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Al Ula, 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 Ula, 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 Ula?

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

"Al Ula, is a historic city known for its rock formations and ancient tombs, so expats moving there should be prepared for a rich cultural experience. Expats should be aware that the official language is Arabic, although English is widely spoken in business and by younger generations. Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country, and Al Ula is no exception, so expats should respect local customs and laws, including those related to dress and behavior. Women, in particular, are expected to dress modestly, covering their shoulders and knees, and in some cases, their hair. Alcohol is strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia, and penalties for possession, consumption, or trafficking can be severe. The climate in Al Ula is desert, with very hot summers and mild winters, so expats should be prepared for extreme heat and should stay hydrated. The cost of living in Al Ula is relatively low compared to Western countries, but expats should be aware that the quality of goods and services may also be lower. Healthcare facilities in Al Ula are limited, so expats with chronic health conditions should ensure they have access to necessary medications and treatments. Expats should also be aware that Saudi Arabia has strict laws regarding employment and residency permits, so they should ensure they have the necessary paperwork before moving. Public transportation is not widely available in Al Ula, so expats may need to consider purchasing a car for transportation. Finally, expats should be aware that the pace of life in Al Ula is slower than in many Western countries, and they should be prepared for a more relaxed lifestyle," wrote one member in Al Ula.

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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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