Hi all, we just found out my husband got accepted for a job in Saudi Arabia. We don't have all of the details of the contract yet but I am pretty nervous. What living options do Westerners have in this country? What are the safest options? What steps can we take to get safe accommodation? Looking forward to any responses.
Saudi Arabia is completely different from what expats (especially those from Western countries) may be used to. I completely understand that you are anxious about the move. However, when it comes to accommodation there are many options that will help you feel safe and less foreign in the Kingdom.
Firstly, have your husband double check with his employer whether accommodation is part of his contract. This is typically the norm in Saudi. This will also take loads of stress off your move. Then, many expats choose to live in compounds. Compounds recreate the feeling of a Western town. Often times compounds consist of houses, shops and other facilities. This is by far the most popular option for expats as it creates a sense of normalcy. Compounds are also the "safest" option for living in Saudi as it separates expats completely from Saudi life. However, compounds are extremely popular and usually have a long waiting list. If you do not want to live completely separate from Saudi society, you can also opt to rent accommodation in the town you will be living in. If you want more detail on accommodation in Saudi Arabia, have a look at our guide page.