Situated in the north of Saudi Arabia, Tabuk (sometimes also spelled Tabouk) is one of the oldest settlements in the world. The Battle of Tabouk took place around the city during the time of the prophet Muhammed, and there are historical buildings dating back to the Ottoman Empire. The 3,500-year-old Castle of Ashab Al-Ayka is mentioned in the Koran and is one of Saudi Arabia’s most famous landmarks. Tabuk is also known as "The Ancient City of Trade". Its location in the north of the Arabian Peninsula has seen it become a popular stopping-off point for pilgrims and merchants travelling from the Far East, Africa and Europe. More recently, Tabuk has become known for its role as a military hub during the Gulf War, and many former military expats continue to live there today. Living in Tabuk can be a big adjustment for some expatriates – it is hot and arid, and all expats in Tabuk are expected to follow strict Saudi laws. Speak to other expats to find out what to expect, by signing up on InterNations.
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Any expatriate moving to Tabuk might want to invest in a good 4x4 vehicle. Although the city center roads are good, and there are good connections to other Saudi towns, Tabuk is surrounded by desert and sand dunes and you will probably have to drive through a sandstorm at one point or another. The good news is that gas is cheap in Saudi Arabia, so you may as well buy the biggest, strongest car you can find. Saudi Arabian life is not for everyone, and many expats see it as more of a short-term commitment. Make the most of your time in the country by taking the time to visit impressive local sights such as the Prophet’s Mosque or the Jabal al-Lawz mountain which can be found further afield to the west of Tabuk and which is considered by some to be the original Mount Sinai.
Any expat living and working in Tabuk is expected to follow Saudi law. Women are not allowed to drive, and not all companies permit women to work in their offices. All expats should dress modestly, and women must wear a black abaya, which reaches to the shoulders and wrists, and a headscarf which covers all hair, including eyebrows. Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country, so work usually stops during the daily prayer times. The working week is Sunday to Thursday. For tips on getting by in Saudi Arabia, and to share your experiences of living and working there, sign up on InterNations and use the discussion groups and forums to socialize and network with fellow expatriates and global minds.