The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is often referred to as one of the most difficult places on Earth to visit as visas are hard to come by. As a result it is often seen as a mysterious and unknown destination as well as a challenging posting. On this page you will find links to my blog posts about life in Jeddah including the challenges, the practicalities and, of course, the places to explore.
- Getting a Saudi Visa is a lengthy process. Here are some tips to help it go smoothly.
- There are some unusual import restrictions that apply to expats (and locals) when bringing personal goods into KSA.
- Procedures for getting in and out of Saudi Arabia is a little different to most other countries.
- The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Al Balad, the old town of Jeddah is a fascinating place to while away the hours. Visit during a cultural festival to get the best experience.
- There is plenty to see in the wider, less explored parts of Balad as well.
- Jeddah Corniche is one of our favourite places to while away the time.
- Jeddah has a decent little aquarium.
- The National Museum in Riyadh is a rewarding place to visit, stuffed full of information.
- As an expat there are some differences to life in KSA that will take some getting used to.
- Male and Female expats will experience life in KSA very differently. I wrote a guest post for the lovely Rachel at www.djiboutijones.com about the experience of being a female in Saudi.
- Most expats will choose to live in compounds where the restrictions on life in KSA are not so heavy.
- Cats are ubiquitous here in Jeddah and most compounds will have a resident family or two.
- There are clothing restrictions that all residents have to abide by while living in KSA .
- You don't need to be able to speak Arabic to get around, at least in cities like Jeddah but it is good to learn.
- Driving is restricted to men only, getting about as a woman is possible but requires planning.
- Ramadan is strictly observed in Saudi Arabia and impacts even on nonMuslims.