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South African moving to Saudi (Riyadh)

Hello everyone,

I'm looking for advice and tips for my move to Saudi, which should be in August as I've recently received my contract and visa block. I have been researching this move and hopefully have a balanced view of a situation to expect- keyword hopefully :). However now that I know my move is definite, I want as much info as possible, especially from South Africans if possible, but any objective advice/info will be appreciated.

Background: Single female moving as esl instructor for the first time. 28 years old, mba candidate. I would appreciate insightful and objective feedback on the following.

*Al Khaleej: My employer will be Al Khaleej Training and Education- anyone have experience or advice with this employer? I won't know till after 'orientation' where I will be placed.

*Compound life - my understanding is segrgation from 'normal' Saudi life? I know they range from low cost to more affluent, but what can I typically expect? I'll be sharing with a flatmate.

*I know most things are available in Saudi, but is there anything I should definitely bring from South Africa? Someone mentioned toothpaste on another website.

*Any other advice: Such as info you wish someone had given you before you arrived in Saudi. I know all females have to wear the abaya and headscarf, no driving, limited interaction with males in public. Any arabic phrases I need to know before I get there?

Thank you in advance, more than anything feedback on Al Khaleej would be appreciated, have an uncle in Qatar who wants to know that I don' t end up in a dodgy situation.

Regards,
Laisha

Riyadh Forum