19 July 2018

Genesis Monterde - Expat in Saudi Arabia

Genesis Monterde - Expat in Saudi Arabia

We’ve had the chance to talk to Genesis Monterde, 30, a Filipino expat who has moved to Saudi Arabia alone. Mr Monterde, who has been living there for five years works as an admin assistant. Read more about his experiences in the full interview below.


Q: Where are you from originally?

A: Philippines


Q: What made you move out of the Philippines?

A: job opportunity


Q: Where are you living now? How did you come to choose this new country of residence?

A: Dhahran Saudi Arabia, because of job opportunity.


Q: How long have you been living in Saudi Arabia?

A: 5 years


Q: Are you living alone or with your family? If yes, how are they adjusting to the Expat Lifestyle?

A: Alone


Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes? How do you cope with homesickness?

A: Yes I missed home, shopping or just going around the city.


Q: What do you think about the locals?

A: The same as everywhere, some are good some are bad.


Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialise with other expats in Saudi Arabia? How did you manage to find a social circle there?

A: It is not hard to find new friends, but in case my case, I am an introvert, so I found it hard to socialise with others not familiar to me.


Q: How does the cost of living in Saudi Arabia compare to your home?



Q: How much is a cup of coffee?

A: depends on the coffee shop, you can get around 10 SAR.


Q: How much is a meal in an inexpensive restaurant?

A: 16 SAR


Q: How much is a meal in an expensive restaurant?

A: 60 sar above.


Q: How much is a bottle of wine? How about a pack of cigarettes?

A: wine not allowed here, 30 SAR cigar


Q: Do you have any tips for future expats when it comes to opening a bank account in Saudi Arabia?

A: Just bring their legal documents like residence card, opening is not too hard.


Q: How will you describe your experience with government paperwork such as applications for Visa and work permits? Why is that so?

A: It easy because it is taken cared by my company


Q: Would you say that healthcare in Saudi Arabia is reliable? Any preferred clinics or advice for expats?

A: Yah it is reliable in some sense.


Q: Did you secure a health insurance in the Philippines or Saudi Arabia? What should be the essentials in the coverage for expats, in your opinion?

A: My company provides free healthcare, we have our owned hospital. Other companies give health insurance.


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Q: What was the most memorable about the packing and moving process to Saudi Arabia? Which was the mover you chose and how was your experience with them?

A: I did not bring any stuff from my country.


Q: What is the biggest challenge that you have faced as a new expat?

A: Language, the attitude of the people and culture.


Q: What do you think are the positive and negative sides of living in Saudi Arabia?

A: Positive, it is very safe here, negative – Saudi economy is falling down at risk of being laid off.


Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Any particular recommendations for future expats?

A: Going around the city or visiting other places in the Kingdom.


Q: Do you have plans to move to a different country or back home in the future?

A: no


Q: What tips will you give to expats living in the country?

A: Just follow the rules and regulations.


Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about Saudi Arabia?

A: http://dailythoughtsdotcom.blogspot.it/