Moving to Saudi Arabia
With its 2,640 km coastline over the Persian Gulf and Red Sea, Saudi Arabia is a suitable country for maritime trade and transport of energy (oil, petroleum). Jeddah and Riyadh are the cities most expats move to, as they provide western facilities, restaurants and also because most international companies are settled there.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia occupies the largest territory on the Middle East Peninsula; it is also a realm of opportunities for potential expatriates.
Amidst the 2,150,000 square kilometers of predominantly hot desert climate lies a remarkable kingdom of tall and modern buildings, offices, and apartments within its capital city, Riyadh. To get to know the Kingdom more, expats usually troop to its museums and historical landmarks which showcase local art, religion and culture, as well as the diverse and intriguing history of the land.
As a nation, Saudi Arabia has been successful in its foreign diplomatic efforts to build better relationships with other countries and bridges the economic possibilities of improvement that benefit investors and eventually, its people. The government's involvement in international agreements paved the way for the formation of several parties that confronted the issues on climate change, desertification, endangered species, hazardous wastes, the law of the sea and ozone layer protection.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Islamic theocratic monarchy where Islam is the official religion and its culture derived from writings of the Holy Book. The richness of its language is without comparison and is the source of Arabia's culture and faith. While Arabic is the official language, English is widely spoken and is a compulsory second language in school as well as in doing business. Urdu, which is the national language of Pakistan, is also spoken amongst the non-Saudi population. Hospitality has been an Arab tradition shared by expatriates and Bedouins. To respect social values, generosity, hospitality and courage is a matter of honor.
Town dwellers or expatriates embrace these values and regard them as their own. Saudi Arabian clothing follows the principle of hijab, the Islamic principle of modesty in dressing. Expatriates themselves have learned to wear loose and flowing, but covering garments as this helps one to adjust in the country's desert climate. Women, when in public, are required to wear a modest cloth called abaya while children are allowed to dress up for fun and put on plays for their families. Mathematics and astronomy are equally important aspects of the Arabian culture heritage. In fact, the word "algebra" is derived from the Arabic word "Algebar," which means resetting of a combination.
The current population of Saudi Arabia is approximately 29,897,000 of which about 25% are foreigners or expatriates. The figures are clearly an indication of growth and urbanization as more people from varied parts around the globe have come to contribute to the economic stability of the Kingdom as well as be part of its culture. Despite the great pace of growth, the Kingdom has witnessed over the last two decades, traditional and social values have been maintained steadfastly, and the rich heritage of the Kingdom protected and enhanced.
Indeed, Saudi Arabia has remained on the path of growth and development while keeping its feet planted solidly on the ground.
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