You just got that offer to work in Saudi Arabia, here are a few things you need to know:
- Modesty is a must when in public.
- Men should not wear shorts and women are expected to wear an Abaya – a black robe dress, at all times outside. While Muslim women are required to cover their head, it is not for most foreign women. However, it is best practice to carry a headscarf in case asked.
- Muslims pray 5 times a day and during prayer times, establishments are closed for around 30 minutes and you will be asked to leave. One is urged to check the prayer times before heading off.
- All pork products are illegal in Saudi Arabia and can mean jail time for those who are caught with it.
- Unless you are married, you are not to mingle with the opposite sex and any violation can mean arrest. In fact, segregation of the sexes is highly enforced. Restaurants have a “Singles” section for men and “Family” sections for women and families. Sexes are rarely seen together in the same work place. Women have their own areas.
- Saudi Arabia also has strict Adultery Laws for which the penalty is death. The simple act of socializing with men can earn a woman many lashes. Public show of affection is strictly prohibited.
- Women cannot drive in Saudi Arabia; therefore they must have a driver.
- Alcohol is Illegal is Saudi Arabia and penalties for having alcohol are stiff, often a time in jail.
- Drugs are highly illegal in Saudi Arabia. The penalty for trafficking drugs is death.
- While meeting people and socializing may seem quite limited, community centers offer recreational activities, allowing one to de-stress and unwind from work.
Finding a job in the middle east is only the first step to a prosperous career, maintaining your career in the middle east is obviously the next challenge.
OFW Careers offers a career management service for people looking for their next job in Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East. Let us help you organize your information and be “Job Ready” for the next big opportunity that comes your way.