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Expat Advice: Working in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

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What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Dhahran

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Oil and Gas - most people are recruited if they wok for a local government agency or local company. Otherwise they are sent here by their employer.

What type of work do you do and how did you find your job?

Environmental Engineering recruited by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals.

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How did you obtain your work permit? What advice would you have for others about work permits?

Work permit supplied by the Ministry of Petroleum. Anyone wanting to work in Saudi Arabia should have their work permit paid for by their sponser.

Have you taken language and cross-cultural training courses to prepare for your assignment? If so, how have they helped you on the job?

NO - not necessary .... most people here speak English.

If you were transferred abroad by your employer, were you guaranteed a job upon repatriation? What type of mentoring programs does your employer offer?

No guarantee - contractor - self employed when at home.

What advice would you offer others about finding jobs and working abroad?

DO NOT ACCEPT A POSITION WITH THE SAUDI ARABIAN GOVERNMENT. They DO NOT pay on time and they DO NOT reimburse your expenses. Additionally, there is no housing available in Saudi Arabia that is reasonably priced, assuming you can find a compound or a villa, unless you want to live in a slum. You will be stuck paying for your own housing on a budget that is not sufficient to cover the cost unless your company pays for your housing. The Saudi Government does not pay for housing - at least for expats. What they tell you while you are being recruited IS NOT what you can expect, even if they put it in writing. Virtually nothing on my contract has been honored and all you will hear is "Inshallah - next week" when it comes to getting paid .... and next week never seems to get here. They will lie to you and say whatever is necessary to make you stay, and whatever you do should you come here to work for the Saudi's - DO NOT give up your passport. You may never see it again ....

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