Saudi Arabia - page 2

Hi, I'm considering traveling to Saudi Arabia, I actually have a contract but haven't signed yet. Has anyone been to SA? Would you like to share your experiences? Thanks in advance... ... Read More

  1. by   jansailsea
    What about Dubai or Brunei as a traveling location?
    Tiger Woods goes to play tournaments because the sheiks give him $1 mil just to show up.
    If I'm not mistaken, they don't have terrorist problems... although Michael Jackson is reported to have moved there.
    Odd, the muslims in general are supposed to be much harsher on child molesters, alleged to be or guilty.
  2. by   sawbones
    weetziabat-pm inbound
  3. by   carolinapooh
    Quote from weetziebat
    hi - i am on my home-leave vacation from my job in riyadh, saudi arabia, and can tell you my feelings and experiences working there.

    i first worked there from jan. '91 to jan. '98, then again for three months in 2002 and went back in march of this year on a one year contract.

    personally, i love it there. i have noticed a significant difference in the appeal of living there now due to lack of westerners though. most of the nurses there now are filipino and south african. it used to be more like living at a very socially active resort but, i assume due to safety concerns, few american, canadian, british, irish, australian or new zealand nurses seem to go there now. this can make for a lonely time.

    but, even though i did have concerns about my safety, i believe the u.s. goes overboard in warning people away. there is a very strong feeling against terrorism in saudi arabia and the saudi government is doing its utmost to fight terrorism.

    there are frequent security force attacks against terrorists reported on the local t.v. and in newspapers there, but i find i always feel safe. i often walk the streets alone, either in the morning or evening, shopping, and never have felt in any danger. of course, i also cover my hair (according to muslim custom) and follow local customs, which may draw less attention to me. but, in my opinion, there are far more reasons for being afraid in any large american city, such as n.y.c, chicago, miami, l.a. etc. than in riyadh. now, there is no way i'd ever go to iraq but that is another matter entirely!!

    and, although i was amazed, i have met no one who was less that very welcoming and friendly towards americans. working in the e.r. i see many saudi's and always hear "welcome. we like americans and are glad you are here." they have awareness that our civilian feelings have nothing to do with our government's actions.

    as far as working conditions - i work 44 hours a week (much more laid back than working in the u.s.), have 45 vacations days a year - which, along with sick leave, weekends etc, means i get ~ 10 weeks vacation a year. i live in a lovely 2 bedroom apt. with rent and utilities paid. there are company buses to take you shopping twice daily, and you are totally free to take taxies around town to shop or visit on your own. being on the other side of the world and having plenty of vacation time (by u.s. standards) means it is lots easier to travel. uniform allowance is provided, and english is the language spoken in all hospitals. learning at least a smattering of arabic is convenient but not absolutely necessary.

    i've read the previous posters note about the hospitals there and her co-worker's very unfortunate experience, and can only say that i have been hospitalized twice there, along with a visit to an e.r. in another part of the country and have found the care excellent. in fact, due to the number of nurses and the up-to-the-minute facilities, i find the care better than in the u.s. health care and prescriptions are free of charge. but that is just my experience.

    as far as the pay goes, king faisal hospital in riyadh is now offering 18,000 riyals per month, or ~ $4,500. a month salary (tax free). my salary is much lower because i work in an eye hospital connected with the ministry of health, but the main reason to work there is no longer mainly the salary but just the opportunity to work in another country and learn first hand of a totally different culture. you find yourself changed forever by the experience and i would never discourage anyone from doing that.

    good luck, and if any questions feel free to pm me. i went through 'saudi arabian international' recruiters in houston and liked them very much, but perhaps for a first timer helen ziegler would offer more information about living conditions and what to expect.

    you're at khalid, on the outskirts of riyadh. that is a beautiful building! a friend of mine, an american, was treated there while i lived there and she said the people and the facilities were fabulous.
  4. by   weetziebat
    Quote from carolinapooh
    You're at Khalid, on the outskirts of Riyadh. That is a beautiful building! A friend of mine, an American, was treated there while I lived there and she said the people and the facilities were fabulous.
    Yeah!! Right over there by Euromarche - my favorite shopping haunt. KKESH is a gorgeous building, especially seen at night. Were you at the National Guard Hospital?
  5. by   dreamlandeals
    back in march of this year on a one year contract.[/size]

    [size=3]personally, i love it there. i have noticed a significant difference in the appeal of living there now due to lack of westerners though. most of the nurses there now are filipino and south african. it used to be more like living at a very socially active resort but, i assume due to safety concerns, few american, canadian, british, irish, australian or new zealand nurses seem to go there now. this can make for a

    but, even though i did have concerns about my safety, i believe the u.s. goes overboard in warning people away. there is a very strong feeling against terrorism in saudi arabia and the saudi government is doing its utmost to fight terrorism.

    there are frequent security force attacks against terrorists reported on the local t.v. and in newspapers there, but i find i always feel safe. i often walk the streets alone, either in the morning or evening, shopping, and never have felt in any danger. of course, i also cover my hair (according to muslim custom) and follow local customs, which may draw less attention to me. but, in my opinion, there are far more reasons for being afraid in any large american city, such as n.y.c, chicago, miami, l.a. etc. than in riyadh. now, there is no way i'd ever go to iraq but that is another matter entirely!!

    and, although i was amazed, i have met no one who was less that very welcoming and friendly towards americans. working in the e.r. i see many saudi's and always hear "welcome. we like americans and are glad you are here." they have awareness that our civilian feelings have nothing to do with our government's actions.

    as far as working conditions - i work 44 hours a week (much more laid back than working in the u.s.), have 45 vacations days a year - which, along with sick leave, weekends etc, means i get ~ 10 weeks vacation a year. i live in a lovely 2 bedroom apt. with rent and utilities paid. there are company buses to take you shopping twice daily, and you are totally free to take taxies around town to shop or visit on your own. being on the other side of the world and having plenty of vacation time (by u.s. standards) means it is lots easier to travel. uniform allowance is provided, and english is the language spoken in all hospitals. learning at least a smattering of arabic is convenient but not absolutely necessary.

    i've read the previous posters note about the hospitals there and her co-worker's very unfortunate experience, and can only say that i have been hospitalized twice there, along with a visit to an e.r. in another part of the country and have found the care excellent. in fact, due to the number of nurses and the up-to-the-minute facilities, i find the care better than in the u.s. health care and prescriptions are free of charge. but that is just my experience.

    as far as the pay goes, king faisal hospital in riyadh is now offering 18,000 riyals per month, or ~ $4,500. a month salary (tax free). my salary is much lower because i work in an eye hospital connected with the ministry of health, but the main reason to work there is no longer mainly the salary but just the opportunity to work in another country and learn first hand of a totally different culture. you find yourself changed forever by the experience and i would never discourage anyone from doing that.

    [size=3]good luck, and if any questions feel free to pm me. i went through 'saudi arabian international' recruiters in houston and liked them very much, but perhaps for a first timer helen ziegler would offer more information about living conditions and what to expect. [
  6. by   Moranguinho
    Hi fellows!
    I've just received a offer to do an interview for a hospital in Riyad. I've been looking for something in Dubai or Bahrain, since my husband will be probably moving soon to Manama.
    The offer was to Security Forces Hospital. Can anyone tell me something about this hospital? Is it good, pay ok?
    I'm also afraid of being there, without being allowed to leave the country to meet my husband in Bahrain or stuffs like that. I wish I could have more informations about the place (Riyad), before accepting the offer...
    Other question is my husband would be allowed to visit me in my apartment?
    Thanks and I'm looking foward to hearing from you soon.
  7. by   carolinapooh
    Quote from trbelch
    I went to SA through Helen Zeigler. I was there on a three month locum tenens contract. It was the perfect test run. I was there long enough to get a feel for the culture and living conditions but not enough time if it was unbearable. I had no fears for my safety while there. Use common sense in your activities as always. Most importantly, get involved and have a social life. It will save your sanity. If anyone invites you to do something - go! I met wonderful people during my short stay. It was a great experience overall but adjusting to the culture was difficult and trying at times.

    Read as much about the culture and traditions as you can. For women it is harder but strangely you get used to the differences. Like not driving - they drive crazy over there and you couldn't pay me enough to drive in SA!!! Wearing an abaya - went around in t-shirts and shorts under my abaya, even went on a job interview wearing t-shirt and shorts!

    Embrace the differences and try not to get too frustrated at the inconviences, there will be many. Travel out of the country as often as you can to save your sanity.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!
    I lived in Saudi Arabia for three years and couldn't agree more with the above poster!

    There are days I do miss the abaya....how nice to go out to dinner in the wintertime in sweatpants and do your hair and makeup and look DRESSED UP...but I would never get used to being followed and essentially harassed by the religious police in the Faisaliah Center in Riyadh, which was where they seemed to be the thickest.

    I have no desire to go back to the Kingdom; it's a little weird over there to me right now (and I was there during 9/11 and when Palestine kicked off again in early 2001 - now all that was WEIRD). But if you do go - MAN, you HAVE to go to DUBAI.....

    DH still works in Qatar, which is much more Westernized than KSA. By Westernized I don't mean that the Kingdom is still in the dark ages, but there aren't the restrictions on women there that exist in KSA, and as I mentioned before, Dubai ROCKS....I could LIVE at the Jumeriah Beach resort (who couldn't!).
  8. by   carolinapooh
    Quote from weetziebat
    Yeah!! Right over there by Euromarche - my favorite shopping haunt. KKESH is a gorgeous building, especially seen at night. Were you at the National Guard Hospital?

    EUROMARCHE!!!!!!!

    Yes, there ARE things I miss besides the abaya! Khalid IS gorgeous; I had a friend who had eye surgery there when I was living in Riyadh.

    WHat was the name of the Italian restaurant in the DQ? DH and I were trying to remember it the other day. Every stray cat in the DQ used to go hang out by the trash cans about fifteen minutes before they closed at 10 pm, just waiting for the guy to bring the scraps out.
  9. by   carolinapooh
    Quote from jansailsea
    What about Dubai or Brunei as a traveling location?
    Tiger Woods goes to play tournaments because the sheiks give him $1 mil just to show up.
    If I'm not mistaken, they don't have terrorist problems... although Michael Jackson is reported to have moved there.
    Odd, the muslims in general are supposed to be much harsher on child molesters, alleged to be or guilty.

    Ah, how I miss Sharia'ah law....and the public executions/hand/foot removals in Dira Square downtown...seriously, they ARE tough on criminals and there IS a low petty crime incidence compared to what we know, because they actually do practice Hammurabi's code, so to speak - and they DON'T play. Prisons are just that - PRISONS - and there really are public executions, but they ARE few and far between, simply because people know they WILL be executed.

    It can be creepy over there, but even when I was out alone I felt pretty safe. Mind you, I stayed alert and didn't do anything stupid. There is no Status of Forces agreement with the Saudis - which means if you commit a crime, you don't have to be turned over to the Embassy and can and probably would be tried by the Saudis.

    Many Saudis are highly educated and truly are pleased you're there; a Western presence in the Kingdom seems to insure to them that they won't be pulled back into Middle Age oblivion. They know the deal with the West and pay pretty much lip service to the fundamentalist gobbledegook....less educated Saudis are the ones who want nothing to do with you, which is sort of ironic because they're all eating in McDonald's and driving late-model Chevy Caprices.

    Even Osama bin Laden, who has just called for boycott of Western businesses, is a bit hypocritical...his family owns a construction company that employs Western contractors/architects - bin Laden Construction built the facilities used by the US and British military at Prince Sultan Air Base!
  10. by   h2oo
    Hello, I am a nursing student and would love to get over there and experience the culture etc!

    1 - How much experience does one need before getting there? Are there offers for new grads?

    2 - If so would my income be substaincially lower because of my lack of experience?

    Cheers!
  11. by   Anu29
    I am considering a contract in Saudi Arabia also. I am familiar withn Middle Eastern culture as I have spent a lot of time in Egypt studying Arabic language. But I know SA is still very different. I would love to hear from anyone that has been there. I am a young, single female and the stories can be a little intimadating but I do like to experience some other cultures. What is a day-to-day nursing shift like? How are the patients, co-workers etc? I know women don't have much of a voice there so how does it all work regarding male patients or do women just care for women? I appreciate any advice regarding this situation.
    Thanks
  12. by   suzanne4
    This thread is quite old and many of the previous posters are no longer even posting here.

    Would recommend that you post on the International forum since you are asking about a contract in another country. And that is where we wish for them to be posted.

    You will also find many posts there about job opportunities in the Middle East.

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