Saudi Arabia Healthcare

Healthcare Opportunities in Saudi Arabia

If you're contemplating a career move to Saudi Arabia, the insights we offer here aim to address any queries you may have concerning the prospects of living and working in this vibrant nation.

Saudi Arabia is home to a thriving community of approximately 100,000 expatriates from Western countries. Many are drawn to this region for its favorable financial incentives, including tax-free incomes. Nonetheless, embarking on a journey to live and work in Saudi Arabia should be regarded as an enriching adventure and a unique life experience.

Expatriates should view their relocation as a blend of career progression, cultural immersion, and financial gain.

A significant portion of expatriates reside in company-sponsored housing compounds located near hospitals or within private gated communities. These compounds offer a host of conveniences and a sense of community.

Living within these expansive compounds can simplify and elevate one’s quality of life compared to residing in town apartments or villas. They provide opportunities for social interaction and come equipped with on-site amenities such as restaurants, bowling alleys, dry cleaning services, grocery stores, golf courses, salons, soccer fields, and fitness centers.

For those choosing to live outside such compounds, adaptability is key, as Saudi Arabia has a more conservative societal framework than what Westerners may be accustomed to. Although Saudi Arabia aspires to modernity in many aspects, it remains deeply rooted in religious beliefs, regulations, and traditions. Behaviors contrary to the teachings of the Quran are strictly prohibited, and expatriates are expected to adhere to local norms, including abstaining from public alcohol consumption, drug use, pork consumption, indecent dressing by local standards, or openly practicing religions other than Islam.

While female expatriates are not subject to the same restrictions as Saudi women, they are still obligated to follow the country’s laws and customs, such as the prohibition of women driving, except within Western compounds, where this is permitted. Women can only be driven by a husband or a blood relative.

If you plan to drive in Saudi Arabia, be prepared for a unique driving experience. It is crucial to adhere to traffic rules, even if locals do not always do so.

Saudi Arabia boasts relatively low crime rates and a high level of security. In general, Westerners living in the country report feeling safe.

Social life in Saudi Arabia largely depends on individual preferences. Options include participating in sports competitions, desert and beach gatherings, embassy-hosted concerts, and amateur theater and music gatherings run by expatriates. Keep in mind that the Arabian Peninsula experiences scorching temperatures during the summer months due to the lack of rainfall, so it’s important to take precautions when engaging in outdoor activities in extreme heat.

When working in Saudi Arabia, always carry your passport, visa, or residency card (Iqama) with you.

International schools catering to the expatriate community are available, but space is often limited, so parents are advised to apply early to secure a spot for their child.

In Saudi Arabia, daily life comes to a halt for prayer, which occurs five times a day and takes 20-30 minutes each time. When the call to prayer sounds from the mosques, all businesses close. Smaller shops may ask customers to leave, while larger supermarkets may allow browsing.

Dressing respectfully is essential when living in Saudi Arabia. Inside compounds, attire is flexible, but when in public, men are encouraged not to wear vests or shorts, and women should wear an Abaya, a long, light material black dress or cloak that covers the entire body. Expat women are not obligated to cover their faces or hair, but it is considered respectful to carry a headscarf at all times and to use it if requested. There are Western-only private beaches and pools where bathing suits are acceptable.

The law concerning interactions between individuals of the opposite sex is stringent; unless married or blood relatives, private and public mingling is not allowed. Although Westerners are rarely questioned or stopped, such occurrences do happen, so caution is advised. Public displays of affection between men and women are not tolerated except for hand-holding.

Finally, when instructed to stop any behavior, comply immediately and avoid disputes over right or wrong. Do not use offensive language or gestures, and never engage in blasphemy concerning God or the prophet.

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