Expat Workers Treatment By Saudis; How Expats are treated in Saudi Arabia

How are Expats Treated by Saudi People

If you asked me "how are expat workers treated by Saudis?" as a westerner working in Saudi Arabia (I am from the UK and I look and dress like a “typical” westerner) I will tell you that I am treated in general with respect and in most cases people are very friendly in the workplace and in public. However, this can be very different for expats working in Saudi Arabia from less affluent countries.

This hub will go through how I personally have been treated in Saudi Arabia and what I have seen in the way of abuse towards other expats here in Saudi Arabia. I will also recount stories told to me by my wife and other expats with regards to their treatment at the hands of their Saudi employers.

As a Westerner, my general experience is that the treatment of expats in Saudi Arabia depends very much on the Saudis educational level and ability to speak English, the higher the level the better the Saudi will treat you. A Saudi that speaks no English is likely at best to just ignore you.

I have on the whole found most Saudi’s very pleasant towards me and have been invited to parties, events and weddings just because I am a westerner, often by people I have only just met. Something that has rarely happened in the west.

How Saudi Class affects how they treat you

There appears to be a number of different levels, both socially and educationally within the Saudi society in much the same way that there is in any country, each group treating you very differently.

I have had little experience of mixing with the true “upper” classes here, having never met any big sheikhs or princes or the like so I have no idea myself only what others have told me. Again, these upper levels of society treat us westerners in much the same way that we treat each other if not far more generously.

The lower end of the scale, however are a very mixed bunch, varying from very aggressive arrogant, idiots to shy, retiring non English speakers, the latter generally avoiding any sort of contact at all. The “arrogant idiots” are a strange bunch, they look at you and treat you as if you are a low life as a non-Saudi and non-Muslim, I have never seen any abuse or shout at a westerner, however god help any Indian, Filipino or other similar nationality that should be in sight when they get pissed off, which they often do!

Treatment of Expats in the Saudi Workplace

Treatment of Expat workers in Saudi Arabia
Treatment of Expat workers in Saudi Arabia | Source
Saudi Treatment of expat workers
Saudi Treatment of expat workers | Source

Treatment of Expats in the Saudi Workplace

I guess that the bulk of the Saudis that I mix with on a day to day basis whilst working for a company in Saudi Arabia are on the whole quite well educated, having degrees, well traveled overseas, with a good grasp of the English language. In my experience these people act and behave in much the same way as any westerner in most situations, they are however very reserved in general with regard to their behavior in public and try to maintain a very decent front, but more about this a little later in my ramblings.

Treatment of Expats that have come from countries other than western countries is however far from ideal. I have witnessed verbal and physical abuse of staff from India, the Philippines and other countries that would have resulted in people being fired and staff making huge claims for compensation in the west. However, many Saudi's show no tolerance or respect for workers from these countries.

Treatment of Women

Discrimination against the lower classes of society
Discrimination against the lower classes of society | Source

General Saudi Behavior

I guess the best way to describe the average Saudi is as a petulant teenager, they are on the whole mostly happy and friendly, however, take away their toys, tell them no, or fail to give them attention when they want it and you are going to get a tantrum.

They have no patience, jump any queue that does not contain other Saudis, interrupt everyone regardless, expect instant service and complain loudly and bitterly if they don’t receive it. I have seen them shout at shop assistants, even strike them and have to be restrained and treat maids and drivers in much the same way (I have never seen a woman strike anyone but have seen a few shouting at “lesser” races and at each other on several occasions!)

Don’t get me wrong, I have seen some of the best, most compassionate behavior from the Saudis as well as the worst! I have been offered help by almost every driver passing when I have had to change a tire, and seen Saudis handing money, food, drinks and other gifts to beggars and lowly paid street workers (no, not that kind of street worker, I mean the Indians and Bengalis that are employed sweeping the streets.)

How Saudis Treat Women

Discrimination in Saudi Society

The society is strange with regard to racism, the Saudis are a very mixed race varying from almost western “white” to African “Black” and all treat each other equally as much as I can tell, most wear traditional dress, the long white Thobe, and they treat each other with respect in most cases. However, they treat other races and non-Muslims very differently, other Arabs are generally OK, but still not treated with the same respect, Westerners are tolerated and treated to their face with respect, other races such as Pakistanis, Filipinos, Indians, Indonesians and the like being treated like 3rd and in some cases 4th class citizens publicly!

Basically, they practice discrimination, but it is based very much on social class, many of the Saudis driving the biggest and most expensive car they can and acting as the wealthiest man in town even if they have nothing else.

How non-western Expatriates are Treated

Results of Saudi Abuse

How are non-western Expats treated by Saudis?

If you asked me as a non-westerner "how are expat workers treated by Saudis?" then I would be giving a very different answer to the one above.

Most of the Expatriates working here are from countries like India, Pakistan, Philippines and Indonesia; they work in mostly manual or domestic jobs and are paid a very low wage (although still very good for where they came from).

They generally have to put up with verbal and physical abuse in the workplace, either industrial or domestic. Some of the treatment is truly horrific, there is a case of a maid who had nails and pins inserted into her whenever she upset her employer as her punishment! I know many maids and drivers who have run away from violent, abusive employers as well as various other general laborers who cannot bear their working conditions.

A large number of Saudis treat these poor expat workers in Saudi Arabia as animals, I have witnessed both physical and verbal abuse of workers here, something I have never seen in any other country! The treatment of expats in Saudi Arabia for these poor souls is on the whole terrible and I have found it very difficult to bite my tongue at times.

So difficult to bite my tongue that when a group of Saudis tried to convert me to the Muslim faith I used this as an example of their totally hypocritical behavior which they had to agree with and were totally unable to defend.

Problems Mixing with Saudis

As an expat working in Saudi Arabia I have had only three minor incidents in my three years here, none of which were serious. I was spat at from a moving car by a group of Saudi youths (around the 20’s mark I would guess), and I had another group of bored Saudi Youth overtake me whilst driving only to open both passenger doors on my side and the youths to hang out of the car shouting at me in Arabic and making gestures – they soon jumped back in when I put my foot on the accelerator and drove at them (Probably not a good move on my part!)

The worst by far was a driving incident (nothing to do with my nationality) which I include in the hub about traveling by car in Saudi Arabia.

On the whole I feel safer and more comfortable walking the streets here in Saudi Arabia than most other countries that I have visited or lived. I have had more problems walking in the streets in major cities in the west than I have here and felt far less comfortable!

However, I would still not like to be a non-westerner or a woman walking alone here in Saudi Arabia. A woman in my mind should never walk about on her own in Saudi Arabia, read the hub on Saudi Arabia rules, regulations and laws for examples.

Treatment of Expat Women in Saudi Arabia

If you are a woman and coming to KSA to work or be with your family, then this article about Saudi Arabia Women will help to keep you informed. Just remember that once you are in Saudi Arabia the only way you can leave is with your husband's permission or your sponsor.

If you are a western woman you will almost certainly be treated well within the workplace and even publicly; although you may get hit on by Saudi men quite aggressively if you find yourself alone with them; something that you should avoid under any circumstances.

If you are from a less than wealthy country, beware; many Saudi men will see you as a fair target and will treat you as an object for their sexual gratification (Many Saudi men believe it is their god given right to have sex with their slaves!). I have met many runaway maids and other workers whose main reason for running away is due to physical and sexual abuse including rape at the hands of their sponsors. I have known women walking alone in the street be grabbed by Saudi men in broad daylight. Even my own wife was dragged into a car outside a souk (market) and was only let out of the car when she started slicing up the seats with the knife she carried for protection! Her friend was grabbed outside our building in a well to do area of Jeddah and managed to escape with significant bruising; the police refused to do anything as she was "only a Filipino!"

If you do come to Saudi Arabia; NEVER walk the streets alone, never allow yourself to be alone with Saudi men. Always follow the rules to the letter!

Treatment of Western Expats in Saudi Arabia

How have you been treated as a westerner in Saudi Arabia.

See results without voting

Treatment of Non-Western Expats in Saudi Arabia

If you are a non-western Expat (Indian, Pakistani, Filipino, etc.) working in Saudi Arabia, how have you been treated by the Saudis that you have contact with?

See results without voting

Get Better Treatment in Saudi Arabia

The better you understand the country and the people, the better prepared you will be to look after yourself and avoid some of the many problems that you are likely to face. Dealing with Saudis is not easy and they are prone to behave very badly; the polls above demonstrate this very well!

You can get a huge amount of information by reading my whole series of hubs and information about Saudi Arabia by following this link about being an expat in Saudi. The very best of luck in working in this wonderful country.

Comments 251 comments

FuzzyCookie profile image

FuzzyCookie 6 years ago

There was something in this hub that made me read it from start to end. Never been to Saudi, but I've heard that every woman in there has to put on the burka and veil. I wonder how long you're planning to stay in there? :D


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Another great hub with Saudi Arabia as good topic. I learn much from you. Good information. Thanks for share with us. Vote this up!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thanks for the comments, yes every woman here has to cover head to foot, not all cover their face here in saudi arabia but many do, looks very silly with a veil and glasses over the top by the way...

niddz profile image

niddz 6 years ago from saudi arabia

HELLO,I am also a resident of saudi arabia.Yes what you said about the discriminatory behaviour of saudies about Pakistanies, Indians and others is absolutely right.While this is not realy a part of Islam.Islam said that there is no prefernce over any saudi to non saudi and any fair to any white, infront of Allah,Execpt One's good religious behaviour.But saudi goes against this Islamic law.But yes covering women with Burkah and veil never looks silly.Actually some time when I saw a woman walking on the beach and wearing only bikini and showing to the people and peaople watching her and makin mock of her and talking about her body it looks silly to me.everyone has his or her own point of view.you are optimistic about saudi arabia so I Like your hubs and following you and invite you to join my fan club.Keep writing and keep smiling.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Niddz, Thanks for your comments, it is the same in most societies around the world. People expect a certain standard of behaviour from people based on the rules of that society but there are always people that say one thing and do another. I like Saudi Arabia and hope to be here for some time.

niddz profile image

niddz 6 years ago from saudi arabia


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

I love walking and this Hub is very interesting - the little tiny things I take for granted. I have worked hard to have great neighborhoods to walk in.

Funny, as a female, even in the US - we garner more gawks than men.

When I was in Dubai I was treated very well but the UK overly stuffy were rather terse with me for traveling alone. Traveling alone was not my choice - I don't believe the UK gents understood that. The Muslims were very respectful. The UK gents made it known I was simply female and a short timer.

Great insights - thank you very much!

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thank you for your comments GmaGoldie, hope you enjoyed your time in the middle east.

viking305 profile image

viking305 6 years ago from Ireland

You have described Saudi Arabia and the life there very well. Their dress and behaviour towards different types of people etc was interesting to read about.

Never been myself but it is in the news so much that I do have a passing interest in the country.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thanks for your comments Viking, I have been here almost 3 years now and I can safely say that Saudi Arabia is by far the strangest place I have ever been..

abduljalal amanzo  6 years ago

nt to be there to have friends and associatesWa

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thank you reading and commenting Abduljalal.

Original Saudi 6 years ago

Original Saudi

The lady in attached picture not a Saudi women, she is an Illegal African lady. You may need to find anther picture with a cleaned cover or 'Abaayah' as we call it.

Most of the African ladies are not eligible and we do a respect to them while they are coming to our country for a small business and at the end when they are planning to get back to home they are saying a good words (such as thanking) to Saudi counties RATHER than others where they leave a shit.

So, Welcome to African Ladies

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

I am glad that you are able to accurately identify the person in the picture Original Saudi, but I am not quite sure as to what you are trying to say.

Original Saudi  6 years ago

Oh,,,LeanMan lock that I m writing poor English.

Sorry, English it's my second Language.

Again, same to me…

I could not understand this much of hubs and post under your name "LeanMan" about Saudi Arabia "or I will call it 'Stupid Saudi Arabia' reference to your hubs" and you are still in this country.

You will loss your control if you stay more in this dummy country, what I can advise you to leave today before tomorrow ASAP.

Don't worry,,, others can adapt.

I don’t know………

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hello again Original Saudi, I think you have the wrong impression of me, or I don't understand your comments. I enjoy living in Saudi Arabia, I feel safe and most of the people I interact with are very pleasant and polite to me.

Your country has to make some improvements with regards to how you treat women and non-westerners however!

I have no plans to leave Saudi Arabia, I am enjoying my stay here very much and helping to add to your economy by trying to make the company that I work for as productive as possible.

Have a very nice day Original Saudi.

Original Saudi  6 years ago

Looks that I m not in a wrong impression while most "or actually All" of your Hubs report badly thinks about Saudi Arabia (No Pros). This will forward your bad impression to the world (or site reader).

Yes, I m agree with you that we are still we need to improve in certain area mainly in government services. What I can say, let us make your hubs more efficient by forwarding your notes to whom it may concern in order to come up with some advantage by solving these weakness. For example, when you are writing about Visa process and how it is difficult, you are writing a valuable advice they (Passport and Visa Office) may pay a lot to find these advices. I think you will do a favor to them if you report it to them directly or report it using any official media such as newspaper (ArabNwes) instead of posing these advices in a dark pools.

Hope that are understandable

Best Regard

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi again Original Saudi, nice to see more comments from you, I don't think you have read my hubs very well if you think I do not report the "pros" about Saudi Arabia, read above, I state that I have seen some of the most compassionate behavior from Saudis, that Saudi is the only country where I have got many friendly invitations from people I have only just met, and so on.

However just like in any society in the world your society is marred by the ignorant few who behave badly, much like I am sure many people outside of the states think that the states is rampant with crime and guns.

I have reported both sides of most situations here as well as I can, but I want to make sure my readers are prepared for the worst that can happen to them should they visit here in Saudi Arabia. As an expat on the whole as I have said above I have been treated with respect and kindness by most people, but there are a number of bad apples that need to be avoided and they spoil the whole society. The Saudi people need to be less tolerant of these people and root them out so that they change their ways.

Continue to turn a blind eye to peoples bad behavior and it will be allowed to continue, the Saudis need to change!

If the police on the roads punished every bad maneuver on the roads that they observed consistently for 3 months the behavior would change.. If companies could get rid of Saudis that did not do their jobs to the full, then those people who behave that way would have to do their jobs better or lose those jobs..If the government employed "mystery shoppers" to test their ministries and the like then they would soon see the true picture of what goes on and be able to correct it, if they really want to!

I am sorry that you do not like some of the things that I write, but rather than attack the messenger maybe you would like to do something about the message!

In my experience Saudis do not like to be criticized by outsiders like myself, if you want to change your society for the better then it is down to people like yourself to tackle the problems! Don't bury your head in the sand to shut out the problems, deal with the problems, not the people who point them out to you!

Do you truly like the behavior on your roads? Do you like it when you see some Indian worker being shouted at by a Saudi for some minor problem, Do you like to read about maids that have been raped or had nails pushed into their bodies, do you like to hear about thousands of run-away workers that want to return home, and so on, the answer is not to close your eyes so that you do not see it and read about it, the answer is to change!

I hope that you do not take offense, I love being here, I love the people as a whole, but saying nothing about a problem is like saying that it is acceptable......

Would the prophet Mohamed (pbah) have allowed the behavior that exists on your road, would he have said that all of the things I mention above are acceptable? I don't think so! He would have stood up for what is right, even if people did not like it!

nice lady 6 years ago

Thanks,l read everybody's comment about Saudi discrimnation,some sauid are nice and good to talk to,l worked in the hospital in riyadh,seen a lot.some saudi men still have the arrogant of women doesn't have the right to talk back to me,thats need to be change,this is 2010.they feel western women are rude,we are not,is the culture of speak your mind out and have the right to say youe mind,in saudi culture,women are numbers not human.I hear so many story about saudi men that they mean and jealouse,like the case of employee pinning a pins and nails to her house maid,per saudi law,nothing will happen to the employee,especially if he has power and money(power and money are evil),if that happen in the states with a proved,human rights and govement will do a big case with you.There are so many philipinos,malasia and indian female missing,working for the hospital,you know what people say,sometime saudi men kidnapp and raped women,kill them in desrt and bury them.The worst thing is l haven't hear anything done by the hospital about all this missing women.If saudi say "Insha Alla" that means nothing will be done.They are rude to staffs especially if they related to the oyal,due with respect,even if you are a millionaire,coming to hospital,l belived nurse have to threat the patient equally,that is rules of human right.saudi men in low position are so arrogant,another thing when saudi men came to hospital with his one dozen of wifes,he thinks all female nurse have to talk to him like you talking to the king.pls don't let me going on with saudi discrimination to all other country,even sometimes with western women.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thank you for reading Nice Lady, it is nice to have the perspective of a woman that has worked within the hospitals. You are so right, this is 2010 and things have to change. I think many of the young here in Saudi Arabia want to see this change but there are also many that are still as arrogant as their elders and treat expats and women in the same manner.

I hope that things do change and that the courts and the police stop turning a blind eye to what is done by those that have money and power and that justice is done.

Polish_bloke 6 years ago

Hi LeanMan! Your hub is a great source of knowledge about Saudi Arabia for expats. I'm really grateful for your work.

I'm an architect/PM from Poland with 6 years experience in IRL - I have an offer from Riyadh to work as a PM for King Faisal Hospital. I'm wondering if you have any info re work conditions there? Also I'm interested what's your opinion on treatment of Poles by Saudis - I'm not concerned about the street as I guess I shall be perceived as a Westerner but I'm afraid to be treated badly in work. Any comments?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Polish Bloke, I would guess that you will have very few problems as you will be seen as European by most here. The Saudis will treat you Ok but don't expect things to happen with quite the same speed as you would expect anywhere else in the world. Good luck with your contract, I am sure that you will enjoy it here.

Polish_bloke 6 years ago

Well, Irish aren't the fastest working nation in the world either! The worst part for me is the "safe"-keeping of passport by employer and no way to escape if things go bad.

I should be quite well there, Inshallah (since you haven't forbidden it here)

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi polish bloke, thanks for returning. Don't worry too much about the passport side of things, you can leave at a whim in your probation period, your company will return your passport and you can part company if things are not working out. After that don't run up debts, have credit cards in the kingdom or own a car and exit after will be fine if you and your employer fall out and they want to final exit you. (Have a look at my hub on saudi visas for more info), otherwise if you want to leave the western expats often go to Dubai and the like for a weekend every now and then so the company will not question an exit visa for a weekend away enjoying yourself......... Once you are out you are out......

However if you do that you don't expect to be paid any dues owed to you.

As to the Irish, I think the tortoise and the hare may still be an analogy that could be used here!

Good luck and I hope that you are treated well as an expat here in Saudi Arabia.

Polish_bloke 6 years ago

That's great - it gives me peace of mind and convinces it's well worth trying. Even if treated as a trip to the last forbidden kingdom (as LonelyPlanet puts it).

Thanks for your advice!

BTW 16500SAR would be considered low or adequate salary for a PM there?

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Polish Bloke, the salary people get paid seems to very much reflect their nationality rather than the job. I would say that for someone from the US or UK they would probably be offering a little higher but then I don't know the seniority of the job etc. However it is a good wage however you look at it when you realize that it is tax free and I assume with accommodation and everything else on top. If you want to check your salary range try to look on www.bayt.com, they have a page where people post their salaries so that you can compare.

Polish_bloke 6 years ago

Well, from my point of view it is not too much (used to earn much more even after tax) but the times in Europe aren't great now for architects.

I treat the opportunity partly as an adventure and maybe a gate to other GCC posts in the future.

gundug 6 years ago

Read your comment with interest GmaGoldie. Obviously your travels to the uk took you to places like London an not to Bonnie Scotland where men would have traeted you far better. Shame you never travelled to Scotland what beautiful sites you missed out on, and the men dont display a stiff upper lip nor act as if someone stuck a broom handle up there arse at birth

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Gundog, lol.. Being south of the border I would just like to say that as much as I love visiting Scotland I can't say I have noticed that the men there are any smoother than us, as to the broom handle I have been known to remove it for special occasions!

Not quite sure how all this relates to how expats are treated by Saudis, but a nice aside..lol

dalal 6 years ago


i love reading about that , the reaction for the non-saudi in saudi lol

anyway i might disagree with you in some points

maybe the veil would be silly for u but its a choice they made n its considered to be a good thing in the religious aspects ,, in some other cases its just a traditions

i choose not to wear it but its so okay with .. as its okay to see the stripes in the Red light district wearing nothing .. its a personal choice

the racism u've point to it ive released its normal ,since i moved to germany , it doesn't mean that i agree with it but .. its just the way it is ...

usually saudi treating their drivers , maids very well

of course with some exceptions but these kinda of pp

normally are uneducated

the discrimination by the government i wont argue with that

but society , families i gotta say nein

its all relative ... its different form family to another

ive never experienced that in my family n when i say this word to my father .. he goes crazy .. i use this word to piss him off

i know some saudi girls who cannot make their own choices

others are not


most of the police members don't speak English cuz its just not a requirement in their job or even in that sector ... its not that they choose not too

i'm 20 saudi girl and God only knows how i miss being there

Dalal 6 years ago

forgot to say thanx ... take a look to that vid

Alylaw 6 years ago

hi friends i was reading your comments n its really nice , i m also an expat recently shifted to Riyadh but believe me i love this place,calm and simple life style , few of my friends say that this place is not for bechelors lol but i think evey1 has his / her own perception . sometimes it creates problem when u face some 1 who doest know english but i think we can manage as now after spending 2 months over here i am able to understand and communicate lil bit in arabic. The thing i like the most about KSA is TIMING , there are fix timing for every thing ,Weekends are only for families you cant visit Kingdom tower , fasiliya and some other places without family and i think its good coz families can enjoy freely without any problems.Cost of living is not so high so you can enjoy good standard of living.

take care ..

Indian 6 years ago


I am a non-Muslim Indian woman living in Riyadh from the past 5 years. I teach at a university and so I move in academic circles who have a good attitude and respect for Indians and Pakistanis as it is we who teach the most difficult subjects viz. Computer Science and Mathematics. I have the opportunity of meeting Saudis who belong to the upper class and what you say about them is absolutely true. They are very "refined" people. My Saudi students are very affectionate. We all have been provided apartments (more like mansions) in the most safest region "Diplomatic Quarters [DQ]". DQ is heaven for expats. One can go for long walks alone without wearing abayas. It is common to see Western women jogging in shorts. It is safe and you can breath freedom here.

In short, who you are and where you work matters. There is discrimination, no doubt. What you said about Saudi youth is absolutely true too. But I am fortunate to see only the positive side of KSA. I love KSA.

Ali (alibiz@gmail) 5 years ago

Hello Every one,

Thanks for the writer for his honesty and trying to say some good things about Saudia

I am a Saudi man by the way,and want to point to some points in a rush while trying not to be defensive, just want add an othe point of veiw in order for the picture to be clearer:

- KSA people are not PERFECT, but tell me where perfect people exist in this world??

-Regarding the bad incedints you encountered are really shamefula and I AM SORRY for that on behalf of Saudi People but beleive me I have encountered worse eventhought I am a Native Saudi so it is not all because of being expats

- There are very bad stories about treating Expats but I wonder WHY the millions of the good stories are not mentioned. I witnessed tens of them and let me tell you an amazing one

(A women noticed her maid putting tissues beneath her T-shirt and when asked her why she told her that she just gave birth to a child. The Women wondered why would you come now and she told that if she refused to come the employment office in her city will put her in black list and she needs money for her family. The SAUDI women sold some of her belongings and gave the maid an amount of Money worths a one year Salary and bought her a tickit back to her country. ( I know alot of similar stories).

-Dear Readers I want to point out to a very important issue here and please tell the others whenever you were asked (Muslims are not perfect BUT ISLAM is)

that means the islamic system is a comprehensive system and covers all the necessary aspects of life in order to live in the best way possible.

Many Saudis are not good muslims too but Many of them are indeed as all the other Muslims Natinalities

Let us not be (Generic) I can not think of any Nationality as all good people !!

We all know that Brothers can be totally different.

Anyhow, I again admit that we have many bad practices in here but beleive me we are still a good country and good people and all nationalities are welcome to work her, if anyone do not like the way we live here I promise to him no one will force him to stay..

Hope you all the best


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thank you for your comments Ali about how Saudis treat Expats in Saudi Arabia, I too hear an occasional story of good treatment of poorer expat workers, but I hear far more stories and see with my own eyes poor treatment!

Whilst I understand that bad news is more likely to be repeated than good, I hear stories of maltreatment from almost every expat that I meet! I know that it is unfair to generalize about a people, but there are too many Saudis who think it is acceptable to maltreat expats, especially those from poorer countries.

In your final paragraph you state that no one will force them to stay if they want to leave, but many want to leave after they have run away from poor treatment at the hands of abusive sponsors, there are thousands that sit under the infamous bridge in Jeddah waiting to be sent home, many waiting for years doing odd jobs and begging to survive.

There are also many housemaids and drivers that are held virtual prisoners by their sponsors, denied holidays and in some cases wages and any type of freedom at all!

Whilst these may be small in number compared to those that are fairly treated, one expat being unfairly treated is too many!

Clarisa Steyn 5 years ago

Every word of what you said is true ,I live here ..and could`nt have said it better .

greetings from Saudi

Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 5 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

I only did 6 months in Saudi but was not sorry to leave. I had few problems myself but I saw plenty of what you describe in the way of discrimination and ill treatment. Qatar is generally a kinder society, though having said that, it's still not a good place to be a maid or manual labourer.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Clarisa, thank you for reading.

Thanks for reading also Paraglider, sorry that you experienced ill treatment and discrimination by the Saudis. Far too many of them are very hypocritical, preaching tolerance etc and then treating their workers like slaves.

Aziz 5 years ago

Hey .. sorry for those how got into some problem in Saudi arabia .. anyway I leave in ireland for good time.. and it is the same happening .. I met bloody friendly irish and met some shyte irish.. I think our problem back home is not bad treatment for certain group of people as much as the bad treatment for people work for some jobs.. I noticed we had "as saudi" a serious problem to work in some jobs which I think lead to that bad attitude to those who work there..

As you might noticed the saudi how works in those poor jobs do not treat his colleagues in such bad way so I believe this problem will go soon as more saudi have to get those jobs nowadays or just pass a new low to protect the foreigners..

Tbh .. it is not the same all over saudi.. people how dont work in really big cities seems a bit happy.. or when you work with educated people.. and if you could speak arabic it give you more opportunity to engage with the society and have better understanding of what's going on..

wish you all great time there .. enjoy the most crazy country in the world :)

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Varvar 5 years ago


I stumbled upon your Saudi hubs by accident have devoured them with interest. Thank you for such informative and candid window into the Saudi world.

I have been approached to give a series of training courses to international law firms in Riyadh for about two months, but I am quite wary of going there after reading about the restrictions on women and the road nightmares. In addition, I am curious about where I would fit in in terms of the "race hierarchy" in KSA. I am an American woman of mixed Japanese and Chinese ancestry and look entirely east Asian; neither "western" nor "Filipina or Indian". I will most certainly turn down the invitation if I could be subject to rudeness, never mind abuse.

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LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Aziz, thanks for your comments, there are elements of every society in the world who are ignorant and abusive of others for many reasons, no society is free of this. However; having travelled to many countries in europe, US, Africa and Asia I can say that the problems in Saudi Arabia are far worse than I have ever seen in any other country

Varvar; I would hope that as a guest of a law firm that you would be treated with respect by the members of the firm and their staff. You will almost certainly be entertained in a family setting with members and their wives socially.

Outside you will almost certainly be treated as "another asian" and will be subject to the same problems that they have to endure - if you dress richly and go to the more expensive places then this will be reduced but if you want to explore the souks and so on you are likely to be followed by men and so forth.

If you are going to want to go to the malls and other places then I suggest that you ask the firm to provide you with a driver rather than rely on taxis which may be a problem for you (I know many women who will never get in a taxi driven by a saudi!)

If you are married bring your husband! You will have far more freedom and be able to travel more widely. Travelling and exploring alone as a woman is not a good idea no matter what nationality you are in Saudi Arabia.

Two months is too long to stay in a hotel, I would suggest that they find you a place on a western compound so that you can enjoy the lifestyle there, if you have to stay 2 months in a hotel with all of the restrictions you will not enjoy, at least on compound you will be able to mix with other westerners and enjoy the facilities. You will almost certainly be unable to mix with other guests in the hotel as they will be mainly men!

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Varvar 5 years ago

Thank you for your kind and prompt response to my questions.

I am rather torn at this point. On the one hand, I am quite adventurous and would love to be in an exotic locale that I may not otherwise have to the opportunity to see. On the other hand, KSA seems to be so restrictive for a single woman that I may end up seeing very little of it and be uncomfortable at the same time. I have traveled all over the world (including Turkey, Egypt and Jordan) on business and have rarely encountered the type of scenario that you have described here; in a perverse way, that makes me wanting to see/experience the horrors for myself. Crazy, no?

Since my boyfriend does not qualify as a legal husband in KSA, I will have to be on my own for those two months. The description of a western compound sounds too much like an adult summer camp (minus the alcohol) of which I am not particularly fond. Hotel sounds just horrible as well. When I am on an extended business travel, I usually stay in hotel apartments; Ritz and Four Seasons usually have apartment for long-term residents that are on the upper floors with a separate entrance from the hotel guests. The apartments are equipped with kitchens and can be furnished to suit one's taste. Is there something similar in KSA?

Just one more question. How does one go about dressed richly in public if all women wear black robes? Discreet Gucci logo at the hems?! Jeweled tiara perched above the hair covering?!

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LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author


You may spend all of your life wondering "what if" if you do not go! If you are on a business visa and do not like how you are being treated by Saudis and find the country totally unbearable then you can just book a flight and go (as long as you have your fathers or guardians permission!)

Many of the hotels do have apartments and even some villas so I am sure your company could find something to meet your requirements.

As to the compounds being like adult holiday camps; many are and there is much (home made) alcohol to be found. Many people I met there went to escape a drinking problem and found themselves drinking more - I don't like to get drunk so I found the nightly getting drunk by the pool routine very boring which is why I moved off compound in the end!

As to being dressed richly, you can buy more expensive materials and decorate your Abaya and yes I have seen designer labels displayed on them! (Don't ask which labels I am a man!)

Also the better off women will display their jewelry and often have their abayas open a little to display designer clothes beneath (where they can get away with it!)

nads 5 years ago

thanks for sharing your experience,am living in saudi since 5 years and i feel its good place to live. yes off course i have bitter experiences as well but can be neglected by seeing what is happening in other countries

Zubair Ahmed 5 years ago

i guess you can't put it on the Hippocracy of muslims. Muslim today is like a pearl among many rocks hard to find..although many call themselves muslims..

believe me Islam is perfect and doesn't allow such things and today downfall of muslims is due to their distance from islamic teachings...that pearl is getting rarer...

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Zubair, the reason for poor treatment of expats in Saudi Arabia is not down to being a Muslim or any other religion. Anyone who practiced any religion such as Islam or Christianity as it is meant to be applied would treat others with respect.

Charmer 5 years ago

Hello everybody!

And specially thanks to lean mean for creating this hub where we can shear our experiences..I would love to add something to these stories..

Dear brother lean man I am a Pakistani national expat living in ksa from last 17years I came here with my family when I was 5 years old..My father(may god rest his soul in peace)was the one who brought us here...he is not with us anymore he died before 1year.I will shear some of my personal experiences while living here and believe me what I am going to write here is all true and will answer most of the question which are in minds of people living out side of Saudi Arabia.

1st of all I am a Muslim Allhumdullilah and I love my religion but...in all the world people thinks that the Saudis are the best Muslims this is absoloutly wrong...please for god sake mr lean you don't know the reallities..I lived in here almost a big part of life...

1.Saudis they take the things from Islam which are in there benefits and ignored all other..

2.I think in my opinion worlds most hypocratic and racist nation is this nation..

3.you treated well by them because you are a westerner did u ever Imagined the life of those people who are working with private sponsors in working visas as a salesman,a car mechanic,a cleaner,a store keeper etc...no mr lean u never experienced u never feel the pain when half era of your life u spent somewhere and in the end they consider you nothing more than a 3rd class citizen of some country and hurt your feelings...and mentally torture you coz they know even our law going to support us not this expat..did u ever saw there educational system what they are teaching there children's in there books?u better do a research on it..

If the say that they are the best Muslims then I would like to ask them some thing...

All the Muslims they know the story of our prophet (peace be upon him)when he asked his uncle to join Islam and to accept this religion he said I know that you are right you religion is true and kind but I can accept Islam as religion because I am from a big tribe and my family and tribal people will talk about me and call me by bad words simply it's against to my honour..

I ask a question to Saudi people that what is more important to you?your religion or your traditions?and now here most of them will answer no our religion ya???then there is a simple example that you people don't follow Islam u follow your so called honor and traditions...

Because like our Islam said a muslim man can get marry to another Muslim women even from which family she is or even from which race it doesn't matter..but u people say no a saudi girl must get married to a Saudi boy otherwise u kill them and now don't say no please because I have seen by my eyes these things these are not just stories Islam gives us the right to chose our life partner for our selves but u snacthed this right from your child's because of your traditions... your consider your self prior to others just because you were born in a wealthy country?just because another expats from poor countries came to work here...while Islam says no body is prior to other except taqwa (means how much he is religious and kind to humans) our islam teaches love to all living creatures in this world without the difference of colour,nationality and religion as well don't forget our prophet (PBUH) ate with Christians and non Muslims this was our ethics which make Muslims love by others..see today what is the Image of Muslims in west..these expats indian,pakistani etc..are not here to serve u they are here for money keep this in mind 90% of labour work force are expats without them your industry your social life your restaurants each and everything is nothing....u people can see the story of a pakistani girl who was sentenced in to jail for 6 months and then deported to Pakistan and her crime was She get raped by a Saudi man..u can read this story by searching in google as well..

How u say that u are the best Muslims in world?what are the proofs that the Islam u practice is complete?and if now u say that yes we follow our traditions more than anything then please stop miss guiding this world that you are people are the best muslims...I would like to finish here I can answer more questions like why I am still here?and short answer is I am going forever after few months from here...and the reasons of my long stay over here I will write them and also I can write that why the expats if they don't like here don't go back to their homelands....everything I can answer...i want to see the reaction of those people who was saying we go through Islam laws we we we ....

Charner 5 years ago

And em sorry for my poor English...there are some spelling mistakes,,

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Charner, I am sorry you have such bad experiences in Saudi Arabia, but like many other other expats I was there for the money and nothing else.

I have met many expats from India,Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Philippines with terrible stories about how they were treated, just look at the poll in the text above; at the time of writing this 55 non-western expats have voted and well over half have experienced some form or either verbal or physical abuse - almost 40% have been physically abused, that's 2 out of every 5! But they remain as they have little choice if they want to continue to feed their families back home and provide schooling for their children and so forth.

I know many Saudis are true Muslims and many are good people, however the behavior of a sizable portion of their population does not reflect the teachings of Islam and the Saudi treatment of expats certainly does not reflect Islam!

Even as a westerner I have been shouted at and treated very poorly within my workplace, but I have also made some very good friends in Saudi Arabia, both expat and Saudi.

Charmer 5 years ago

And I know no Saudi is going to comment anymore after the harsh reallities those I exposed...

audijosh 5 years ago

Hi LeanMan

I am a Non-Muslim Indian working presently as an engineer in India. I have received an offer from Bariq Mining Company(sister concern of Barrick Gold Mining Corporation, Canada). They have offered me for the position of electrician. When i asked them to review the position, they told me that it was just for the sake of getting the work visa. After getting here they would reinstate me to my current position. What is your opinion on this. Would they?

The pay is definitely good. But on reading your hub i am totally discouraged. I have one western expat in that company through which i have got this job. But i am skeptical know much would he be of help.

Please comment.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi audijosh,

I don't know the company or the people in it so I would not be able to tell you. If they are an international company and they have told you this in writing through email then I don't see any reason to doubt them....however this is Saudi Arabia...

Talk to you western expat friend and ask him how the Saudis treat expats within the company and maybe also look on linkedin to see if you can find others that work there that you can contact.

Al 5 years ago

well informed research about life in KSA. Please suggest a best community / district outside of compound where one can rent a 4 beds + 3 baths apartment around SAR 45-55K.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Al, thanks for reading and commenting about how expats are treated by Saudis. As to your apartment search, you don't say where you are located - but for your price range you can search in some of the more affluent and up market areas.

Al 5 years ago

Thanks LeanMan for your updates. Is Al-Malaz is considered an affluent and upmarket area? Please advise.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Al. I am not familiar with that area, nor do I know which city you are in. If the buildings look better appointed and the cars are nicer then I would suggest that it is a more up market area.

5 years ago

Thanks Leanman.

Jarratt (NZ) 5 years ago

Hello LeanMan

Am currently looking for employment and one country is KSA i am thinking about. Wish to thank you for this site, the information you have provided and the dicussion board.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thanks for reading Jarratt, I hope you find the job that you want and are treated well by Saudis when you get to Saudi Arabia.

Jarratt (NZ) 5 years ago

So do i LeanMan :-) Am looking but there seems to be no positions at the moment, maybe due to Saudisation or that they are slow in getting back to the agency i am using.

Yet with the negatives that i read, am still excited about trying to and possibly getting a job for my career/the experience and personal growth. Have had a friend just return from KSA (female & maori) from which she had good and bad experiences but would go back under certain circumstances. Also what would you consider the best city to work in?

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Jarratt, there is a big difference in how you will be treated by Saudis when you compare the different cities. I would try to go for Jeddah, or Al-Khobar/Dammam as these are the most relaxed. Al-Khobar and Dammam have the added bonus that you can cross the causeway into Bahrain for a beer every weekend; some expats actually living in Bahrain and commuting into Saudi to work!

Muslim Haters 5 years ago

I am a Hindu , Hate Saudi and Saudi's rules they are just animals , before Petrolium exploration they were just beggers .. I hate them and never want any Indian to go there and work , bloddy idiots they even dont respect women.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Muslim haters, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but better to educate them and help them to be better people than just to condemn them! Maybe if others set a better example they will learn to treat expat Indians with respect in Saudi Arabia.

Anon 5 years ago

Well, I am a nurse in Saudi Arabia, non-Western (really easy to guess my nationality now because we're mostly the ones who fill hospitals and clinics here big and small), and I've been staying here for 2 years now. I live in one of the not-so-good parts of Riyadh where most of the foreign Arabs come from (Sudanis, Somalians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Indians, Yemenis, etc) and what I can say is so far, the very Saudi patients we have are mostly polite, nice, and quiet while the Egyptians (which are majority of our patients) are loud, verbally abusive, and easily angry every second of the day. Seriously, Saudi Arabia made me hate Egyptians, not Saudis.

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LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Anon, thanks for your comments about how expats are treated by Saudis. I am glad that you have had a pleasant experience and I hope it continues. Personally if I were in hospital I would be very careful to be very nice to the nursing staff so that they returned the favour!

As to your nationality I am in your home as I write this enjoying my stay!

DIVYA 5 years ago

hey i got engaged nd im an INDIAN:))))..my fiancé is working in KSA for the last 4 years, he describes it as a very good place to live. He's got a permanent visa and by this year i will get married and come there to live for the next approx.7 years maybe...reading all the stuff over the internet about indian's and women being treated in KSA is making my mind work more than usual...though ur hub brings down my BP..lol...bt i hope its all good...how r women/INDIANS actually and really treated in KSA...BE HONEST FRIEND

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Divya, congratulations on you future marriage. Indians are generally not that well treated by the Saudis as they see them mainly as domestics. But if you are there to be with your husband rather than as an employee then you will not have the problems of ending up with an abusive Saudi sponsor which does happen. Life in Saudi can actually be very good, I am sure you will enjoy.

DIVYA 5 years ago

what if i consider taking up a job in future coz there is notin much to do???...ill be in DAMMAM so.

just a normal Saudi 5 years ago

Hello LeanMan ,,,,

I really like this article that you wrote

it's unbiased and describes Saudi Arabia very well

I'm really embarrassed of some of my fellow Saudis' actions

we should be opened and accept the others regardless of who they are

Thank you LeanMan

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Divya, you are officially only allowed to work for your sponsor which would be your husband so you would not be allowed to find work. However many do illegally but you run the risk of unscrupulous Saudi employers who will fail to pay you as you can't force them! Some also transfer their Iqama to an employer so that they can work but you then have a problem if your new sponsor wants to move elsewhere in the kingdom or refuses to give you breaks with your husband.

Hello Just a Normal Saudi, thank you for your kind comments.

DIVYA 5 years ago

Alrighty thanks a ton for all the info sir ..much needed…..have a gr8 time.tc

Hindu Haters 5 years ago

Muslim haters should first hate the Hindu Caste System and its own horrific inequities.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

No one should hate or discriminate against anyone! Pointing at someone else who is doing something worse than you are doing does not excuse or make right what you do!

lisainjedda profile image

lisainjedda 5 years ago

Wow this is a huge eye opener for me!! My thoughts of Saudi were that I was going to be chauffered around by a nice tourgiving driver. That I would have families at the hospitals bring in baked goods and treats daily. That if I did a good job as a nurse I may get whisked away by some nice royal family with accomadations fit for a princess. I thought I would also be able to save up 90% of my income with just wearing the religious garments. I thought I would feel like a long extended vacation with warm weather 80% of the time and a pool at my command, and possibly travel oppurtunities to exoctic places since they are so close and cheap. So I may be abused, not be able to return home, possibly raped/tourtured. Maybe I should negotiate a higher salary...-31 y/o African American single female nurse-

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Lisainjedda, have replied to your comment on another hub also; I think you should enjoy Jeddah, I certainly do! You can save plenty in Saudi Arabia as most of your expenses are paid such as your accomodation and often your travel.

You could very well get daily gifts, my wife is very chatty with her patients (all female, although she has worked with males in previous hospitals) and they often bring her clothing and perfume. They like to be made to feel important and will often reward such behaviour with gifts.

If you stay on compound it is just like a vacation with pool and other facilities (and beer and other drinks if you partake!) I used to go to a party (or host one) just about every weekend in Jeddah. The lifestyle is a little unreal to be honest!

My wife and her friends say never trust a Saudi man - even if he says he is a prince; but you never know your luck could be in, read my hub on dating in Saudi Arabia.

lisainjedda profile image

lisainjedda 5 years ago

Lol about Saudi men! Thanks sounds more of how I envisioned even with the cultural differences.

keirsey66 5 years ago

Thanks for the information LeanMan! I have been offered a position at the Prince Mohammad University and my day today is to do as much reading as I can before giving my decision. As an American woman who would be traveling alone I want to make sure that accepting the contract for two years would be a good fit for me. I am keeping an open mind while I am making this decision because I know this is an incredible opportunity for me. I look forward to reading more that you have written!

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LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Lisa, I would stay away from Saudi men in Saudi Arabia especially in "party" type situations as you could get your self in problems! Enjoy your stay, don't worry I am sure you will be treated with respect by most Saudis.

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LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Keirsey, working in the university and as an American you should not have to many problems as to how you will be treated by Saudis. Working in KSA is a huge experience and a very rewarding one financially as you will easily save the majority of your wage.

lisainjedda profile image

lisainjedda 5 years ago

My thoughts exactly!!

Murdok90 5 years ago

Hello Everyone,

I came across this page trying to understand the Saudi lifestyle. I am a 20 something caucasian male living in USA currently and have been offered a position for a few months in Saudi Arabia. I am not sure exactly what area I will be staying in. As a general question to all, how would I be looked at by the local citizens? I would certainly take-in everything with an open mind. Are there exercise gyms? Would I be fine wearing American clothing? I would hate to miss this experience because of uncertainty...

Thank you all!

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Murdok90, you will probably live on a western compound so your will have access to a gym, pool and other facilities. American clothing should be fine as long as it is respectful - no tshirts with lewd messages or pictures, no shorts above the knee off compound, no sleeveless vests and so forth. The Saudis are very reserved, follow their rules and the Saudis will treat you fine.

fly_girl 5 years ago

hello everyone,

I really like this page & its interesting! For years of flying as a flight attendant in the kingdom I could tell a lot about Saudis character. Every single day I interact hundreds of them and its not easy to handle AT ALL. I cannot say that all Saudis are bad nor abusive. Ofcourse there would be good and not-good.I do have good Saudi friends and polite passengers but very few to measure. Luckily, if they are nice and treat you fairly, that's really genuine! but sad to say in general I have to put this way, I don't like Saudis: being an arrogant, spoiled, the mentality of being "the best creation in the world", the incurable ignorance, and hypocrisy. Even middle class or high class Saudis has this behavior, too. I just don’t get why keep on praying for 5 times a day and then commit sins after? I didn’t say that after a multiple prayers you should not commit a single sin, Im also a human and I commit sins which cant be avoided.

I have seen a lot of instances and personally experienced those. For example during the flight, as an expat worker, most of the time I feel bad with passengers (saudis) looking upon a flight attendant as a slave, snapping fingers, shouting when they want to ask something, don’t know how to follow rules & regulations and very adamant so just like they want to do whatever they want to like they are at their own home. And the saddest part most them you cannot communicate well because of the language barrier. So I myself forcibly learn Arabic words and its good for me. But language is not an issue, it’s the way how they badly behave. Ethics & hygiene to mention.

Because I do believe no matter what status you are in the society rich or poor, if you dont have this good values, good upbringing from home (family) it definitely reflects your personality. Wether you are wearing fancy jewels, hi-end shoes or bags, expensive perfumes it doesn’t impress at all. Having respect for your own will assure gain respect from others.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Flygirl, I guess you are in a situation where you can comment on how Saudis treat expats with great authority having to mix with them every day with your work. Thanks for your enlightened comments.

Dude 5 years ago

I am an Indian Engineer and having an offer letter (Assistant Manager Post) from an American company. But offer letter is under local Saudi sponsors. That means I may not have any connection with the American Company on paper/ or on documents. Will it create problem as Local Saudi sponsors will be completely Muslim oriented and may be having problems with Asians. Although American co-partners (Having office in Dubai) are relaxing me saying it will not be a problem as company is having large community of Asians (As engineers / technicians).

What is average rents for apartments ? I am having budget of 15-18 k SAR/Year. I know this is little but company is saying that is good enough to stay in 2 BR apartment. Is that true?

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Dude, I met many Asian engineers and accountants etc in Saudi Arabia and you should be treated fine by the Saudis if you follow their rules. As to the apartment that will be enough for a small apartment off compound but certainly would not get you a place on compound.

Dude 5 years ago

Thanks for the answers Leanman, What about the contractual documentation problems ? Will that create issues if require to resign or get outside Saudi ? What will be average rental charges on compound ? (Al khobar)

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi dude, with regards to contracts and the like the Saudis tend to hold all of the cards. You tend to have to follow what they want and if that means they will not release you from a contract when you find alternative work then you are stuck! They can also refuse to give you exit visas and you would find it very difficult to escape!

Compounds vary considerably but you can expect to pay upwards of 50k per year for a small place.

pingpong 5 years ago

Hi leanman, i am a British(but originaly indian) and am looking to come and work in riyadh for a reputed financial organisation in a senior role, potentially looking for a long term stay. Package promised is good with all expat benefits, lifestyle & accommodation etc etc. If i live in British expat community/compound (i intend to stay in the most safest or place only inhabited with western) expats and just keep to the expat lifestyle,meaning my own business (work etc etc) how likely is my being "not white" going to create opportunities for potential situations (that you and some people speak off around pecking order & racism) and basically what challenges can i face in day to day life.

thanks in advance, btw your hub has provided me with a lot of insights as i prepare to see saudi arabia as my next destination of work.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Pingpong, I am glad that you have found my work useful. You should be treated fine in your workplace to your face if you are taking a senior role, non Saudis however are all second or third class citizens as far as most Saudis are concerned no matter where they come from although you should not receive any abuse.

Within the compound you should find it much like being in the west with a heightened holiday type atmosphere.

Dude ! 5 years ago

You are scaring me now ! Rule in Saudi is any MNC who want to do business in Saudi should have local sponsors from Saudi so every expats who are working in Saudi should be working under a local sponsored Saudi organisation. So everyone should be under threatening like this. There has to be some kind of human right in this . How to find solution from this.?

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Dude, many people have no problems working in Saudi Arabia, but I frequently get comments and emails from people of all nationalities who want to change jobs but their current sponsors refuse to release them and then refuse exit visas if they think the employee is planning to just leave their employment. Even if the employee did leave they could not return to work for another company without the previous sponsors permission for between 1 and 2 years depending on the country you are from.

Dude 4 years ago

Hmm ! Quite unusual laws ! Anyways, Lets see and have trust on sponsors. Have discussed with the current employees who are from India (My Home Country) and they say, there will be no problem. Have to take the risk to get something more than what can be earned here in quick Time. Everyone say, quick money does not stay along but lets discuss this once I get quick money :) Cheers

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Dude, as long as you keep you head down and work hard you will be fine. Good luck and I hope you manage to build a sizable nest egg for your eventual return home.

Indian 4 years ago

I have got an offer to work in Jizan University. I am indian Hindu. Can anyone guide about the treatment of indian expats by the Saudians

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Indian, you should be treated fine in Saudi Arabia, read above if you want more details or follow the links below for more details about Saudi life.

Indian 4 years ago

hi leanMan, Thnx for your response. I have gone through your several links and read about the treatment by Saudi Arabians,but my queries are still unanswered. i request you to please take time and answer my following queries

1. you stated many times in your comments that "non westerns are not treated well" then how commented that i should be treated fine??

2.Still i am not able to find out neither in your pages nor anywhere else that how the lecturers are treated in universities, How Saudi students treat with indian faculties,How the Arab Staff behave with Indian expats ??

3. As you have explored the life there at KSA. your personal comments as to come there for job or not ??

4. is it worth to come there for salary of 11000SR/month

Hope u'll give sincere advice thanx

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Indian, I have not worked within a university in Saudi Arabia but I would hope that they behave with respect towards one another. If you want more relevant feedback can I suggest that you join linkedin and try to find if any of your countrymen are working with your prospective employer then you can get some first hand feedback.

As to salary, only you can answer that; if it is enough for you then the salary is fine! You can compare salaries on bayt.com for positions in Saudi Arabia.

The decision to go is your decision alone, I have given my thoughts on how expats are treated and other subjects within my various articles as do many others on the internet, the choice to go however is a decision that you have to make for yourself.

Vikram 4 years ago

Hi LeanMan.. I am so glad I found this page. I am a non muslim. I have got a job offer with a IT consulting company to work for their client which is a Saudi bank.

1) Do you think the treatment would be same for non expats ?

2) Also as far as accomodation is concerned are there any "safe" places like western compunds for non westerners like me

3) Also do you think its safe to travel in public transport, walk on roads etc without getting abused ?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Vikram,

I assume you are from India or Pakistan and as such your treatment in the work place should be OK. There are many compounds that accept foreign workers from all countries and you should be fine on any of them. As to walking the streets you should be fine, however you may find it a little hot. Public transport is mainly taxis which are quite expensive if you need to make multiple journeys, it is far cheaper to hire a car. Most compounds and some companies also have their own transport that you will be able to make use of.

Vikram 4 years ago

Hi LeanMan.. Thanks for your reply. Yes I am from India. I had been to Dubai a year back and I found the bus and metro rail service very convenient... Isn't there any bus or rail service in Saudi... I am sure the labourer and low paid workers will find hiring taxis or car very expensive...

Also it almost sounds like that in Saudi you may just have to put your head down when you are in around public place or even at work.. Is it that bad


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Vikram,

There are no rail services and most companies bus their own employees. I have seen a bus service but it is very infrequent and very old in Jeddah that appears to be picking up mainly low paid workers, i have no idea of the frequency or the routes that it runs; but it can't be very frequent as I have only seen it a few times.

It is best whatever nationality you are in Saudi to not draw attention to yourself, but as an Indian you will not be treated very fairly as most will assume you are a laborer or from some low paid job.

Vikram 4 years ago

Thanks again LeanMan.

I am going to get around 15000 riyals per month as the salary.

How much do you think I would be able to save. I know it depends on the way you live.

But say I live in a decent 1 bedroom + kitchen and cook at home. Go out to a nice restaurant once a week with my wife and twice a week take my wife and 1 yr old to the beach or mall. Thanks again

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Vikram, my wife and I found it hard to spend 5000 every month and we went out every weekend so you should be able to save fairly easily.

Vikram 4 years ago

Thanks again LeanMan. are you counting the House rent in the 5000 every month or is it excluding that ?

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Vikram. Excluding the house rent, but we were buying stuff to send home every month and so on so we were quite extravagant in our spending! Feel free to send me an email via the icon below the profile picture top right if you need any more info.

Delima 4 years ago


Thank you for all the info. I have an offer with Al Kodhari in KSA as an HR. They are offering me 8000 sar Basic. Is it enough?

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Delima, only you can answer if it will be enough. If you want to compare salary however you can do so on Bayt.com.

Delima 4 years ago

Thank you sir. Kindly suggest if Al Kodhari is a good Employer.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Delima, I do not know them personally, your bet way to find out is to join linkedin.com and find other people who have worked for them. Then you can contact them directly for their opinion.

Jo Blow 4 years ago

Generally this is the accepted order of things in the Kingdom: Saudi's, Westerners (whites), Gulf Arabs, Westerners (non-white with passport), Philipinnos, Pakistanis, Indians, Sri Lankans and the Bangladeshis last. Having lived here for many hyears I also happen to know for a fact that all of the 'major' Western style compounds in Riyadh have approximately 2-year waiting lists - with active screening of new candidates in place. Basically getting back to serving 'Western/White' clientel who are here on contract. Not sure if this helps, but it is the way it is.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Jo, it certainly is the way in Saudi! The lower you are down the scale of the social lists the worse your treatment will be at the hands of the Saudis!

Noura 4 years ago

First of all thank you for your post, I think you have been fair enough, not too rough on us :D

As a saudi woman, I have to completely agree wit you that non-western expats are treated pretty badly here, Thank god that my family (and most of the families I know) are civilized people and would never bring physical or emotional harm upon anyone!

I think this matter has to be addressed urgently, those poor people must suffer a great deal coming all the way from their country for a small amount of money and get abused by ignorant A holes.

One thing I don't agree with, in regards with what you wrote, saudi women ARE treated well here! If you stay long enough you will see that! But you have to know that if the family is ignorant, and they do not understand their religion correctly, this will lead to their women being abused.

I consider myself to be very lucky, even though my origins are beduin, but my family is well educated and very open minded. I was blessed to be the daughter of a liberal man and a moderate woman.

Change is coming, more and more families are embracing a liberal lifestyle and this will lead to a more tolerant environment :) Enjoy your stay here and splurge in every corner (Don't worry about taxes) splurge

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thank you for your honest comments Noura, by being open about problems they can be tackled and solved, hiding them is as good as saying that they are OK. Like any society Saudis have their good and bad people and no one is the same, I hope that people like you soon become the majority.

Memyself&I 4 years ago

Hi there Sand Man. I am a Black French woman getting ready to move to Al Khobar & I'm quite nervous about how I'll be treated there. Should I be walking around with my passport? Also when my husband (white man) & I go out should we carry our marriage certificate?

Great Hub you've got & it's loaded with what seems to be invaluable info.

I also admire how you've got a word for all you comment on your Hub.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Memyself&I, your sponsor will take your passports so you will not have to worry about that side of things! You should take a copy of your marriage certificate until you are issued your Iqama as you never know when someone might stop you.

Al-Khobar is quite a relaxed part of Saudi so you should be treated reasonably OK compared to Riyadh.

Memyself&I 4 years ago

Cheers, LeanMan. So, Schlimberger will be holding on to our passports? Wow, don't know how I feel about that. I thought I needed my passport in case I got in some trouble with the Muttaween & such.

Anyway, any idea how Saudis are towards Black people? Heard they're not so nice. This makes me nervous. I shouldn't get better treatment because of my passport only. I certainly am not better than others.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Memyself&I, you will need to carry a photocopy of your visa page or some document from your company until you have your Iqama but don't worry too much. Unless you do something stupid and against their rules you should not be stopped.

Black people are not in my experience treated any different to any other color specifically, the Saudis are a pretty mixed bunch themselves! They do however discriminate more on perceived social class so they treat people they think are from poor countries very badly. So if you dress well and flash your jewelry then you are unlikely to be picked on for any reason, but if I were you I would still go out with your husband or a group of other women. Women walking alone anywhere are not seen in a very positive light!

In the section below there are several links to other articles in this series about Saudi Arabia if you would like to read more.. If you would like to stay in touch and feedback your experiences then feel free to use the "contact leanman" icon below my profile picture at the top right - I try to answer all mail that I receive.

Memyself&I 4 years ago

I thank thee Lean Man!

Memyself&I 4 years ago

I thank thee Lean Man!

Will keep in touch & give feed back. Going in August/Saptember Inshallah!

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

The best of luck to you both, I hope you enjoy your stay..

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sohail2006 4 years ago

I worked in KSA and never feel the things which was mentioned above

Yes- this is true driving is bad, but not all the people.Yes,people hate asians but not all the Saudis.

I still remember my Saudi Friends which were really professional and always willing to learn more and working hard also.

So donot worry about few minor issues, get your job and got the money and enjoy the life with family.

I am going Jeddah again in few months and will enjoy my period there.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

I am glad that you have had a good experience of working with Saudis Sohail.

AgnosticSaudi 4 years ago

As a Saudi this post is mostly true! It's sad how some Saudis treat foreigners, I'm awfully sorry to all those who been discriminated against by Saudis. I believe we are getting better in terms of tolerance and accepting others. In my opinion, Saudi Arabia must pass a law to protect non-Saudis from racism and prejudice. Nice topic thu!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thanks for your comments Agnostic, I am sure that things will improve over time as Saudis mix more with other peoples and cultures.

Jazz4 4 years ago

Hi i am from Nepal and i am moving to saudi reyadh next week. But, after reading your hub, i m so scared as well confused. Go to saudi or not? Please tell me what would i have to do. I am thinking not to go over there

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Jazz, working in any foreign country can be frightening. Saudi Arabia can be a very strange country but as long as you follow their rules and work hard then you should have no problems with how the Saudis will treat you. Make sure your family and friends know how to contact you in Saudi and do nothing wrong and I am sure you will make plenty of cash to save for your future.

Daniel 4 years ago

Hi Leanman,,what is iqama? can every expat apply for this? tks in advance

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Daniel, your Iqama is your residency permit which will allow you to stay and live in the kingdom as well as use the banks and buy a SIM card; it acts as your ID card and is about the only ID that will be accepted in many places.

You get your Iqama through your employer converting your work visa after 90days of working in the kingdom on a work visa, if not you will be sent home.

Rose 4 years ago

I am glad to hear you are happy here. Unfortunately as a American woman who does not fit the desired western stereotypical image (blonde and blue eyes) I do get treated as crap. They expect a woman to be subserviant. Even though I am a surgeon, I still get disrespected. By the way, most people in higher positions are there from wasta, not due to their skills. At this point I am so sad for the malpractice that I see everyday performed on patients by the poorly trained Saudis. Did you know that the saudis that do their fellowship training in western countries only are there in person. They only shadow the attending physicians. Of course this is not everyone, but most. So sorry to say this but saudis are unethical, arrogant, dirty, HYPOCRITICAL, racist, immoral and generally bad human beings. God Bless America and democracy.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Rose, I have met some very skilled and respectful Saudis, but I have also met many of the other type of Saudi and been on the receiving end of how the Saudis treat expats. I would be very worried about receiving treatment from any Saudi, the Hospital that my wife used to work at was owned by a Saudi doctor that purchased his degree and never had a day of training in his life!

Anon 4 years ago

Hello Leanman, this is an excellent hub. I am moving to Saudi in July 2012 to take a position in Jeddah. It is not my first overseas position but the first in Saudi. Do you have any articles relating to safety of British expat workers? I plan to give it 3 to 5 years in Saudi but I read some horror stories on the net. I have n interst in breaking any laws whatsoever. It just seems that you could be unlucky for whatever reason and then you are stuck there. Any thoughts?

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Anon, I am a Brit and I have spent some time in Jeddah and totally enjoyed myself. I have been mainly treated reasonably but at times you want to scream. You have to be fairly laid back with a thick skin if you want to deal with the Saudis.

Stick to their rules off compound and you should not have any problems. If you are on linkedin see if there are any other expats employed by your prospective employer and get their views about how they are treated by the company.

I am sure that you will have fun as well as build up a reasonable nest egg while you are there. Keep in touch and let us know how things progress.

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Sonny Siano Ellar 4 years ago

Wow! well, things are well said except for one thing which I would like to make a small clarification, in some fields or areas yes Indians, Pakistanis, Indonesians & Filipinos are Classified as Third or Fourth Class citizens but in other industries say health care for example, The construction Industry, teaching etc etc, They are trusted and gazed upon for so many reasons.

I Liked this hub because it explains so many facts.

Saudis are friendly, I myself being a Filipino is afraid to even converse with any of them unless I know where they work or I know who they are. this fear has something to do with our (Filipinos) being stereotypical. having heard of the fate of other Filipinos in KSA which are bad and appalling, murdered, raped, robbed, beaten, it makes us think that every Saudi are the same but I know it is wrong and I am trying to change that Very wrong thinking.

Thank you for this awakening hub! I will vote it up and like what you said, now I am contemplating of an article relevant to this but in a way different.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thank you for your comments Sonny, as you say many Saudis treat you with respect and appreciate the work that expats do within the country. It is just a pity that a minority spoil things.

rg 4 years ago

Hi LeanMan - how do you get so much time to answer all these queries.. you have been so helpful to so many people here, god bless you. I am an Indian, working in a best class company in India and now got an offer from a very well known bank in Riyadh - Arab National Bank. When I read through various posts above, it seems there will be no freedom but money. I am offered around 35000 SAR/month. I hope it is good enough money but honestly i am little scared now after reading how Indians are seen as third/fourth class employees etc... I am having a second thought now before i join this new bank in Riyadh. Hows Riyadh as a city to live in ?

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi rg, don't worry too much, life in Saudi is not that bad, there is a huge Indian community there so you will make many friends and have a huge amount of support. Stick to the rules and stay out of trouble and I am sure that you will have a good time despite the restrictions.

The wage is very good and you will easily save the majority of what you earn for when you return home to India.

un 4 years ago

You are awesome. I am mulling an offer from UN for a very high level expat job in Riyadh working directly with a saudi minister. I am american of indian origin. Can a diplomatic visa on a US passport, shield an indian ?

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi UN, Not sure what you mean by shield.. You should be treated just fine within your work anyway if you are mixing with reasonably educated people.

un 4 years ago

thanks leanman, I meant shielded from discrimination or harrassment...if possible share the experience of expats on diplomatic visa working with UN, World Bank, IMF type of world agencies in Saudi....

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi UN, you will find that within your work that you will generally be treated respectfully. However in the street, mall etc people will not be checking your passport before they decide who you are; you will find that they will treat you in much the same way that they treat any other Indian. Which mean that some Saudis will not be very pleasant - a bit like any other country!

UN 4 years ago

Thanks. I am being offered $11k (approx 40k sar) per month + 80% housing subsidy+ 75% education subsidy for kids education. We are a family of four, we are looking at maximum some eating out expenses etc, a driver, a car, a maid, how much can we expect to save realistically. By the way, we will be required to live in the diplomatic/ western compound. I know there are a lot of posts on cost of living etc, but you may have the latest info...thanks again

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi UN,

With most of your expenses covered you should be able to save the majority of your wage to be honest. My expenses were less than 5K every month but that was without children but I eat out a lot and enjoy life very much to the full.

I would guess that you should also have a car allowance as most expats of that level do, you may also find that your maid is covered, but even if not a maid will only be around 1500SAR and a driver a similar wage.

Just make sure that you do save, it is far to easy to take the money for granted and spend it as fast as you get it!

I have some friends that save 90% of their wage and others that party in Dubai and other places every few weeks and have little left.

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Emiratesuae 4 years ago

Hi LeanMan,

I really like ur replies

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Emiratesuae,

thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

lmpickett profile image

lmpickett 4 years ago

I am an american woman and both my husband and myself are in the oil and gas business. I have a minor in arabic and have a lot of saudi friends back in the states. We were talking about looking for an oil and gas company to work from either in Saudi or the UAE. My question to you is, how are western women treated? Just like a regular Saudi woman? Can I get away with working in an oil corp. in saudi, or is my husband only qualified to work there (too bad he can't speak arabic!)?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Impickett.

As a woman you would find a few difficulties in working with the men as women are not meant to be alone with men who are not their husbands or direct blood relatives. Women therefore are generally segregated from the men and in places like banks you will see separate entrances for the women.

http://hubpages.com/politics/Saudi-Arabia-Women this hub will probably answer a lot of your questions.

You may find it hard to actually get a job as most companies will be reluctant to hire you as a woman although some companies such as Aramco do employ women.

You will not be treated like a Saudi woman, you will however in general be treated respectfully especially publicly and in the workplace.

There is a high percentage of expats in every company so most business is done in English so your husband would be fine coming there.

I hope that answers your questions, if you explore the links from each hub you will be able to find out a lot more about Saudi Arabia and working there.

lmpickett profile image

lmpickett 4 years ago

Thanks so much LeanMan!

One more question, do the western compounds have church meetings (does it have to be hush hush)?

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

VERY hush hush! There are no religious buildings other than the various mosques to the Muslim faith and they will not tolerate any other religion to be practiced openly within their country. Entering the country with religious books is likely to get you turned around again, although they should allow you entry with a single bible, in practice however if it is found it will likely be taken from you.

There are groups that meet secretly both on compound and off, on compound is safe but off compound I have known of a house that was used being raided and the occupants being arrested due to the various books and other items that they found.

If you want to worship be careful and be selective about who you join.

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francis215 4 years ago

LeanMan,is it doing part time job here in riyadh are allowed or not?pls enlighten me as I have interview this coming week.i informed my boss regarding my application and there is no issue for him on my part time.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Francis

As long as the person you will be working for part time is your sponsor then that is fine. As an expat you may only legally work for your sponsor, anything else is illegal.

That being said there are many expats that do little extra part time jobs around the country. But beware, you cannot make your employer pay you if you are illegal and you could be in serious trouble even deported if you are caught.

Memyself&I 4 years ago

Hi Lean,

Just wanted to let you know that I have made it to Khobar. Only been here 5 daysbut boy do have some beef against this society already!

This place is so hot & humids my glasses get foggy when I step & oh that abaya is awful. Why can't they be in linen or 100% cotton huh, so we can suffer more?

And stares, people openly stare. So far I have only been out with my husband & w boys. Haven't dared venture out alone yet.

Why can't foreign women drive? If Saudi women are happy not driving they should stay like that, but please C'mon already.

Will keep in touch

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Memyself&I

Thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment. Will be interesting to see how your views of the society there in Saudi Arabia change during your stay. Stay in touch and give us some updates as to how things develop for you and your family and how you get treated there.

burki 4 years ago

hi everybody, i m working i s ksa since 3 years, and i advise to everyone that plz if u want to come to ksa do come but only for pilgrimage or other religious purpose. bcz non-western expats are treated as animals or some servants who r born to obey them, i like ksa but the people behavior have made my mind sick, e.g today i was drawing money from atm an old saudi started shouting behind my car to leave atm as he as to get money i continued but he came down from his LANDCRUISER and started kicking my card and snatched my atm card, what u people think are we animals???? we r nt human beings, i controlled myself and left atm, else either i would have gone to prison for beating a saudi. this is just a minor example, anywhere if expats are waiting for their turn they must wair and if any saudi came he is free to go and be addressed without waiting for his turn, i think expats in ksa are just like donkey working hard for their masters and at last they get beaten as reward,,,,,,,, i feeeel deeeeeeeep pain in my heart, because every one backhome thinks that we r living here comfortably,

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Burki,

Sorry to hear of your experiences, but unfortunately you are right. There are a minority or Saudis who treat non-western looking expats very poorly indeed. Like the rest of the expats there just swallow your pride, move on and earn whatever you can to take home.

Ahmed 4 years ago

"As a Westerner, my general experience is that the treatment of expats in Saudi Arabia depends very much on the Saudis educational level and ability to speak English, the higher the level the better the Saudi will treat you. A Saudi speaking no English is likely at best to just ignore you".

You forgot to add mention the colour of the skin and the expats nationality

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Yes Ahmed,

If you are perceived as coming from a poor country by how you look they will treat your poorly.

pramodgokhale profile image

pramodgokhale 4 years ago from Pune( India)


I have been to Saudi Arabia for employment,in 80s boom time of oil kingdom and their economy,Our company both time was under British and German management, Our employer honored conditions and commitment to employees as per employment agreement.

In some companies Asian workers were complaining about Saudi Employer , were paying salary one time after three months working.

i heard that they say " beggars are not Choosers' Poor Asian countries and poor Asians has to listen such comments.

In general my Saudi job was economically sound and respectful.

pramod gokhale

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thank you for your contribution Pramod, I wish that I had managed to work there during the boom times, I knew several people who had and they did VERY well for themselves indeed. The wages are not as good as they were back then and the conditions that many expats have to endure in Saudi Arabia are far worse, although they are trying to make improvements!

Salem 3 years ago

Hi leanMan

I'm happy to find such a post about Saudi Arabia and, everything you said is right. As I live in Saudi Arabia. But the question is: where is it better to live in Saudi Arabia or United States. Regarding, wage quality of life safety and everything

I'm Yemeni and hold Green Card and my family American.

Plenty of thanks for your posts

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Salem

I think the choice of whether to work and live in Saudi Arabia or the USA is very much a personal one. There are many pros and cons to both. In Saudi your wages may be higher and tax free but your freedoms are seriously limited. In the US your wages will be taxed but you will have much more freedom to do as you wish. Obviously this is a major simplification and if this is a decision you need to make then I would suggest that you spend a long time together with your family researching and making your decision.

Kasiopea 3 years ago

First , thanks for all the information that u give us ! Its very helpful !

I have a question, a read about a lot of the treatment to differents nationalities, but what about latin american people ? Did u see any latinaamerican ppl in KSA ? How saudis will treat us ? Im a woman, ma boyfriend is from lebanon, if we married its probably that we live there because his work, so what kind of treatment i have to expect as a latinoamerican woman ?

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Kasiopea, as a woman you will have to cover up and follow their rules for segregation. In public with a Lebanese husband you should be treated fine. However be aware that most Saudis do not respect women!

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Varvar 3 years ago


This is an update from my post a year ago inquiring about a two months business trip to KSA. I forgot to thank you for your helpful insight upon returning to the States and extend my apologies!

My business trip (ended up being just a little over three weeks) to KSA was extremely entertaining. It allowed me to see and experience so much that is fascinating, not all pleasant, but certainly worth the price of admission. As it turned out, international law firms in KSA only have Saudis around for show...most of the actual people who conduct a law firm's business are westerners. That made my life a lot easier.

Interactions on the street and out in public are a different story. I am not "toned down" by nature and experienced quite a bit of rudeness if not outright aggressiveness from the Saudis in the first few days. Being shoved aside by a striding Saudi woman or sneered at by Saudi man was quite common. Having read your blog though, I was prepared for my social experiment. I later draped myself with the massive amount of jewels that I had brought for just such a purpose (an amount that I would not have dreamed of wearing at the same time in the US without being in an asylum) and lo and behold, people are suddenly a lot nicer, still not "nice", but so much more on par of what I believe to be civilized behavior toward a stranger. Seriously, I could not help but laugh. Those people are ridiculous! Where is their warmth of humanity? Of course, that may be just a matter of cultural norm. On the other hand, if I was walking in Philly or somewhere dressed like that, I would have been robbed or even killed in short order. So in comparison, Saudis are downright saintly. What a country! Is it wrong to just giggle at the memory?

Eric 3 years ago

Hi LeanMan

Thank you for a lot of interesting and terrifying information. I am just considering making the biggest mistake of my life. I have a couple of questions for you.

1. Do you have any experience in living/working in UAE? Is life in Qatar or Bahrain any easier? Do Saudis pay more to lure expats?

2. I was told that your passport is your rate of pay. Is it true that your salary depends on the passport you hold? If so who gets the fat chunks? I am asking because I am a lucky one who has a choice.

3. And lastly – are you still in KSA? Did you find another job?

All the best to you,


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Varvar, thank you for returning to give us your insights. Glad that you have some good memories to smile about even if you did receive some poor treatment at the hands of the Saudis.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Eric.

Life in the UAE is generally a little more open than in Saudi Arabia but you still must ensure that you do not upset them by breaking their rules.

Pay is generally based on your country of origin, so if you come from a poor country you will be payed poorly even if it is more than you would receive in your home country. Westerners generally receiving very generous salaries.

As to still working there, I have found employment elsewhere for a while but I may still return as I truly enjoyed working there as well as the salary.

liquido 3 years ago

I will share some of the news 2 years ago a pregnant Filipina woman was about to deliver in just 1 week, she was walking from the hospital to their accomodation when a service bus of that hospital offered a ride to her accomodation instead of going to their destination was raped by saudi teenagers inside that bus.

elena 3 years ago

Hello! Thank you for all the information....it is really healpfull. I really need an advice. I am from Romania and in one week I will go to an interview for a Nas Air cabin crew member job. It is really dificult to decide what to do...because I am a little scared. So, I need an advice...what to do? Do you think that it is ok to work as a cabin crew at Nas Air company? Will they treate me as an usual foreign woman in Saudi Arabia? Do you ever traveled with Nas Air? How do you see the cabin crews? Thank you very much in advance !

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Elena,

I don't have experience with Nas air but I do know several women working with Saudi air and other airlines; most are happy enough with their work there but don't fool yourself into thinking that you will treated perfectly. Women are seriously discriminated against.

The horror, the horror 3 years ago

Hey man,

I enjoy your posts, a lot of really good information. I work for a very large company here in the 'Kingdom' and I was recently refused a car loan on the basis of I am a foreigner!now I told my colleagues, whom indicated that a lot of expats come here, don't like it, get loans , cards and do a runner! Which is stopping us hard working folk getting the benefits of low interest etc. Now I do work with a bitter lot haha and try told me of at Least 7 different incidents one most recently a month ago, about a chap who came and left with $7000 on a card, another about a guy who stayed for 6 months got a 100,000 riyals loan and ran away on the weekend! is this true? What are the implications of something like this? I'm not thinking of it myself as I've been refused haha. But I'm interested in what effect this would have on an expat elsewhere? What power does the saudi government have?

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Yes I have heard the same stories about expats who have taken large loans or used credit cards to run up large bills and then left without paying. This is in some ways the fault of the banks and the Saudi government as the banks are very quick to offer credit cards and loans which are available to expats. You are not meant to be able to final exit the country without paying off all of your debts however it is all to easy not to return after a vacation and then it is not simple to repay your debts. With some companies treating employees poorly it is hardly surprising that some individuals will just cut and run without paying debts.

That being said there are a number of people that do come to the kingdom purely to do this, I have heard stories of expats that have taken jobs, gotten loans and cards and then walked away with hundreds of thousands of riyals. However when I have inquired about loans to buy a car it was based on a few multiples of my monthly salary but you would still be talking about 100k riyals plus!

Failure to repay debts is a criminal offense in Saudi Arabia and you could find yourself detained should you ever return there. I have read that the worst thing to get detained for is debt as there is little that your embassy can do to help you and you will have to have your family and friends pay off your debts before you will be released. However I doubt if there will ever be a move to extradite non payers back to the country.

Khalid 3 years ago

What about discrimination from ur own country citizen UK against Arab and Muslims? I can tell million stories! Ur trying to tarnish our image because we are Muslim. I read ur blog from top to last end n i can rest assure u that ur hatred is obvious. Ur the one who being hypocritic not us Saudi. I f we see some thing wrong we say it on the face! Regardless ur westerner or from less wealthy country labor with bad attitude and behavior and who don't respect customer will have to expect the exact same behavior back! Thats why most western expat treated well here simply becuz they tend to respect the culture and maintain a good attitude towards the locals so they r payed back the same way. I my self encounter and observed some rude (to Arab culture stadard) from other Non-Arab labor but i try my very best to ignore it and i dun blame them they might did not have opportitunity to learn or did not have good education or disciplin back at their countries. At the end, if ur not happy with it please go find better place we meed ur job. If u like it n u respect the country we will treat u like a king and u r very welcome. Salam! Excuse my poor English.

Khalid 3 years ago

I want to add something here,, as Saudi we don't care what color u r u guys r totally wrong. If u r black, white, green we care more about how much respect and passion you give us locals and to respect for our customs and religion and based on that we will pay it back in the same amount and way of respect. Its not because you r "western" that's total hogwash and naïve to say. Nevertheless, it is a matter of fact that "western" expat in particular have succeeded to -through out years- to build good perception "good sterostype?" About how respectful and good attitude n behavior they show to the host country n its ppl.thats Y. One last thing, its naïve to say Saudi person who speaks better English = more respectful! Thats so naïve! Character n personlty have noghing to do with being able English! Actually ppl who think this way show how education level they are. Salam! = peace in Arabic.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Khalid

Nice to see you defending the behavior of your country men and trying to deflect the blame elsewhere. Yes westerners are just as guilty of discrimination as Saudis and I do say that I see very little in the way of discrimination between Saudis themselves no matter what the color of the person. However there is a very definite discrimination against "lower class" expats from poorer countries by all but a small minority. This is obvious in the way everyone behaves, sorry to say that this behavior is contagious as I also see it reflected in the way other expats treat each other even though they would never do so back in their own countries.

Generally expats from the west are treated well but those from the poorer countries face treatment little better than animals from many Saudis.

My comments regarding the ability to speak English are more to do with a reflection of the education that the individual has received rather than their ability to speak another language. My observations are that the more widely traveled and better educated the person the less likely they are to behave poorly towards others, simple as that.

You are entitled to your opinion, however I would suggest that you go out and observe how your countrymen treat their maids, drivers, shop assistants and waiters and then come back and tell me how perfect the Saudis are!

Khalid 3 years ago

I don't need you to tell me to go and observe i do see majority of people treating their maids very well many non-muslims labor and maids are emeacing Islam because of the bright side and treatment they were shown by their Saudi families. (Islam is growing thank God). exceptional bad treatments happen here and there like ( 10 crime for like per 100,000) but why do u only keep repeating 1% u just another hater who want to bash n bad name Saudi people why do not u also mention the good examples u seen or heared while u r here? What's all this unjustified hatefull remarks about? Is it hate for Islam or hate for Arabian ppl? Did u mingle n enter every hous of the 20 million saudis and see how they treat their maids and labors? Does the "Saudi ppl behavior expert" speak Arabic? I guess non! locking ur room door at some 4-sided wall compound n giving lectures regarding social issue sounds fun for time killing hobby. My father own a supermarkets and during Ramadan we every day eat from the same dish form long time ago while ur western (r u from uk?) country ppl were treating black ppl as subhuman even till today many of u guys r racist scums especially in euroupa we treat u much more better here. Ur blog is like 80% false info! In Arabic we do have an old say "dogs keep barking,, the caravan keep marching!". Not waiting for a reply coz i will never stop by this hatefull spreading page again. I feel sorry for ppl like ya! Pathetic!

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thanks for taking the time to reply Khalid, at least you have replied in an intelligent manner without feeling the need to use profanity unlike some of your countrymen. I do agree that in the west we have treated (and still continue to treat) people very badly for a host of different reasons from the color of their skin through to which religion they are. We are far from perfect and in many ways I do see superior behavior from many of the people there in Saudi Arabia. However I think you still have your head firmly buried in the sand if you feel that poor treatment of maids and the like is by a very small minority.

You make very incorrect assumptions about how I lived in Saudi, I don't live within a compound and I have many Saudi friends who I mix with both at their homes and at various events. As to speaking Arabic I will admit to being a complete failure with languages being far more at home with numbers but then I don't need to understand the language to understand that someone shouting and striking their driver is doing wrong!.

I have observed poor treatment of maids, drivers, and other workers in both peoples homes, in the street, the malls and within many companies with my own eyes on a regular basis - something I have never seen in other countries. I have mixed with many of the runaways working within the illegal labor market and listened to their stories of rape and beatings. I am sorry but if it is 1% as you claim then it is 1% too many and you should not turn a blind eye to their behavior and let them continue! Would the prophet say stop talking about it as it is only a small minority? Too many people resort to attacking the messenger rather than listening to the message! Too many people in Saudi Arabia treat their expat workers like subhumans and this has to stop, whether it is 1 person in 10 or 1 in a million it is still too many.

If I were a lone voice out there making these claims then you could say that I was talking rubbish, but look at the results of the polls within this hub and see how many have claimed to have suffered abuse of one form or another at the hands of Saudi's only 30% of the westerners claim to have been treated with respect while only 12% of poorer expats claim to have been treated with respect and 41% claim to have suffered physical abuse! The figures above speak for themselves. Please do not take this personally, I have many friends in Saudi who treat their workers very well and are as disgusted by the behavior of some other Saudis as much as I am. Instead of trying to dismiss my claims why don't you do something about them and help to prevent the poor treatment of expats within your country.

Bharath Renati profile image

Bharath Renati 3 years ago

Hello Lean Man, I would like to clarify my doubts after reading few of your answers to many people who need them the most. Quick response is highly appreciable.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Bharath, should you ask a question I would happily answer it. However you need to actually tell me what it is that you want to know.

riya1princess 3 years ago

Hello, after reading all this I m really hesitant to go to Saudi. . We are indian. My husband has done PhD in US. He works for Shell petroleum (royal dutch Shell co). We are in Tx USA on intra company transfer. We will be here for 4-5 years with I have work permit and can work here in USA. My hubby got an offer from sebic riyadh. Sebic is a fairly big petrochemical n oil company of Saudi Arabia. He gets 120000 $ /annum in USA as a package plus bonus and other benefits. So of course in saudi Arabia he will more salary than here. we will choose to go to Saudi he will be working as an expert or a scientists. So in this situation do you still think he will not get a good treatment there or treated as a 3rd class citizen?

How is that place? I mean riyadh? Is it good place to stay with family for a hindu indians? Most importantly is it safe for me and my daughter?

What about me? Can I work? How they will treat me? In which sector if I will work I will be treated better? In US I will be working in IT.. (presently at home with my baby)

What you would suggest? Staying here or grabbing the opportunity? ?

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Riya

Within work I am sure that your husband will be treated very respectfully, however on the street and in the stores you will be seen as just "another indian" and treated as such. That being said it is fairly easy to keep to yourself or mix with your own country people within Saudi so you should be able to minimise any issues.Many Indians work there for many years without problems. If you are happy to get there, follow their rules and stay out of trouble then you will have no problems.

For many the increased salary and zero tax is more than enough to compensate for the restrictions. Life in Saudi can be very pleasant, especially if you are living on a nice compound and spend your free time in the bigger malls and resorts.

As to safety, do not let your daughter outside the compound alone, always keep her with you when you are outside and if possible go out with your husband or a group of friends rather than alone. Women are not that well respected.

As to you working you should be aware that you would not be able to work legally for a company in Saudi unless you transfer your sponsorship from your husband to your new employer. Alternatively there are many options to work within IT online and you may actually find that you can earn more through that route.

The decision is yours to take, but many people will take the Saudi route as it is a great opportunity to earn and save very good money in a relatively short span of time.

Good luck, let me know how you get on.

Bharath Renati profile image

Bharath Renati 3 years ago

Hello LeanMan, I thank you for your humble response. I am 24 year old bachelor from India, I am really glad to share my doubts after reading your valuable answers to many foreigners who get opportunity to go to Gulf.Firstly appreciating your fabulous job for expats willing to go to Gulf countries. Recently have got an abroad job offer from a company in Dammam, KSA. My monthly pay split is SAR 3000 Basic + 750 Accomodation + 300 Food + 100 Personal stuff +400 Phone calls+ Car with Fuel and Maintenance + Medical Insurance + To & Fro Air tickets once in a year with 30 days paid vaccation + Iqama Renewal + Marriage and New born baby allowances and still more allowances for Ramzan and Bakrid festivals in addition to very good incentive structure of 3% on my sales as my job role is Sales & Business Development Engineer + One month salary Bonus with a 2 year aggreement.

Here i go with my questions

1. Is it an acceptable offer? If so, how much could i save?

2. How safe is the place for Indian Hindus?

3. How is the general working culture of the companies over there?

Brief explanation on this is highly appreciable as i am unaware of this place.

Thanking you in advance.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Bharath

Only you will know if the offer is acceptable to you, that being said it looks like your allowances will cover just about everything else allowing you to save most of your basic salary and your bonuses. You can review salaries at bayt.com if you visit that site but please note that it averages a lot of information so it is not going to be that accurate. Once you get to Saudi however you will have the opportunity to network there and maybe find much better paid work.

The country is generally very safe for male Indians and other expats, but do not expect to practice your religion anywhere other than in private.

The general working culture is very very slow. Most of us westerners find it very frustrating but you get used to it after a while. You may also find that as an Indian you will not be treated that well by the Saudis, that being said if you keep your head down and do the work well you should not have any problems. This varies a lot between companies; hopefully you will be working for a great company.

Good luck

I hope that you enjoy working in Saudi Arabia and that it is profitable for you.

Bharath Renati profile image

Bharath Renati 3 years ago

Hello Dear LeanMan

Thank you very much for your valuable information and quick response which enables my plans for my trip to Saudi.

farhan 3 years ago

if this Saudi believe in God or in Allah and if Allah is created every thing including non Arab and non Muslim people and if this people respect the invisible us they are saying why the are not respect us even like camel.

i live here for more than 5 years i have one thing to talk 99.99% Saudi are living with out any humanity.

nathouse 3 years ago

Hello I am a black South African female and I have been offered a lecturing job in Saudi. Will I be discriminate against? So worried now...

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Nathouse,

You will face discrimination in Saudi, mainly for being a woman! Follow the links in my hub above to read about being a woman in Saudi Arabia. It is not easy being a woman alone in Saudi Arabia however you will probably be treated just fine in your work as you will mainly be working with other women.

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iqbalsaqib 3 years ago

Hi LeanMan,

i am planning on coming out to KSA, maybe Riyadh. What have you seen the treatment of non-white expatriate coming with Canada or US nationalities. I did grew up in Jeddah, but left more than 15 years ago. i mostly have fond memories of that place but i was only 13 when we left so...

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi iqbalsaqib,

I am sure that within the workplace you will be treated fine, however in the street and the malls you will be treated according to how you look. The polls above show that 88% of non western expats have experienced problems with Saudis with 41% suffering physical abuse at their hands. Not being sure of your ethnic origins it would be hard to tell you exactly what to expect. But generally stay out of trouble, respect their rules and culture and you should be fine.

Bander 3 years ago


I am from Saudi Arabia, and I think you wrote an accurate report about Saudi Arabia. Well researched and provide a complete coverage of the status of expatriates in Saudi.

House maids and drivers are treated in the lowest form of humanity. They come here and work for families as slaves. They do not even know what are their rights because most of them are illiterate and ignorant.

I think the problem is not only from the Saudi side, I think their home country also is partnered in the problem. Because if you see how they live their origin country and how corrupt their governments are, you will be surprised why they tolerate working in harsh conditions in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi is not the only culprit, they home countries are a violators as well.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Bander,

I think that you underestimate the many maids and drivers that are there in Saudi Arabia, all that I have met are far from illiterate and ignorant. In fact many that I know are in fact graduates that are unable to find paying work in their home countries so have to take any work that they can find.

This is in many ways the fault of their home countries governments which need to improve dramatically also. This is a global problem not just down to the individual countries but to all other countries that look on them as sources of cheap labor and products and tolerate the corruption while it benefits them.

Sree 3 years ago

This blog has helped me get a good idea on working in Saudi, thanks for writing this.

I am from India and I was interviewed for the position of project manager in IT division of Dar AL Riyadh, Riyadh location. The final interview is also done (offer pending) and the pay is approx. 16K SAR per month + med insurance and child education expenses. Family visa is also provided by company and I think also has 30 day leave per year.

Wanted to know if you think this is a fair deal ? Is there a room for negotiation ?

Thanks in advance.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Sree

There is always room for negotiation in any job offer if you want to try. However you should note that salaries can vary considerably across companies in KSA. You can get an idea of salaries for different positions using Bayt.com.

What you should be asking yourself is this what you want and is it enough for your needs.

Mitz 3 years ago

All u said was correct ..iv been working here in saudi arabia for 4years ..and its correct that they treated people base on their looks and education...i was working in hospital and i had patient mostly maids which tried to do suicide...my place is far from city so most saudi here are not well educated and they have poor ethics.. Iv seen many nationality but i guess saudi are the worst..they dont know how to be humble.,, if u go to other country like america or canada europe i guess they will not treat other expat the way this saudi people treat us...hope allah will change these people...

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Mitz,

My wife was also a nurse working in the hospitals there in Saudi. Thankfully she did not have to deal with attempted suicides and such like during her work. It is very sad how Saudis treat so many of the workers there, especially those that they see as being at the bottom of the social ladder! Many people do not believe how bad they can be but from the fact that you had to deal with many maids that have tried to commit suicide just to escape from their employment it should open a few eyes!

Abdul 3 years ago

Hi LeanMan

Want to begin with the point saying I hate Saudi people from today 06/jan/2014

Thanks for your article, its really very true and most of the thins I found out today after talking to my relatives and friends who worked in KSA ....I am really shocked...Islam never thought such things and my friends say most Arabs are not real Muslims, they are Muslims for the name sake.

Let me share what I wanted to share on this blog.

I am Indian Muslim with CMA & MBA degree and always wanted to go Saudi for work due to salary and the Mecca & Madina the holy place of all Muslims and even I got call from one of reputed MNC company in Saudi but unfortunately there was an incident yesterday with one of my relative who work in KSA Taif, around 7 pm he was returning home after work, midway he was stopped by few young Saudis and beaten him with Iron rod and Pepsi bottles for no reason and he is seriously injured and now he is planning to come back to India. I am very Sad even hearing he can not complaint as the police will support only there citizens and there is no justice.

After this I spoke to one of my friend recently came back from KSA, he says "the Arabs are animals and has no value for the life of non Arabs", they through bottles on the running CAR and I was shocked to find out many of my friends and relatives work in Saudi are beaten on the street by Saudi youth for no reason, looks like they enjoy troubling others.

I am planning to reject the offer I got from Saudi and don't want to leave in a hell for few more penny.

I would request all my Indian brothers irrespective of their religion not to travel to Saudi for work as there are many walking devils on the earth.

Islam always believes in brotherhood and peace but these uneducated Saudis are making to look like Islam is bad, I am very sad to learn so many bad things about the country on which our beloved prophet (SWS) walked and leaved, I always thought that people of KSA should be very kind and humble towards every one but they are not.

Don't understand why all the foreign countries can force KSA to bring new law to safe guard the people of different country who work there?

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Abdul,

I am very sorry to hear about what happened to your relative, I hope that they recover quickly. I have never witnessed such severe violence within Saudi (although someone did attack me with an iron bar once but that was a road rage incident).

I have however witnessed people from countries such as India and the Philippines being verbally abused and even struck with bare hands in stores and in the street. Something that would never be tolerated in any other country. But there are no ways for these people to complain and many of the abusers are the employers controlling the livelihood of those being abused.

Many of these people are maids and drivers and they eventually end up running away from these abusive employers and get caught up in the labor black market in Saudi Arabia. I have met many runaway maids of various nationalities that have told me about sexual abuse and even rape by family members for which they could do nothing and complain to no one!

You only have to look at the polls above these comments to see the large percentage of people that are saying that they have been abused both verbally and physically within KSA.

Abdul 3 years ago

Thank you so much for your reply,

Last year I traveled to UK and believe me people of UK are very generous and caring.....but KSA? may Allah save and protect all foreign brothers & sisters (amen) and proud to be Indian Muslim who believe in humanity and brotherhood.....

Muhammad Madni 3 years ago

Saudis are Bastards even more then USA & Europe the difference is Saudis do illegal sex & abuse in back of the curtain & rest of I mean USA & Europe is do openly

Zeeshan 3 years ago

I’ve lived in a nearby Gulf state for over 15 years, so, so ,so very true. Saudi is times 10. Agree with all your observations, you’re better off if you’re from the West (and white) and poor you if you belong to any other nationality. Their ignorant behavior is the result of overnight riches, sexual frustration from having all this money and no channels to openly practice vice. A sad state of affairs in the Muslim world, embarrassed by our behavior because it tarnished the image of Islam. Hope your stay in Saudi remains pleasant. And I reiterate your warning….if you’re a woman, please use caution…never go unaccompanied anywhere. This also applies to younger males, if you’re new to Saudi, avoid being in a closed or alone situation with Saudi youths.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Zeeshan,

Thanks for taking the time to comment. It is a very true what you say about women, never go out alone if you don't have to.

Pharma6 2 years ago

Very nice site!

Chris 2 years ago

May I seek your opinion how Chinese, Japanese and Koreans are perceived and treated in everyday life in KSA?

Chris 2 years ago

Hi Leanman

Really enjoy readibg your blog. Informative, fair and balance. Thanks a lot ...... :)

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Chris,

I did not see very many people from the countries you have mentioned there in Saudi, most laborer types are generally recruited from the poorer countries within Asia while professionals typically are recruited from places like Pakistan or Europe and the US where they will tend to have good English. I would guess they would be treated in a work environment with respect in much the same way that any westerner would be, however beware outside as most Saudis would think that they were Filipinos or Indonesians and treat them accordingly which is generally very poorly.

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JKParody 2 years ago

Dear Tony,


Any country with a failed judicial system and lack of law enforcement would be in similar crisis especially when there's considerable wealth in the land.It has nothing to do with Saudis or British or any other national it's just human nature to exploit those at lower vantage points.

things are the way they are!

Archie 2 years ago

I am a Filipino and is currently working in Saudi Arabia too, and I completely agree with the substance of this article. Fortunately for me I am employed and treated in very good, decent and normal conditions, but as to some of my countrymen, what is stated here is true. Alas, the poverty situation and unending dismal corruption in the Philippines forces many OFWs (overseas filipino workers) to endure and tolerate such abuses by their superiors all for the love of their families behind. Filipino family breadwinners will rather endure the shame, hurt and insult, if that means the families at home will have a sustainable lifestyle. At any rate, on a general note, the Philippines is particularly thankful to Saudi Arabia. As for the cases of discrimination and abuse, I gues that's just how the cookie crumbles.

RB 2 years ago

Thank you. You post opened my eyes to descriminiation in ksa. Was thinking of relocating there and maybe teach at a university but now am not so sure. Even though I am a Muslim but this has nothing to do with the religion but everything to do with culture. Good bless.

titu 2 years ago

I have witnessed both physical and verbal abuse of workers here, something I have never seen in any other country! The treatment of expats in Saudi Arabia for these poor souls is on the whole terrible and I have found it very difficult to bite my tongue at times.

Nardz 2 years ago

Well.. for me I am now working in Dammam as a Graphic Designer

My experience here is quite good and some minor bad aspects, They threat me good as they can see me doing some things they didn't know. They are easily get amazed and for that, I can get the respect that needs.

My Iqama is a problem because my boss give my iqama which is not similar to my profession and I immediately go direct to him and ask it to change (He said that he will change that! And he should!)

Most of the people here threats me good as in return I also threat them good. Some of the people here are good but in terms of sexual aspects they are so "maniac" as we are in a same gender who thinks that I am a girl, I will not mention of what they done but the thing is I can defend my self, also I can say unacceptable words to them (Job Position wise).

I am from Philippines.

Sami 2 years ago

Do you really think wearing abaya makes Saudis muslims ?

Muslims are ao rare now.

Nobody follow Islam anymore like before.

We are going down look at middle east now .. It's choas !!

Syria, Iraq, lebanon.

We don't know what future hiding for us.

saudis wasn't racists in the past.

It's new thing after finding oil and establishing Saudi Arabia ... Money make them like this.

In this Earth every high society look down to low society or poor.

Especially if they are not democratic country.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thanks for commenting Sami, I am sure that Saudi will improve over the coming years. I hope that they will bring in better controls to ensure that expats and people in general are treated better than they are now.

I am sure that money is part of the problem and that maybe people would be a little kinder to others if they did not have this superior feeling driven by the fact that they have more money.

Sahir 2 years ago

Hi Leanman,

Thanks a lot for your information and patience to respond each comment.

I am Indian and Architect by profession. Lately I have been offered a job in ARAMCO at a senior position. Though I am Muslim by religion but liberal kind of Muslim in terms of practice and thoughts. I am skeptical and loads of concerns about my journey in SA. Kindly guide. Thanks again

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Sahir

ARAMCO is a good company to work for, especially if you have been offered a senior position there in Saudi. I am sure that you will be treated fine within your work there and you should not encounter too many other problems. In a senior position you will be living on a compound and should have everything that you need.

sarah 2 years ago

lisainjedda, there are gyms only for ladies in Saudi Arabia, you can find some of them on the internet or ask someone for recommendation, so you don't have to worry about the skipping gym and your workout routine! for anyone in Riyadh, i can recommend NuYu, i'm very satisfied with the service! thank you and good luck

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Sarah,

There used to be a Gym for ladies very close to where I used to live until it was shut down by the Matawa - religious police. I used to watch many of the ladies get dropped off by one driver only to re-emerge a few minutes later to be picked up by another - obviously off for a completely different workout....

Juan 2 years ago

I am done with work in Saudi. It's simple; work in Saudi and live outside Saudi. The social life in Saudi is only for Saudis, but workers tend to forget and raise concerns on abuse. The deal is clear; "you're hired to work without social life", take it or leave!

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

The lack of social life is a problem for some and people should ensure that they are aware of what the rules are and what it will mean to them before they take work there.

However the poor treatment that many expats receive at the hands of Saudis is not as a result of the person having broken social rules within the country but just as a result of the very poor attitude of the employer.

Snnn 2 years ago

Hi I'm a doctor, would like to work in Saudi arabia as a single female Pakistani Muslim, I just curious as to what I should expect? I mean I be treated like one of the other Pakistani road sweepers?

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author


I am sure that within your working environment in Saudi Arabia that you will be treated with the respect that you deserve as a doctor. However outside of work you would likely be treated just the same as any other female Pakistani.

Snnn 2 years ago

I forgot to mention that I'm from England but and don't speak Arabic or Urdu. So how many people could actually talk to? And do you live in a western expat compound? because I thought they where a completely different environment and people in them are also foreign so would relate and understand me.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Snnn, many people there speak English so you will not have any problems with language.

The western compounds are very much like holiday camps with many having their own stores and other facilities. Read this article to get a full overview of what it is like to be in Saudi Arabia; follow the various links in each section to find more details;


Indian 2 years ago

Hi Lean Man,

I have got an offer letter from a big co. I just read above topics and i am very confused that all started 4 year earlier and i want to know that circumstances sill same like 4 years ago. Nothing change. one thing is my mind that all will change with time but slowly slowly and please tell me if you find any changes from 4 years ago to till date. changing in expat rule or human rights against expat.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Indian,

Not quite sure exactly what you are asking. However the way that expats are treated both in and out of work has not changed very much in the last few years. I hope that answers your question.

Nones 2 years ago

I am in khobar we don't wear the hijab as women and I've enjoyed the life there. Never been harassed and it's pleasant. I am a Black female single parent. With a British Passport. Apparently it's not as strict because it's close to Bahrain

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Nones

Glad to hear that you are enjoying life there. Jeddah is also quite relaxed as far as covering the face and hair; however I have known women to be stopped and be told to cover up. So it is always best to carry a scarf to be able to cover your hair if requested to avoid trouble.

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Rajeah 24 months ago

Hi leanman,Alhokair group are going to hire me as a ride operation manager at riradh. Will you guide me about company. And what is atmosphere in theme park. I am worried about there culture because ther will be local women come to entertainment. So how to be there . Please guide me.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 24 months ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Rejeah,

If you want to know about the company and the people that work there I would check for people who work there on sites like LinkedIn or even Facebook. As to working where there are families and women I would suggest that you will be fine, you are not going to be alone with them if you are working in a public area. But of course be respectful and don't try to initiate conversations with women.

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Rajeah 24 months ago

Dear Leanman thanks for your reply. I am worried about if suppose to be any local woman blame us without any mistake like I touch her or look at her then what , how to clear from that.what is your experience in Saudi Arabia theme park.

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LeanMan 24 months ago from At the Gemba Author


I assume that you are not going to be starring at women or touching them in public so you should be OK. Many other men work in these places and in general most manage to earn their living without too many problems just as they would working within the malls or in a restaurant. Just follow their rules and work as your sponsor directs you and you will be fine.

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Merican 24 months ago

Hi LeanMan,

Many MANY thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts and experience in the kingdom.

I'd like to know if you have any knowledge on discrimination of a very specific population subset. I'm a US citizen, of Indian (South Asian) descent, who practices in medicine in the US. I'm contemplating an opportunity in SA, but because of my ethnicity, I hesitate.

Can you please comment on this sentiment? Is it valid? Or do you think I likely won't have anything to worry about?

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LeanMan 23 months ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Merican,

I am pretty sure that you will not have any more problems In Saudi Arabia than you would have in the US. In the workplace most people are treated with respect if they are in a senior position no matter what their origin. However in the street you would be looked at just the same as any other Asian, more often than not this means that you will be ignored and Saudis will push in front of you in lines and such like. I am sure that you will be fine there; as long as you are not going to argue over every perceived slight; it is certainly an experience.

tony 23 months ago

Im a filipino.. A reverted in islam...

Its my dream to step on saudi arabia...

Alhamdulillah... I got here...

What u said are mostly correct...

U westerners are treated more better than the likes of me...

I agreed to u that saudi must improve the way they treat us expats esp. The maids and drivers...

We are working the best as we could and still paid less amount.. I think, your food allowance for a month or less is my salary for a month... :)

Anyway, i love islam and i know islam is the best... Only this people (not all) are very proud and disrespectful to us expats.

The males are more easier to talk and they understand better... But as for the female "madam" most of them are very BaD...

Although not all... I just wished that my country will stop sending maids here in saudi... Wallahi, a lot of maids here are living like in hell...

In the yawmul qiyamah, those oppressors will pay for what injustice they made to us...

Michael 20 months ago

I first came here because I am a Muslim from America and wanted to live and work in the "holy land". Now, I am just here for the money. That's all.

Michael 20 months ago

And something else. Saudis are totally useless and moronic people. Even as a Muslim, living here is like living in an open air prison, or a desert hell. The country is rich, but totally under-developed. There are no taxes, but regular stuff costs 3 times as much as in the west. If I could make the same money teaching english in Turkey, I would leave. Saudi Arabia is only good for working and saving money. There is no life, happiness, entertainment, or anything interesting here, except for Makkah and Madinah if you're Muslim. Also, if you come here, there is a huge cultural and population idiocy factor that you have to deal with. Like the visa and residency procedures. Also like the illiterate and totally dumb people that all want to be taxi drivers. Or the ones that think they are superior because of oil. You basically get paid a lot to babysit idiots and make sure they don't trip over themselves. I have never met dumber people in my life than Saudis. They also make Islam look so horrible.

Michael 20 months ago

And something else. Saudis have no right to lecture anyone about Islam nor do they have any right to control Makkah and Madinah. Saudis bring women here to use as sex slaves. They even specialize in child and sex slavery throughout the world. They destroyed what Islam is and was supposed to be. Bahrain was created just so they could bang whores, do drugs and drink. All of their wealth is actually America's money. Before, I could tolerate Saudi idiocy. What I saw in Makkah during Ramadan made me take being Muslim less seriously. Saudis are total morons. And something else. You Saudis treat indians and pakistanis like trash, most of time rightly so. But you Saudis should look in the mirror, because you guys straight up look, smell and act just like them. I actually am pretty certain that saudis are the descendants of indians that migrated here 2000 years ago. This explains their pagan past pre-Islam, and their total resemblance to indians, along with their preference to bring so many pakis and indians and the like here.

Michael 20 months ago

To Original Saudi. You should know this. The demand for oil will plummet by 2020. The U.S. doesn't need Saudi oil anymore. Whatever the U.S. does, the world follows. Saudi will be peddling oil at 2 for 1, $10 dollar a barrel prices. Saudi could try to get into solar, but that market won't be dominated by Saudi. Africa can produce far more solar than Saudi could. You morons should realize that your way of life is coming to an end. It's part of the qiyammah actually, since you only understand things in religious terms. And if you think that the leverage you have with illuminati will still hold after oil, think again. Illuminati will drop Saudis like a 2 dollar whore when it is no longer profitable. America already dropped Saudi, as current events have shown. You think that loyalty can be bought, wrong. Saudi is surrounded by enemies, even your own citizens are you enemies. Do you actually think Turks will run to protect Saudis? Maybe Iranians? Or Pakis? Or Israel? Or France? Or Russia? Or England? You Saudi morons can't see the truth. Just because Muslims pray towards Makkah doesn't mean they care about Saudis. And your bought alliances are all unravelling. America was the only thing protecting you idiots. But America has no interest in protecting Saudis anymore. Like your King Faisal said, you lived on dates and milk and hou will go back to them.

Michael 20 months ago

Truth hurts, huh? Original Saudi, lol. You people are LUCKY that I am here. That is the real truth. I know the truth about everything, even Islam. The truth that you Saudis are too dumb to understand. You quote obscure passages about Islam, when you don't even understand it. You people refuse to say "audhu billah mina sheytan iregime". Why? It is the whole foundation of Islam. You don't curse satan because........You can't fool the real divine......When you pray to Makkah-Allah, do you even know who you are praying to? Or too dumb to figure that out too? You pray to Mi Cha El. And we both know why no Muslims are allowed to have this name, except one coincidentally. You people are disloyal Abduls. I see right through you. The qiyammah as you call it, or the safak as we call it, won't pass overe saudi, but more like right through it. Making deals with satan won't stop this earth's end. It just made you fall from grace in the eyes of the real divine.

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LeanMan 20 months ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Micheal,

I don't think you like Saudis or working in Saudi Arabia at all..

Fatima 19 months ago

Add Your Comment..I'm also an expat and I live in Saudi

I chose to move here and I'm sure we all agree we in EARTH so it's not HEAVEN and yes in every place we will find Good people , bad people crazy people

Strange how the" Westerners" talk of discrimination when they are the Architects of Apartheid !! Yes the Architects of the most horrible discrimination system

Secondly in the Middle East at least you can get a Job in K sA ask the Palestinians whose homes have been stolen by the Israelsi or the Ethiopians who were born in Israel or even any Black or Non wrote what treatment they receive in Western Countries

I was walking down the street near my hotel in Berlin when I heard the click of a shoes and " passport please " barked at me !!! I was a paying tourist and the plainclothes man insisted he was from immigration and needed to see my documents as I was in hijab

I was affronted and refused to comply with his demand and this. Showed me that Racism is Alive and Kicking in all these so called civilized states

So if one does not want to stay and work in Saudi please feel free to go elsewhere as Stirring trouble is not welcome ( yes Not welcome )

UKmitra 16 months ago

Hey what a wonderful article and i can see you won't get votes from any Saudi's. But most of what you wrote is true.

But I do see some hope with falling oil price and govt pushing saudization and more educated coming in market place, i really hope things will changes.

As for other racist behavior, its everywhere. Its in my country India, in my state Maharashtra and its in my city Mumbai.

And I know, all true Gods Children know how to fight it and I know the Good Lord is all watching.


we-need-change 15 months ago

i had tears in my eyes while reading this and going through some comments and i don't tear easily, it does kinda hurts that there are some truth to this.

i am a Saudi girl and i understand a lot of this i mean the discrimination against certain workers (like Indians and others you stated) and westerns valued in a ridiculous way just because of the race (wow its Americans) without knowing the actual person or anything..

it is funny because as Muslims we are supposed to treat everyone equally, no one is better than anyone regardless of race, wealth,looks..ect .

i use a public school bus to commute to school and one day we got hit from the back by a car who a kid in 6TH GRADE been driving, many girls in the bus blamed the driver and practically told the kid to run , call his older brother to pretend that he was the one driving then they would all go and blame the Pakistani bus driver. people.. really? no.

there are many many problems we have to discuss i really really want us to be a better country, a country that actually practice Islam not make it a facade. when you ask someone why they doing something wrong with knowing it being wrong they put that stupid grin and be like har har im just a bad Muslim.

what piss me off is the education, its screwing us here from a young age, and traditions ugh traditions. these are the bad roots hat need to be changed. i had conversations with people with really closed mindsets all because of bad early teaching and old traditions. traditions that should STOP.

regardless of the corruption of the country itself the people normally and generally are very nice and light hearted they are fun generous and all and i will continue living here because i love it there are just things that need to be changed.. things that some people need to realize its wrong.

Sorbet\Smoothies 14 months ago

Don't come to Saudi Arabia. We don't want you here. You talk about Islam and being Muslim wanting to visit Mecca and Medina when all you care about is money. Saudi Arabia isn't some sort of caliphate for you. We are nation of state. Prior to the oil no Muslim nation cared about Arabian people in 'the desert' and we have discovered the oil with help of westerners (and a Bedouin man named) and now you, Muslim south Asians act like we owe you a thing? We don't. Now, this doesn't mean I like how manual labors are treated but the blame is on your countries that doesn't care about your poor classes, they're treated the same in your own countries and with less payment and you're only criticizing us for that. Stop letting your governments exploiting the poor classes to come and work here knowing what they're going to face.

Every single job that is giving to you is a lost job for Saudis. Some of you even don't have the right qualification and yet you have tax free income, better salaries, cheap food and goods, cheap oil and giving accommodations when Saudis aren't afford any of that. With all what is said about the bad treatment, there's more than 10 million immigrants here. This proves that you're either okay with it but pretend otherwise or blowing things out of the proportion. If someone was treated bad and knows very well that we need to work on our laws then why come here? don't have enough dignity to say no to cash? In 1975 the Saudis worked in pretty much everything. I want to see my people doing the same thing, but when your cheap labor are coming here from South Asia and accepting all kinds of offers giving to them by elite Saudis who don't give a shit about our economy I feel sad about it. Not only you're ungrateful for the opportunity that you have stolen from Saudis but you will also draw every single Saudi with same brush and at the end of the day, hate the country, the culture, the people, the weather and EVERYTHING but the money. If you sell your soul for the money, you have yourselves to blame.

So my last word is do NOT come to Saudi Arabia. Honestly, we don't want cheap labor here. %63 of all crimes are done by immigrants and uneducated cheap labor with illegal immigrants. We're safe country but nowadays many children are kidnapped and killed because you hate adult Saudis and avenge by killing babies. I've seen many cheap labor selling pornography for kids in Mecca from so called 'Muslim countries' and yet we're the only bad Muslims huh?

If you're from Pakistan, India or Arabic countries, don't come to Saudi Arabia. I only like Filipinos because their work ethics is excellent and I do support better laws for workers but we don't cheap south Asian labor.

Sorbet\Smoothies 14 months ago

Saudi Arabia population is 20 million people whilst the immigrant are 10 million legal and 5 illegals. There's no country in the whole world with this much of immigrants. There's no Nazi groups in Saudi Arabia but you will find many in Europe, UK, USA, Japan, China. You will not find 'hate crimes' here but you will find it elsewhere. You will not find Saudis stealing your houses. In India in recent polls many Indians said no to immigrants. Why is it only considered 'racist' when Saudis do it? And I know what you're going to say is 'Saudis are lazy, they don't wanna work and therefore there has to be immigrants there' but guess what? No one can work win against cheap labor wanting mirage salaries. The cheap salary might help them back home but it doesn't help us here. We have families too whilst an immigrant lives alone and doesn't have families or extended families to take care of them.This oil boom did not help us because of the elite Saudis who filled our country of all kinds of immigrants and now, that the oil is going down we, middle and working classes need to fix that. There's absolutely nothing wrong with working as manual but we need higher salaries and south Asian cheap labors are not helping us with their lack of dignity and greediness and their irresponsible governments exploiting them without any care of the conditions. When will you learn from Indonesian government that refused to let their workers face bad treatment and no rights?

cassy0909 14 months ago

I am busy applying to work in saudi. So thus far I am reading up about the way it works in saudi.. I Gt am given the chose to choose on where I would like to work.

So far jeddha appears to be the more friendly expat place to be. BT what happens if I decided I want to leave in 34 months of working their?

I am so scared of saudi. The laws and so scared I get accused of something By someone and get thrown In jail.. how safe are the compounds?

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LeanMan 14 months ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Sorbet,

Unfortunately in my experience most Saudi workers that I have met just don't want to do anything and many of the employers will just turn a blind eye. Most employers that I know there, even Saudis, would rather employ an expat for any job as they know that they will get a days work done. This is not an exaggeration, if it were then I am sure more Saudi business owners would be employing more and more Saudis rather than having to be forced to hire them through legislation. The country has to legislate and force businesses to hire the local population; what does this say about the work ethics of the locals and the attitude of the Saudis that own those businesses.

The first company that I worked for had a group of Saudi managers that were responsible for all of the different departments, these managers - if they came in - would arrive after 10am, go to their offices and watch TV or play on their playstations openly, then go for lunch on expenses and not return in the afternoon. In another company they had a group of Saudi employees that were hired to meet the rules for employing Saudis. These Saudi employees turned up only on pay day as the company found that it was easier and more productive to not have them in the company at all!

Yes most expat workers come there for money and enjoy tax free salaries. But then many are exploited, abused and so on. But then those that have come from poor countries have little choice if they want to better their lives. Yes this is the fault of their respective governments and I don't disagree with that. But many Saudis will then treat them terribly, far worse than many would treat an animal. The majority of the workers are not enjoying high salaries, many are paid only a fraction over what they would get back home and end up living in slum areas or sharing several families to a single apartment. Many find that they are not paid or that they are denied the benefits that they were promised.

You can sit there and blame the immigrants but they are not the ones to blame. They are there because of your government, your business owners, and the attitude of many of the Saudi people. Address those issues not blame the poor immigrants that are there trying just to survive. Look to the true cause of the problem - not just blame anyone that points out the issues that you have.

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LeanMan 14 months ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Cassy,

Read the article above and follow the links to all of the other articles where you can find more in depth information on working there in Saudi Arabia. Many expats that go there and just follow the rules and just do their work have few if any problems. Hopefully you will be fine. Just try to talk with other people from your home country that also work in the company that you are applying to so that you can find out more.

Rashid Ahmed 14 months ago

I am a 60 year old living in the UK , i arrived in the UK as a child in 1960,I can still remember the beating and humiliation I suffered in the east London mosque. ( I was made to go there by my father to study quran) well, I never did study anything, all I remember is the cruelty. And as I grew up I learned that man is a hypocrite, whatever religion he be. I have tried to understand religion, especially in my darkest hour of need,but I feel nothing. All I see is man's greed. I don't need Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, or anyone else to preach to me right from wrong. All religions have used religion as a tool to enslave and force weaker fellow humans to submit to their tyranny. Why would I want to be a member of a club, which arrogantly claims to be, God's chosen people? Or one that made vast profits, trading in human slavery, yes you! Muslims. Christians. Jews. All guilty. Christians, your hypocrisy is breath taking, while you praise your jesus and sing your hymns, you casually drop bombs on innocent civilians. Muslims, you preach to the world about your humanity, yet you don't know the meaning of the word. Jews, you have spread mischief since the beginning of time. As for you Hindus, you are as dumb as animals, as you worship mere animals. And continue to have in place a cast system, which denies millions of fellow humans equality.As for you, Saudi Arabians. The guardians of Islam. You should see the writing on the wall. You have found great wealth without labour. Soon it will disapear, along with your oil.You will be back to wandering in the desert. Why is my name Rashid? That was given to me by my parents.

Sohail H 10 months ago

I am in Canada since 12 years but still trying to go saudiarabia ... I believed everyone has own preference

Asdfghj 2 months ago

Hi everyone, wow the comments are like posted 6 years ago and I don't even know if someone would still reply me here but I'm gonna post this anyway. I'm not a worker from Saudi but I do have a boyfriend who lives in ksa. I'm fully aware that boyfriend girlfriend is not a thing for Arabians so we are keeping our long distance relationship in discreet from his friends and family except for one of his best mate. Well I got scared with what I just read, that they treat people who came from the Philippines harshly, I'm a part Spanish, Fil and half Jap so I'm pretty scared I might have the same treatment like what other Filipinos are experiencing there. I know it's off topic but can I ask you guys something? Is it normal for a Saudi man to be very controlling, and has a hard-to-reach pride? He doesn't want me to work as well since I'm under "his protection" as what he said. Hoping I could get an answer from you bros and sis.

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LeanMan 2 months ago from At the Gemba Author


Yes comments are still being replied to.

If I were you I would read all of the related posts and comments as you may find some issues that will worry you. I personally know many Filipinas that have gotten involved with Saudis and it is unlikely to end well. I also have many Saudi guy friends that come to the Philippines, and I am sorry to say that they are definitely not looking for a long term relationship; but they have got the women lined up ready for them when they arrive here.

I get emails most weeks from at least one woman who has gone there to Saudi Arabia with their new husband, had kids, and then found that they have no rights over their kids, cannot leave the country, and a host of other issues. KSA is not the Philippines - it is very different. You will have zero freedom there compared to what you have here.

Think very hard before you take anything further and I would certainly nor recommend moving there to be with him, something that you would have to marry him to do.

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