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Been to Saudi Arabia?

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xEnOn
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Been to Saudi Arabia?

Postby xEnOn » Tue, 03 Apr 2007 3:26 pm

has anybody been to saudi arabia before? i am offered a chance to go to saudi arabia's capital, Riyadh, as a student intern.
i thought this may be an opportunity but i am worry as well because i don't know how is the country like.

i am a singaporean chinese and this will be my first time going into middle east. i understand that it is a muslim country and there should not be alcohol or pork. but that's all that i know. is there anything else i need to watch out if i were to go?

my main concern is my own safety. the traffic over there looks frightening and there are little footpaths. how friendly are the people there is another thing which questions me. the crime rate there is the next factor that bothers me. will they be racist against chinese?

if you were me, would you go for such an internship? it is going to be a 4months trip!

thanks. :)

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Plavt
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Postby Plavt » Tue, 03 Apr 2007 3:45 pm

Try to find somebody who has lived there and can explain the laws and customs. The 'Lonely Planet' travel guides usually have a good section on culture, conduct and society along with dangers and annoyances. However, crime is unlikely to be a problem owing to Saudi's harsh penalties but don't expect to practice your own religion.

My own feeling is don't go unless you happen to be a devout Muslim otherwise you may find life very difficult. Make a point of reading and researching first you may not like what you find.

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Postby bunty » Tue, 03 Apr 2007 4:36 pm

From what i know, saudi arabia is the most conservative and orthodox of the gulf states. well the rules are as strict as singapore.. but yes, alcholol is definitely a no no. Social life is absolutely nil as there is lot of censorship....

If you are a female, then dress code is extremely strict...

among the mid east only Dubai and bahrain are a little progressive.

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Imagine

Postby Allibert » Tue, 03 Apr 2007 8:27 pm

no life at all - no cinemas, no alcohol, only ever seeing men's faces for a whole year. If there are restaurants, there are of courses different rooms for single men, single women and married couples.

Not sure about Riyadh but you probably can't even go out on the street on your own. No photography, although in the cities there's probably not to take photos of anyway.

If you're not in a compound with satellite TV there's probably nothing to watch either.

The weather is OK if it's dry - probably more bearable than Singapore, but when the humidity rises it's really like a sauna.

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hmmmmmm

Postby adr3382 » Tue, 03 Apr 2007 9:55 pm

I currently live in Dubai (for the next four weeks, then I am off to SG), I have to travel on business to Saudi for a couple of days each month. I dread those trips.

Now this maybe a culture clash as I am from London, but Saudi to me is the armpit of the universe. It is RIDICULOUSLY strict with regards to alcohol, public gatherings, women and just about every aspect of your life, go somewhere else instead, anywhere. Really you will regret it hugely.Oh and in summer much like Dubai it is basically impossible to go outside.

This may sound extreme but I cant think of ANYTHING that recommends Saudi
they say hard work wont kill you, but why take the chance?

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Plavt
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Postby Plavt » Tue, 03 Apr 2007 10:18 pm

These few replies so far just about sum it up and to think Singaporeans complain about Singapore..................... :P

xEnOn
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Postby xEnOn » Tue, 03 Apr 2007 10:56 pm

i thought is complaing about Saudi?

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Postby Addadude » Wed, 04 Apr 2007 11:42 pm

I know of 3 different people who have worked in Saudi. (All of them male). Not one would ever return to work there.

BTW adr3382, how is Dubai as a place to live and work in? A headhunter recently asked me if I would be interested in working there and I'm curious about the possibilities.

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Plavt
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Postby Plavt » Thu, 05 Apr 2007 1:25 am

Addadude wrote: how is Dubai as a place to live and work in? A headhunter recently asked me if I would be interested in working there and I'm curious about the possibilities.


The way Arab nations go fairly reasonable; westerners may drink alcohol in designated bars and hotels. One in five of the population is a foreigner and in some ways the country is pro-western.

Do remember Shariah law applies; as far as I know you can be flogged for not paying the hotel bill!
Last edited by Plavt on Thu, 05 Apr 2007 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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christoscy
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Saudi

Postby christoscy » Thu, 05 Apr 2007 1:39 am

I am not an expert as i have been in Saudi just on a Seamans visa,basicaly 48 hours to travel from arrival till joining the vessel,it is definetly an experiance you will remember.
Small tips,do not ever talk back to any person of authority,even if they are wrong and you are right,respect all Islamic rules, do not attempt any romantic adventures and avoid driving a vehicle yourself
I ll try been nicer if you try been smarter!!!

scottie-the-engineer
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Postby scottie-the-engineer » Thu, 05 Apr 2007 2:32 pm

I lived for two years in Saudi, and wouldn't recommend it unless you're desparate for a job. The entire fabric of society is based on the superiority of the Saudi male to all other forms of life, and I would imagine a Chinese Singaporean would be held in the same sort of regard as an Indonesian maid in Singapore!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 05 Apr 2007 3:46 pm

scottie-the-engineer wrote:........ and I would imagine a Chinese Singaporean would be held in the same sort of regard as an Indonesian maid in Singapore!


Maybe it would be a good thing then for a year or two (for quite a few locals), might have a little more respect for the maids when they gets back. :P

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Postby Nafo » Thu, 19 Apr 2007 9:23 pm

I have been there few times for few days and I can say that its quite difficult place.

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Postby KingOfPearl » Fri, 20 Apr 2007 2:37 pm

I had been to Saudi.
Strict in religion
No Theaters
No Alcohol
All shops must close at prayer time
No walking out at prayer times, some times religous police might catch you;
On Ramadan Month- Resturants begin after 4PM only, you have to eat at home only
Primary Food - Rice , Veg, Chicken, Lamb
Temperature - very hot, in summer no wonder it might go 52+ deg
Transport - No public transport,
Fuel - Good if we have own car; Fuel is very Cheap
Passport - Your passport will be held by your employer or sponsor as soon as you landed there; for anything you have to depend your sponsor.
Tax - free
HEAVENLY Place for religious people..........

Cheers

pedro
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Re: Been to Saudi Arabia?

Postby pedro » Thu, 26 Apr 2007 11:45 pm

Its worth trying cause it is quite different in a sense. I enjoyed my stay plus I could much more appreciate a rather open society back home.


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