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Jeddah >

An Expat Talks about Living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

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

Jeddah

How long have you lived there?

4 years

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

Hijaz choir

Drama group puts on plays at Sierra ( O R P)

Al Bilad beach, Sheraton beach, Silver sands beach

Buffet meal weekend at Al Bilad hotel

Buffet lunch at Hilton also walk around gardens

Any concerts /events on at Sierra

Parties at Sierra eg Rhino ball

ABJ or BBJ the two groups American business of Jeddah (great social and mixing as well as sports, balls, parties, etc also if full member invites to weekend nights at embassy). Must be US citizen or work for US company- all nationalities though. British businessmen ( I think you have to be British)

Hash- running and walking group well organised great social in mountains and hills near Jeddah

Rugby club- excellent social - beginners welcome ( at American school)

Diving/ boat trips/ snorkelling- ring desert sea divers A MUST DO do not leave Jeddah without seeing the fish on the reefs- snorkel if necessary. Diving lessons also available. Meet people amazing experince.

Walk along the Cornishe- absorb Jeddah life- visit Aroma restaurant.

Malls- all worth a visit for architecture alone (I do not shop) - Red Sea Mall, Mall of Arabia, Oasis Mall, Megamall, Roshan Mall (also got nice Fudruckers)

Thalia street and GOODIES- the best restaurant at the back of Talia.

Islamic museum.

Old Jeddah (near Ballad - read up history - first amazing old buildings now international heritage site)

Souks- Ballad

Petromin (great for bargains and second hand - we would call it a flea market)

Old airport- great for antiques and coins etc

Al Bawardy the new part Mall as well- best gold place.

Natural history society- great for info about Saudi- held in national geology society.

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In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

I do not agree with previous poster. There is only one religion allowed. Wahabi Islam. Bible banned - no crosses allowed. Women must wear and abaya- and in some places it is wise to waer headscarf. Men should cover kness and wear long short and long sleves. In Ramadan- no drinking, eating of smoking from dawn to dusk. Stay at home.

People though are mostly really friendly if you obey rules

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

All sorts. Most people recruited from overseas initially.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

Silly question!! everyone is very different

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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

Only accept a job that provides accommodation on a western compound (key to access of facilites/ friends/ parties) especailly for women- it would be a nightmare for a western woman to "live out." If you have kids, ensure school fees will be paid.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Mar 11, 2011 23:09

Thanks for providing SPECIFIC activities and groups. My husband and I are moving to Jeddah this summer, and I'm already looking for ways to keep myself productive and occupied.

guest
Mar 21, 2011 20:39

I cannot say I agree about the statement for a western woman to live outside a compound as I have done just that for over a year now and have had no problems. I find the people very helpful and if you are a social person you will not have any problems. Have been on the compounds and really prefer to not live on one.

guest
May 12, 2011 20:14

This was very helpful. I am an American coming to Jeddah in a few months with my husbands work and am really wanting to keep busy as well as keeping my three sons 14, 13, and 9 occupied so I don't hear the infamous "I'm bored!"

guest
Aug 9, 2011 12:18

I disagree about the Bible- you are allowed your own Bible and religeous books. I took my worship CD's and Christmas song books- no problem. Most Saudi's have never seen a cross and have no idea of it's significance. They were more concerned by my fitness video and bare arms and legs on the cover. You can do virtually anything in private.

anneosman
Sep 2, 2014 04:46

An American, I've lived in Saudi Arabia for 25 years. An up-to-date, well-maintained compound is nice, but many expats live very happily outside the compounds. Female compound dwellers have the hassle of finding transportation to get out to the city, if the bus schedule doesn't exactly match their needs. Remember: women don't drive outside the compound walls. My current hassle is swimming. Where can a woman swim in Jeddah? I used to swim in a beautiful compound pool, but now it's gone, as the whole compound is slated for demolition. Anybody know a good place for us to swim?

hourani
May 12, 2015 01:04

Again, Anybody know a good place for us to swim?

guest
Sep 2, 2015 13:25

As an expat in Jeddah, can a single woman visit a compound to swim or for other activities if she doesnt know any one in the compound? Are there swim clubs or beaches a single woman can join? Or should she try the Hilton or other big hotels?

jbrich7212
Sep 5, 2015 05:18

How do you contact the Hash running/ walking club?

guest
Oct 20, 2015 13:28

Hi, Can you give us more contact details about the drama group or the other events at Sierra? Vidhya

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