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Al Lith, Saudi Arabia

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jul 10, 2023

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Al Lith, Saudi Arabia: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

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What do I need to know before moving to Al Lith?

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

"Al Lith is a city in the Tihamah region on the coast of the Red Sea. It is located in the western part of Saudi Arabia. Before moving to Al Lith, expats should be aware that the official language is Arabic. While English is widely spoken in business circles, it is beneficial to learn some basic Arabic phrases. Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country and follows Islamic laws and customs. Expats should respect these traditions, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan when eating, drinking, and smoking in public during daylight hours is prohibited. The climate in Al Lith is hot desert climate, with high temperatures during summer and mild winters. Expats should be prepared for this type of weather and pack accordingly. Saudi Arabia has strict dress codes, especially for women who are expected to wear an abaya (a loose-fitting black cloak) in public. Men should also dress modestly, avoiding shorts and sleeveless shirts. Alcohol is strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia, including in Al Lith. Importing, brewing, selling, and consuming alcohol are all illegal and can lead to severe penalties. The cost of living in Al Lith is relatively low compared to other cities in Saudi Arabia. However, expats should be aware that the Saudi government has introduced a cost of living allowance and a value-added tax (VAT) on goods and services. Healthcare facilities in Al Lith are adequate, but serious medical conditions may require evacuation to Jeddah or another major city. It is recommended that expats have comprehensive health insurance. Saudi Arabia's weekend falls on Friday and Saturday, with the working week running from Sunday to Thursday. Driving in Saudi Arabia can be challenging due to different driving habits. Expats can drive with an international driving license for three months, after which they need to obtain a Saudi driving license. The crime rate in Al Lith, like much of Saudi Arabia, is relatively low. However, expats should still take standard precautions to ensure their personal safety. Internet censorship is prevalent in Saudi Arabia, and many Western websites and apps are blocked. Expats may want to consider using a VPN to access these sites. Finally, expats should be aware that public displays of affection are frowned upon and can even lead to legal trouble in Saudi Arabia. It's important to respect local customs and laws to avoid any issues," said one expat who made the move to Al Lith.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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