Moving to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Expat Exchange Rental Properties

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 24, 2021

Summary: Moving to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Expats, retirees and digital nomads talk about everything you need to know before moving to Riyadh.

What do I need to know before moving to Riyadh?

Live in Riyadh? Answer this Question

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Riyadh, they said:

"My advice would be to take it easy - your company should do most of the work although on arrival be ready for an information overload as well as not sleeping very well in the first few weeks and don't worry it takes a few weeks to settle but you will adapt very quickly and get out there ! join every club etc you can ! it is hard to meet people and always remember your manners as it stands to you for the next invite," commented one expat who made the move to Riyadh.

"Be very sure of what your getting into. Ask questions from as many different sources not just the employment agencies, they just want their money and paint a very rosie picture to what the reality is..," remarked another expat in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

"**Think ahead. Don't accept something that bothers you even a little bit! It will irritate you later if you get homesick. **Watch for location of Mosques, visit you "new" villa during prayer time so you can see how loud it is or how busy the streets become on a friday morning. ** Neighbours, I am not a stereotypical person and I love everyone.. until there kids are playing on your doorstep at 3 am or there parties have the police next door.. this is not scary at home, but here it may invite unwelcome complications. Though most officers are understanding," said another expat in Riyadh.

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How do I find a place to live in Riyadh?

Live in Riyadh? Answer this Question

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"We found a larger private villa after being in a small compound. It cost the same and now we have our own pool without the harrassment of kids. (Parents allow them to run wild here, with or without supervision to all hours of the night.)," commented one expat who made the move to Riyadh.

Expat Exchange Rentals

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We've partnered with Explorastay, the largest aggregator of 1-12+ month stays. Compare listings and rental rates from 20+ accommodation sites in one search, including: Booking.com, VRBO, Expedia, UniPlaces, Spotahome, HousingAnywhere, Zumper and over a dozen more accommodation companies. Search rental properties in Saudi Arabia.

What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Riyadh?

Live in Riyadh? Answer this Question

"I live in a three bedroom villa. yes for my company it is as they provide their own accomodation," added another expat who made the move to Riyadh.

"4 bedroom villa with three other expats. The villa is quite old, poorly furnished, very cold in the winter, power and electrics can be dodgy, circa 1970-80's fixtures. Cheap and nasty kitchen supplies," explained one expat living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

"We live in a large 5 bedroom private villa with drivers quarters. This is not typical for expatriates. Though a pool and stuff is essential for any expatriate family. But in this area (Al Maseef) it is the norm," said another in Riyadh.

What is the average cost of housing in Riyadh?

Live in Riyadh? Answer this Question

If you are thinking about moving to Riyadh, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"By comparison for the size of the house it is much cheaper here. Though for normal housing the price is virtually the same. (keep in mind you should ALWAYS have housing included in your package, this way you can upgrade if you don't like it with little out of pocket expense.)," added another expat who made the move to Riyadh.

What should I pack when moving to Riyadh?

Live in Riyadh? Answer this Question

We asked people living in Riyadh to list three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They responded:

"I wish i bought more Barry's Tea :), books and music ..... I wish i left half my clothes at home SHOPPING IS ACE OVER HERE," said another expat in Riyadh.

"Three things I wish I brought: more music on my computer, a large jar of vegemite and rexona men's deoderant. Three things to leave: wireless router, batteries, and personal care products," added another expat who made the move to Riyadh.

"I didn't bring anything, but I wish I had brought my music, movies and an assortment of clothes (ladies items)," explained one expat living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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Cultural Blunders

Live in Riyadh? Answer this Question

"Perhaps the funniest episode was when I heard prayer call for the first time. I seriously thought I was listening to the loud speaker from horse races in the distance and I foolishly stated that out loud. Those around me doubled up with laughter. I felt very foolish," mentioned another expat when asked about moving to Riyadh.

"Only faux paux I've made was offer my hand in a congratulatory shake to a 'holy man' who I've come to know here. Now, I know these guys aren't allowed to touch women, but I'd gotten caught up in the moment and forgot lol," commented one expat who made the move to Riyadh.

How are healthcare services Riyadh?

Live in Riyadh? Answer this Question

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Riyadh, they replied:

"If you need medical care, go back to the US or to Europe, if you can afford it. Both medical and dental care are substandard. If you can find doctors trained in the US, that is no assurance that they are qualified. The licensing program and qualifications are sketchy, at best," remarked another expat in Riyadh.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

GeoBlue International Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Saudi Arabia from our partner, GeoBlue.
Get a Quote

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Saudi Arabia from our partner, GeoBlue.
Get a Quote Call  


 

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaGuide to Living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia Forum Saudi Arabia Forum
Join our Saudi Arabia forum to meet other people living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia Forum Contribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Riyadh.

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaHealthcare in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Expats and global nomads in Riyadh share their experiences with health insurance, healthcare in Saudi Arabia, local hospitals and specialists, quality of medical care and more.

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaMoving to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Expats offer advice about everything you need to know before moving to Riyadh: what to bring (and what to leave behind), how to find housing and more.

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaPros and Cons of Living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats and digital nomads have to say about the pros and cons of living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Real Estate RiyadhRentals in Riyadh

Rental listings in Riyadh. Plus, advice about renting and buying real estate in Riyadh

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaExpats Talk about Living in Riyadh

Expats share their experiences living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and offer advice about meeting people, schools and more.

Expat Healthcare & Health Insurance Expat Report: Healthcare in Riyadh

An expat in Riyadh recommends returning to the US or Europe for medical treatment should the need arise. She found that medical care, even at the top hospital in Riyadh, was substandard.

Expat Report: Culture Shock in Riyadh

A woman from New Zealand accepted a job in a hospital in Riyadh. Although the hospital and job was English-speaking, she enrolled in Arabic classes at a university. She found the culture and treatment of women extremely challenge at times, but knew what she was getting into when she accepted the job.

Moving-to-Saudi-ArabiaMoving to Saudi Arabia

Expats who want to move to the Saudi Arabia should fully explore what it means to move and live there. Read a lot of comments from people who live in Saudi Arabia, and have for a number of years.

GeoBlue International Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Saudi Arabia from our partner, GeoBlue.
Get a Quote

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Saudi Arabia from our partner, GeoBlue.
Get a Quote Call  

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaGuide to Living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia Forum Saudi Arabia Forum
Join our Saudi Arabia forum to meet other people living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

ContributeContribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Riyadh.

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaHealthcare in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Expats and global nomads in Riyadh share their experiences with health insurance, healthcare in Saudi Arabia, local hospitals and specialists, quality of medical care and more.

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaMoving to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Expats offer advice about everything you need to know before moving to Riyadh: what to bring (and what to leave behind), how to find housing and more.

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaPros and Cons of Living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats and digital nomads have to say about the pros and cons of living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Real Estate RiyadhRentals in Riyadh

Rental listings in Riyadh. Plus, advice about renting and buying real estate in Riyadh

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaExpats Talk about Living in Riyadh

Expats share their experiences living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and offer advice about meeting people, schools and more.

Expat Healthcare & Health Insurance Expat Report: Healthcare in Riyadh

An expat in Riyadh recommends returning to the US or Europe for medical treatment should the need arise. She found that medical care, even at the top hospital in Riyadh, was substandard.

Expat Report: Culture Shock in Riyadh

A woman from New Zealand accepted a job in a hospital in Riyadh. Although the hospital and job was English-speaking, she enrolled in Arabic classes at a university. She found the culture and treatment of women extremely challenge at times, but knew what she was getting into when she accepted the job.

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