Just to put in my two cents worth - as I don't imagine you are thinking about going to Saudi Arabia at this time. I worked in Riyadh for seven years and absolutely loved every second of it. Was treated with friendship and respect, the patients were great, met people from all over the world and made terrific friends, lived in a lovely private apartment on a beautiful compound, had swimming pools and exercise rooms right on the compound, the working conditions couldn't have been nicer (worked 44 hours a week, but much less stressful than nursing here and my foreign coworkers were a much more positive bunch than those I work with here also , shopped till I dropped - lots of gold
, had the opportunity to travel all over the world, made excellent money - salary was tax free up to $70,000. U.S.D. with no taxes due on return home, received a free round trip ticket home yearly, the only bills I paid were long distance telephone and food, and, after spending all the money I wanted I still returned home with enough to put a lovely down payment on a house, buy all furniture and new car with cash, take a few months off and put $25,000. in savings. Who could ask for more?
On the negative side, the poor mail service drove me crazy. It was difficult to buy books I wanted due to censorship (National Geographic magazine came with at least half the pages either torn out or blacked out and cost something like $8.), and found it tough to shop because of all the stores closing four times a day for prayer. My shopping was done between 10 a.m. to noon, and then from ~4 to 6p.m. and ~8 TO 10 P.M. - which doesn't sound bad but was annoying when you have to take taxis home because there is no where to go between shopping times. Its not like you can just stop at a coffee shop or go to a movie. When I went our we covered our clothes with a light silk cloak (abaya) and carried headscarves in case the religious police told us to cover our hair.
And as far as driving goes, believe me when I say you would NOT want to drive with those crazy drivers. Making left hand turns from the right lane, paying no attention to lanes etc. Although it is getting a lot better now, and in time I think women will be allowed to drive there.
I can wholeheartedly say that the time I spent living in Saudi Arabia was some of the best years of my life, and still have American friends working there who refuse to leave, despite the current problems.
Oh yeah, I also got 12 weeks vacation a year. Took a trip every two to three months so it was like working between travels