5 Important Things to Know when Working in Saudi Arabia

With a stellar economy and increasing job opportunities each day, Saudi Arabia is one of the Middle-East countries which have seen a positive impact in the job market past one year. Let us understand the current scenario of job markets in Saudi Arabia.
A booming market for the expatriates, Saudi Arabia is oil based economy that holds 20% of the world’s proven petroleum reserves and is the largest industry that generates revenue for the country. To diversify the industry and reduce dependency on oil exports, other secondary and tertiary sectors like natural gas exploration, power generation, telecommunications and tourism industry has seen a positive growth. The service sector in the country is responsible of generating one third of the country’s GDP, making it an important sector for the national economy.
Read more to get a clear picture about the job opportunities for expats, why Saudi Arabia is a good choice to make and 5 important things that need to be considered before moving to Saudi Arabia.
Job Market for the Expats
Finding a job in Saudi Arabia is not the easiest thing to do. Although the country has a lot of job opportunities for those having a high level of experience and expertise, it is a difficult market for the ones who are on the edge of making their careers. The industries that see a major expatriate demand in the country other than the oil industry are IT, healthcare, teaching, banking and financial services, construction, transport, tourism and telecommunications.   
Urban Planning and construction is one sector where there is a huge demand for foreign specialists with good experience. The key job driving industries of Saudi Arabia in the last quarter of 2013 were crude oil production, construction, education, retail, education, travel and tourism. 2014 is expected to have construction and tourism as the leading industries that will be responsible for job creation. This is because of the Saudi’s government is focusing much on construction according to the proposed five year plans.
Reasons to Land up in Saudi Arabia
Other than the booming economies, good salaries, multi-national companies and managerial positions, there is more why one can consider moving to Saudi Arabia as a good option for a step ahead in their career and more chances to grow and learn. But as it is said that every coin has two sides, working in a Middle East country like Saudi Arabia comes with both pros and cons. Though calling cons would not be correct, it can be stated that the country has some strict religion rules that needs to be adhered, even by the expats working there in order to avoid any discrepancy against them.  The most popular employers in the Saudi Arabia look for foreign experts in a number of fields.
There are many reasons why one should choose working in Saudi Arabia. Some of the reasons are:
·         Saudi Arabia has the lowest unemployment rate which draws a large number of job seekers to the country
·         It is one of the countries where salaries are tax free
·         The country has a potential to grow its economy and promises a healthy career in various segments like hospitality, real estate, IT, retail and oil reserves.
·         2014 predicts a stable job scenario and a booming market
Saudi Arabia is one of the middle-east countries that has generated maximum employment in 2013 and is expected to do so in the coming months of 2014. Once you have made up your mind of working in Saudi Arabia, there are some things that you should know before making the final move.
Know what is Important!
1.       Work Permits: Fortunately you are not responsible of obtaining a work permit in Saudi Arabia. Your sponsor will do that for you. A sponsor is mostly the employer who has to act both as a guardian and guarantor of the employee. It can either be your organization or a single person from the organization that hires you. What you have to do is to keep your documents ready and up to date. The documents that your employer will want you to produce include:
Ø  Passport
Ø  Results of some mandatory medical tests that your employer will let you know
Ø  Signed employment contract
Ø  Signed Saudi Arabia authorization note
Ø  A completed visa application form
Ø  Passport size photographs (6 or more)
Ø  A police clearance certificate
Ø  A letter of no objection to work in Saudi Arabia
Once ready with the documents, your sponsor will apply for the visa and the process of getting the work visa would take about 10 days.
2.       Business Culture: Saudi Arabia is a Muslim dominated country and it is very important for the expatriates to accept that the religion is the underlying principle of all aspects. It is very important for an expat to learn the culture of Saudi Arabia and respect it. The people will hold no grudges if you respect the religion and do nothing that are against their religion.

3.       Benefits of Working in Saudi Arabia: Firstly starting with financial benefits, working in Saudi Arabia comes with numerable ones. Not only a higher pay and better perks but the most significant is the absence of any tax on your salary. Secondly, the end of contract bonus is a common trend followed in the country and once you finish the contract with your employer, you are suddenly rich.

4.       Accommodation: An expat working in Saudi Arabia cannot own a property. So the only option left is to rent an apartment. The sponsors are helpful for the same and help you find an accommodation according to your needs. Saudi Arabia has gated communities especially constructed for the expats so that they can enjoy their lifestyle inside the premises of the gated community. There are also chances that local Saudi’s are restricted inside these communities so clothes and general lifestyle should not matter.

5.       Some Restrictions and Interactions with the locals: For the expats working in Saudi Arabia, it is very important that you are accompanied by your passport and visa all the time. The laws are strict and punishments are severe. In order to keep safe, it is advisable to behave in certain etiquettes.   Another important thing to be kept in mind when living in Saudi Arabia is to know the timings of the prayers. The locals pray four to five times in a day and during the prayers everything shuts down for about 20-30 minutes. So in order to get your work done, know the timings of prayer in advance.

When interacting with local people, just keep in mind that the people get really offended if swears are made in public specially use of Muslim Gods. 
A Final Word
Lastly, if you have an opportunity to work in Saudi Arabia do not let it go. Even with huge cultural differences, the country has a huge potential in giving a safe and sound career. With the financial benefits that the employers provide, it is a beneficial decision to take this opportunity and work in a complete different but equally competitive country.   

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