All You Want To Know About Expat Life In Saudi Arabia

  • Publish date: Thursday، 20 January 2022 Last update: Thursday، 29 December 2022
All You Want To Know About Expat Life In Saudi Arabia

Table of content

Almost 12.6 million expats live in Saudi Arabia currently, and as the country is now going through a transformative phase, Saudi Arabia is changing, however moving to another country could be stressful sometimes, from costs to traditions, culture, and work, everything could be new when people are moving to another country. We can all agree that life in Saudi Arabia is just way different from other countries, so today, we created a complete guide for you on what expat life looks like in Saudi Arabia; buckle up and let us take a ride together!

How is work in Saudi Arabia?

There are many ways to find jobs for expats in the market; however, one must pay attention to the labor jobs. Saudization is changing the game here, as they are trying to increase local employment. Unfortunately, this has caused fewer expat job opportunities, so unless it is labor jobs:

  • Home Labor.
  • Companies Labor.
  • Driver jobs.
  • Techs
  • Engineering.
  • Teaching in universities.
  • Teaching English.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Urban planning.
  • Resource management.
  • Services sector.

Employees might need sponsorship and authorization from the ministry of labor, and you would undergo medical tests and even a whole set of rules.

You should pay attention that the job description must currently match the job itself. For example, if you studied nursing, you cannot apply for graphic design. If you want to switch jobs from within Saudi Arabia, you need approval from the employer.

Salary range in Saudi Arabia

Salaries differ from one place to another, especially in the private sector, workdays are usually from Sunday to Thursday, with Friday and Saturday being the weekend; below is the salary range in Saudi Arabia:

  • Expats must be paid at least $666.69
  • HR executive: $3,045
  • Editor: $5,169
  • IT Manager: $8,500
  • Hotel General Manager: $10,404
  • CEO local company: $27,100

Healthcare in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has a good reputation in the middle east as it is on a top-level, even on par with the USA or European clinics; however, there is a specific ban on some medications, so we recommend you read that before coming to the country.

Health insurance is compulsory for all expats working in the country, so do not agree to

No liquor policy

The kingdom has a strict no liquor policy, and even hotels and restaurants do not serve them, do not drink in public in Saudi Arabia as you might be charged with criminal charges.

Even in 2019, a public decency law came into effect for dressing modestly.

Culture and traditions

Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country, and it follows Sharia laws and principles; Saudi Arabia, despite the reforms, remains a strict Muslim community, and women wear robes called abayas and cover their hair in public, some still cover their faces as well, family is the core of this society, and respecting the boundaries between males and females is a must, one should not indulge in any romantic activities walking in the street, dress correctly and follow the country rules.

Costs of living

Costs of living vary according to the city with Riyadh the capital is the most expensive, followed by Jeddah and Dammam, and this is the range of prices in KSA for both food and housing:



Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district


Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar)


500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast


1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk


12 eggs, large


1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes


500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese


1 kg (2 lb.) of apples


1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes


2 liters of coca-cola


Bread for 2 people for 1 day


Cost of real estate



Monthly rent for 85 m2 furnished in expensive area


Monthly rent for 85 m2 furnished in normal area


Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in an 85m2 flat


Monthly rent for a 45 m2 furnished studio in an expensive area


Monthly rent for a 45 m2 furnished studio in a normal area


Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 studio


Internet 8 Mbps (1 month)


40” flat screen tv


Microwave 800/900 watt (LG, or equivalent brands)


Laundry detergent


Hourly rate for cleaning service


Some people might find expat life and Saudi Arabian culture shocking or very different from theirs; follow us on KSAmoments to learn more about this beautiful country and get ready to at least visit that beautiful place once!

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