Potential expats worry about safety in Saudi Arabia

Potential expats worry about safety in Saudi Arabia

Potential expats worry about safety in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is a favourite hub for expat professionals due to its luxury lifestyle and high salaries, but many of those tempted to make the move are worried about safety.

Regarded as a justifiable concern, expat safety in Saudi comes up often at headhunting interviews, especially if the potential migrant intends to bring his family along for the experience. Subjects like road safety, the Corona virus, healthcare, travel, terrorism and expat-related crime are much-discussed before decisions are made.

However, according to long-term expat residents, safety in Saudi is normally a matter of simple common sense and need not deter expats from making a life in this Islamic state. Yes, the rate of traffic fatalities is amongst the highest in the world, but expats who drive carefully and within the speed limits imposed rarely have any problems.

Unlike its portrayal in many international media outlets, Saudi itself isn’t a hotbed for terrorists, although its closeness to other countries known to harbour fanatics can cause problems in remoter areas. Using major roads when travelling, marking the location of police stations along your route and proceeding with caution is all that’s needed for a safe journey.

Expat compounds in Saudi are far more secure than they were a decade ago, and are the best places to search for suitable accommodation. Most residents form their own communities within their chosen compound, ensuring a relaxed life outside the work environment.

Talking in a negative fashion about the monarchy is one issue which can get expats into serious trouble or even deported after jail time. Websites are monitored, with bloggers, mainly locals, receiving warnings or worse, even although expats frequently hear Saudis passing negative comments on the subject.

Healthcare is an important issue, with excellent, ultra-modern private health facilities taking care of most problems, although health insurance is an absolute necessity due to high costs. New arrivals may note discrimination, but it’s still easy to get along with the locals and enjoy your time in the kingdom.

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