times :
I had to be mindful of prayer times because whenever the call to prayer comes around, shops would all shut up pretty quickly ten or so minutes before so I had to learn to shop around the times that it wasn’t prayer time and that took a bit of time to get into that routine. Usually the paper would have these times printed in there
What to do in Saudi Arabia :
because Jeddah is the port of Makkah, it is more cosmopolitan than other Saudi cities; visitors of every nationality are commonplace. There is little in the way of entertainment; there are no theaters, and women are not allowed to attend football (soccer) games. Two major football teams are based in Jeddah, but the major recreation involves hanging around malls and boating. (Wonderful coral reefs for diving, and women as well as men belong to diving clubs.) Another popular activity is camping in the desert.
Men and Women Can’t Mix :
Another issue is that men and women can’t ‘mix’ so opportunities to socialize are fairly limited, mostly to expensive embassy events or if you are fortunate enough to live in a ‘western’ compound–but single women usually must live in a company compound, which often isn’t western so the freedom we’re used to isn’t allowed.
What to Bring to Saudi Arabia :
Three things I wish I brought: more music on my computer, a large jar of Vegemite and rexona men’s deoderant. Three things to leave: wireless router, batteries, and personal care products, so make sure to pack your valuable stuff first.
Finding a Home in Saudi Arabia :
Watch for location of Mosques, during prayer time you can see how loud it is or how busy the streets become on a Friday morning.
as for the neighbors, I am not a stereotypical person and I love everyone.. until there kids are playing on your doorstep at 3 am or there parties have the police next door.. this is not scary at home, but here it may invite unwelcome complications. Though most officers are understanding. We live in a large 5 bedroom private villa with drivers quarters. This is not typical for expatriates. Though a pool and stuff is essential for any expatriate family. But in this area (Al Maseef) it is the norm. We found a larger private villa after being in a small compound. It cost the same and now we have our own pool without the harassment of kids. (Parents allow them to run wild here, with or without supervision to all hours of the night.)
so I hope these few tips can help you make up your mind about moving to Saudi Arabia, If you have any questions you can write them in the comments down below (: