Shiraz is one of the oldest cities in the world, dating back to 2000BC, when it was referred to as ’Tiraziš‘. It was the capital city of Persia in the 18th century, and is known throughout the world as one of the leading centers of the arts, with poets including Hafez and Saadi hailing from Shiraz. The tombs of these poets, and the Persian mystic and writer Khaju e Kermani, can still be visited today. Expats living in Shiraz should also take advantage of the opportunity to explore the ruins of Persepolis, the ancient capital of the Achaemenid kings of Persia.
If you have never been to Iran before, moving to Shiraz will certainly be an eye-opening experience. The sanctions mean that there is little trade between Iran and the West, so you will not see many familiar brand names on the streets of Shiraz. Iranian food is typically Middle Eastern, with an emphasis on rice, lamb and chicken, and locally sourced fruits such as plums and pomegranates. Although the city shares its name with a famous wine, the consumption of alcohol is banned among Muslims in Shiraz, and elsewhere in Iran, although non-Muslims are allowed to bring a limited amount of alcohol into the country. Iran is a strictly Muslim country, so female expatriates should keep their heads, shoulders and knees covered at all times when in public. If you have any questions or concerns about living in a Muslim country, just sign up on the InterNations and join the discussion groups and forums to talk to fellow expats for advice or simply in order to network and socialize.
Any expatriate working in Shiraz should be well informed, and well insured before entering the country. Some nationalities are not recognized by Iran so you should check and double check with your employer and your embassy before leaving for Shiraz. Remember that there are no American or British embassies in Iran, so make sure you have your visas and work permits in order before arriving in the country to avoid expensive trips to embassies in neighboring countries. If your job involves travelling, be aware of where you are going. The area around the Iran/Iraq border and the Iran/Afghanistan border has been deemed unsafe by the British and American governments, and expats in Shiraz are advised to travel in groups and with an Iranian national. Join InterNations for advice on acclimatizing to life in Iran and to share your experiences with other expatriates living in Shiraz, Iran, or across the globe.