Living in Saudi Arabia is no Party

Saudi Arabia – Not Amsterdam

Living in Saudi Arabia is not for single people who want to party. In this interview with Expat Phil Henderson you will gain a real understanding of what living in Saudi is all about. If you are in the energy business, technology or finance business Saudi has a lot to offer. The quality of life is above average yet so is the cost of living.

Phil has an amazing story, working his way up from the factories of Glasgow, UK, to making his way through school to become an engineer, Phil is a true Escapeartist. In addition to his ‘day job’ he has built a successful online marketing company working with some very notable brands.

In this interview we cover:

  • Entertainment
  • Education
  • Travel tips
  • Real Estate
  • Technology
  • Internet Marketing Advice

Phil has recently signed on as a Master Membership Trainer with EscapeDates Social and Business Networking Community where he will be serving as an Expat Ambassador for Saudi Arabia and as a Internet Marketing Coach for EscapeDates. Look for Phil speaking at EscapeDates around the world. Phil will also be posting blogs, vlogs and internet marketing advice to help all EscapeDates members.

Do you want to become an Escapeartist Ambassador CLICK HERE TO JOIN ESCAPEDATES

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  1. Dave Kaiser February 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Living in Saudi Arabia was ALWAYS a party for my family and myself–and we lived there for more than 20 years! My wife and I made our first move to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1980. This was our first time living overseas and quite an experience. For eight years, I was the editor of Arab News, a 150,000-circulation English-language daily newspaper. We were the only Americans living in a three-story apartment building in downtown Jeddah. My wife was the first American woman to live in our neighborhood; when she walked down the street to go shopping everyone leaned out over their balconies and waved at her.
    My wife had a tough time adjusting to the lifestyle and being unable to drive for about a month. But when she became a part of the local scene, when we went to parties at people’s homes, Saudi women would ask her “Why do men in the US force their wives to drive? and, “Can’t men in the US afford to hire drivers, maids and cooks for their wives?”
    We enjoyed our life in Jeddah, a cosmopolitan city in which we could shop downtown and find spices and goods from all over the world. Soon my wife learned to take the bus downtown and went shopping all the time with Saudi friends, who had drivers. Saudi buses put women at the back of the bus where five or six women would ride for free while sitting on comfortable couches in special air-conditioned sections. In the meantime, what seemed like hundreds of men, jammed into the front of the bus where they paid for the ride, on which they did not have air conditioning and many stood in the aisles jammed together.
    In 1989, we moved to the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. There we lived on a compound on which we had better facilities than at home in the US. There were golf courses, Olympic swimming pools, private beaches, movies and bowling. At that time we went with our three-month-old son who had better elementary and middle schools there than in the US.
    Saudi Arabia has none of the expenses encountered in the west. While Saudi women complain about not being able to drive, they should take a closer look at what western families endure. Saudi women rely on cheap houseboys, maids and even cooks. These employees are Third World nationals who can send money back to their countries so that their families can live comfortably–they make more in a year in Saudi than they would make in 10 years in their own countries. There are no taxes in Saudi Arabia for anyone, if you buy a car there you negotiate the price DOWN from the manufacturers list price and you do not pay any taxes. Saudi friends I talked to were shocked to hear the amount of money Westerners spend each year for property taxes, car and property insurance and gasoline. In Saudi Arabia there are no taxes on gasoline and it costs 30 cents per gallon–the prices Westerners pay for EVERYTHING is due to taxes levied by their governments.

    • Dave Kaiser February 8, 2012 at 7:45 pm

      Forgot to mention, while working in Saudi Arabia we had 90 days vacation per year, which included full salary and airfare for the entire family to anywhere we wanted to go in the world. Expatriates had to take at least six weeks vacation a year and return home. For many of our trips home we took round-the-world trips, during which our expenses were paid. Many expatriates living over there would travel five weeks and spend a week at home in the US.
      After we returned to our home in the US we found it impossible to cope with the expenses there.

  2. Nanya K, Bahiya-El-Bey February 10, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    On…Friday…Date…2/10/12…Time…3:00..PM…P.S.T…Seattle Wa..

    I like your Article about Saudi Arabia and the Business and Job Market in Demand and they don’t play no games after all about the outsourcing and all the jobs layoffs these days what kind of hop that this country got to offer these days not saying that to be critical or negative but if you look at the progress of the job market and how many jobs have they provided the system for its on native born people ity look like its more jobs provided for outsider then for its own native born population of people and the Immigration and exporting of people from foreign country with the same professional skills as americans for cheaper proffessinal skill labor ain’t helping neither they are skinning and grinning while the rest of the country youth and older people of retirement age is unemployed or there unemployment have ran out and the people that have retire have came out of retirement have to work to makes ends meet or get retrain to get back in the work force after retirement that is a dam shame you work all your life and you have to cut into your retiement funds because of Inflation and the cost of living have gone up as Inflation eats into your retiement with higher Taxes and the cost of living I know one lady had to chose between paying here bills or going without heat for the winter or buying here medication because medicade is not enough to pay for here medication after she had retire 10 years ago and speak of the newly graduates of kids in there profession if they got bad credit they want hire the newly graduates because of bad credit and higher taxes and higher newly hire for expenses for Insurance rates and taxes and benefits and tuition have to be paid back after so many years after graduation these kids are still slaves to the higher taxe machine and government that they say have plenty of time to pay off there tuition after graduation after so many years so corporation they rather hire foreign professional help with less liability and less health insurance and benefits because the cost of living and cheaper tax break to hire a foreign professional worker like in India and China and other foreign country that american corporation got there companies into like microsoft for example get back with me on this issue

    Yours Truly and Sincerely
    Nanya K, Bahiya- El-Bey

  3. Peter Liggett February 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Hi Everyone,
    My name is Peter Liggett, and three years ago, I started looking overseas for a more stable country to live in. My first move was to obtain a dual citizenship, which I have right now. This is for the United States and the Republic of Ireland. I `d like some feedback from anyone on what would be the European Union country to settle down in. I have fifteen to twenty work years left, so I am not looking to retire. Also, would there be any advantage to renouncing the United States citizenship, say for taxes purposes or is just keeping both passports good enough.I can be reached at
    Regards, Peter T. Liggett

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