Living in Saudi Arabia

If you are used to the liberal way of living in the Western world, you might experience some form of culture shock in your initial attempt to live in Saudi Arabia. Especially if you belong to female populace, the Arabian law is quite strict about the behavior of women, from the way you dress to the other activities that you are allowed to engage in. Hence, before deciding on moving to this country, you should be familiar with the laws and practices that are observed in this place to prevent yourself from getting into any trouble.

While staying in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, you must always keep in mind that this is a Muslim country. As such, its laws reflect the tenets of the Muslim religion. Its legal system implements the Sharia law, which is not limited to capital but is capable of imposing corporate punishment. The latter type of chastisement includes amputations of bodily parts and flogging. To make the perpetrator learn his lesson, the corresponding punishment is executed publicly to add to his humiliation. The observance of other religion is strictly prohibited and there are no churches to tempt you to practice your own religious beliefs. The citizens of this country pray 5 times a day, which foreigners are likewise expected to observe and respect.

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Women are required to dress appropriately in public, which is using an “abaya”, a long garment that conceals the body. For the Muslim women, it is standard to wear a headscarf and in some instances a veil, but this does not absolutely apply to foreigners. As long as you are sensibly dressed and exercise a certain degree of conservativeness in your appearance, you will have no difficulty in blending in with this country’s culture. Numerous taxis are deployed all over this place to accommodate women who are absolutely barred from driving.

Living in Saudi Arabia does offer you some of the perks that you may be used to in your country of origin. There are shopping centers that carry international products like Calvin Klein, DKNY, and Tommy Hilfiger, to name a few of these famous brands. If you want to buy food then you should visit the local markets called “souks” where you will find anything you need such as fruits and vegetables. There are also bazaars and fairs that are conducted seasonally.

Various restaurants are open in this country, from the international chains like Burger King, KFC and McDonald’s to those that specialize in a specific country’s cuisine such as Thai, Indian or Philippine food.

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After working throughout the week, you can indulge in many extra curricular activities found in Saudi Arabia. You can engage in the traditional sports of basketball, baseball, golf or tennis. If you are a physical workout buff, then there are aerobic classes available in several fitness organizations. For those who are artistically inclined, you will have a fun time attending clubs that are concentrated on music, drama and even dancing.

Living in Saudi Arabia may necessitate some major adjustments on your part as well as your family if you are an expatriate finding a job there.