Moving to Saudi Arabia
What is Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia is an Islamic shithole and should be avoided at all costs
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is situated in Western Asia and covers most of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen.
It’s pretty large, borders the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, and consists mostly of arid desserts, steppes and mountains.
Saudi Arabia as a nation has only been around since 1932, when Ibn Saud united the region into a kingdom, an absolute monarchy.
It’s an authoritarian regime, based on the ultraconservative Sunni Islam.
Saudi Arabia is an Islamic nation, and it houses both Mecca and Medina. This brings in millions of religious tourists every year.
In fact, islam was invented here by Muhammad.
In 1938, petroleum was discovered and has altered the course of this country and, arguably, history itself.
This turned a desert shithole into one of the largest oil producers in the world and a very wealthy nation.
It has a very high Human Development Index, no personal income tax, free universal health care system, tuition-free university education, and so on.
However, as can be expected from an Islamic nation, Saudi Arabia has a poor human rights record, extrajudicial use of capital punishment (beheading by sword, stoning, crucifixion etc), antisemitism, sponsorship of terrorism, degradation of women, and so on.
There aren’t any political parties or national elections, Sharia law is the only valid rule of law, and thus Saudi Arabia can be considered as a totalitarian state. Any form of protest is heavily repressed.
Hilariously, the United States and Saudi Arabia are strategic allies, with the former having sold over $110 billion in arms to the latter since Barrack “Yes we can” Obama in 2009, conveniently forgetting Saudi Arabia’s relationship with and possibly active involvement in 9/11.
The country is also a major ally of China, with this relationship growing every stronger while that with the US grows weaker.
Because Saudi Arabia is seen as progressive and pro-Western, it’s not on great terms with even more zealous shitholes like Iran and Turkey.
Requirements for moving to Saudi Arabia
The requirements for moving to Saudi Arabia are a mixed bag.
Going there on a tourist visa is very doable for anyone (except Israelis) and most Westerners don’t even need to apply for a physical visa beforehand.
Staying here is an option, but you’ll need to earn quite a bit of money, and adhere to all kinds of other criteria – or be employed by a Saudi company.
The cost of living is acceptable, but you might need to learn Arabic if you intend to stay here for a long time. The level of English proficiency isn’t very high.
What is the cost of living in Saudi Arabia?
The cost of living in Saudi Arabia is surprisingly low. On average, a single person can expect to spend around $1,200 a month while living here.
This won’t get you a very luxurious life, but you’ll get by.
I do advise you to aim for earning at least double this amount, to account for unforeseen expenses and to give you the possibility of living it up a little.
Good news though, there is no income tax here.
Benefits of living in Saudi Arabia
Downsides of living in Saudi Arabia
Moving to Saudi Arabia - by the numbers
|Hours of sunshine (9.5/10)||Temperature (9.5/10)||Rainy days (10/10)||Humidity (10/10)|
26.5 C – 80 F
Cost of Living: 7/10
Taxes on international income: 10/10
There are no individual income taxes
Economic growth: 4/10
Average GDP growth over the last 10 years: 1.9%
How is Saudi Arabia for foreigners?
Life in Saudi Arabia for foreigners isn’t very awesome – unless you’re a muslim man who speaks Arabic and approves of the regime, then you’re golden.
Living in Saudi Arabia as an expat woman, however, doesn’t look like a lot of fun.
Let’s start with the benefits: Not having to pay taxes on your income is great, as is the warm weather.
That’s about as far as Saudi Arabia’s benefits go, unfortunately – and it shares those with about a dozen other countries, which do not share its many, many downsides.
The totalitarian regime, the lagging economy which is dependent on fossil fuels and the prevalence of islam are massive red flags which indicate that moving to Saudi Arabia should be avoided at all costs.
Don’t use this for any of your flags, don’t even visit here and support the regime. One of the worst options in the world.