Moving to Saudi Arabia


Delivery timescales

Prohibited and restricted items

Every country has its own rules and regulations surrounding prohibited and restricted items. It’s important to be aware of these prior to the move to avoid any delays.

We can provide further information should you require it – please get in touch and we’ll be happy to advise.


An oil-rich kingdom, Saudi Arabia is a conservative Middle Eastern country which is governed strongly by Islam. Before relocating to the country expats should bear in mind that they will need to readjust to life in Saudi Arabia and its Islamic laws and customs to avoid any transgressions. Many expats moving to Saudi Arabia often do so for work or career opportunities instead of the lifestyle.

When relocating to Saudi Arabia, many expats live in Western-style colonies that are reminiscent of life back home. Expat communities are also quite closely bonded and members often form strong friendships very quickly. It is important to understand that when living in Saudi Arabia as an expat, it will be more like living in a westernized colony than being fully immersed in the Saudi culture.

There are two main areas for expat communities which are; Jeddah and Riyadh. Expats relocating to these areas will find a range of Western amenities, good quality accommodation and good employment opportunities (the majority of the Kingdom’s employers are located here).

Riyadh is the more conservative capital of the central region of Saudi Arabia and the inhabitants of this city tend to keep to themselves. It is unlikely that, as an expat living in Riyadh, you will be invited into the homes of the Saudi nationals living there and if you are it will usually be only if you are male.

Jeddah is a more relaxed city and is the capital of the Western region of the kingdom. The majority of the population living in Jeddah consists of Saudi’s who have settled there from other regions with foreign influences which have made the city more relaxed than other areas of the kingdom. The nightlife in Jeddah is busier than other parts of Saudi and the locals love socialising in the evenings with barbeques, picnics or spending time along the Jeddah Corniche.

Some expats do venture as far as Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province for the promising career opportunities in the hydrocarbon sector, but this is less common.

The education system in Saudi Arabia does not permit foreign children to attend Saudi public schools, so if you are relocating with school-age children you will need to register them with an international school. Places at these schools are limited so it is advisable to register your children as soon as possible.

Medical facilities in the main areas of Saudi Arabia (Jeddah, Riyadh and Dhahran/Dammam/Al Khobar) are generally good, however they are also expensive. It is a legal requirement for expatriates to have medical insurance upon entering Saudi which should be provided by your sponsor, and the type of cover you have will determine which facilities you are able to access. If you are taking medication you should also check before you fly that it is allowed to be imported – the Saudi Embassy in the UK will have a list of all banned medication.

Moving to Saudi Arabia can be a complicated task so let a professional company (like us!) take care of the logistics of moving your belongings overseas. Simply get in touch. E: enquiries@squab.co.uk T: 0845 4680 160

Don’t forget to take a look at our handy checklist as a guide to help with organising your move. There’s additional space for you to add your own notes, as every move is different.


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