I am an expat


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ahmadaq posted on the thread Air conditioning? on the Jeddah forum

23C is the best temprerature...and no you don't leave the AC running at all times 24/7, only when you are in the room.

One will use the AC more in Summer time, around May-Oct

ahmadaq posted on the thread Top 5 tips to live in Saudi Arabia on the Saudi Arabia forum

My personal top 5 advices are;

If you want to live exactly the same way you are accustomed to and have the same food, brands, life style at the new country…then stay home and dont waste your time traveling

Remember, that what you call “Normal” could be not for others and vice versa

Meet the locals  and other expats and don’t mix only with your fellow-countrymen

Leave your complexes and attitude at home…nobody likes spoiled brat kids. You are not better or smarter than the locals, maybe different but not better

You live in some countries as an expat for the extra income and in others for the experience. Very few countries offer a mix of the two.

ahmadaq posted on the thread ear piercing on the Jeddah forum

Hey & Congrads

The practice here is to have it done either by your Paediatrician or by the Chemist at the pharmacy.


If the Velcro hook and loop fasteners you are looking for is for industrial ( home maintenance ) use then you can find it in SACO, there is one next to Papaya restaurant near (South) Souq Al Shataa, but if it for sewing purposes  , then Tamer and Tamara again cross the road from Papaya Restaurant sells it.

Its only a short drive from Al Salama Center

ahmadaq posted on the thread Difference between complex and compound on the Riyadh forum

Ok will try to summarize it in my simple English  :( 

Villa, is a standalone building, in Saudi is usually between 200-350 Squar meter (if in a compound, then usually its much smaller than this) with a small garden and a big bathtub that they like to call a swimming pool. It’s more for higher middle class people. Some areas of each city are strictly for villas others are a mix.

Flat and apartments are both the same (English and American terms). its where most middle class people live and the building where the flats is usually multi floors building, in Saudi is usually 4-5 floors with 16-18 flats in different sizes 1-5 rooms .

Compounds are a walled area with security around it and depending on the size of the compound, it will have flat, villas or a mix of both. Compounds will have recreation area (Pool and Gym) playground and women can go out within these walls without wearing Abaya even they can swim or drive. You can have a party there with no issues. It’s usually X4-5 the average price for the same size living area outside the compound. When people here say Western compound, they basically mean that the majority of the residence are from western countries .

The main plus for living in a compound is the freedom and for living in an out of a compound flat is the price.

I know many single Westerners living in flats around the city but very few families

ahmadaq posted on the thread Good offer or not? on the Saudi Arabia forum

I don’t usually like to comment when the thread is about a job offer since it’s really hard to make a judgment with the very few information people share about their offers alnd their background (I commented few times before but it never felt like right).Also what good for someone will not be for someone else.

One general comment. If the offer is not at least double to triple of what you are making back in your country, then it’s not worth to move.

Another thing regarding the bounce, bounce is not a guarantee thing even if the recruiter told you otherwise; it’s even something that you can’t take to labor court if things reached to that point for one reason or another. I personally worked before for an international company with a bounce schema for about 9 years, out of those years, I only got bounce in three.   

Note:I agree with all what Kom340 said

More and more young Saudis are wearing western cloth, but it does not mean that they had abandoned the traditional dress (Thoubs) . Thoubs are still largely worn in family and social occasions, going to school and on daily basis as a matter of fact.

You will see more Saudis wearing Western Cloths in large cities specially Jeddah and less in smaller cities.
A Saudi, by law, will be denied access to official government office if he is not wearing a thoub.

There are famous Thoub designers that people follow, Lomar Thoubs by Loai Naseem and his wife ( The D&G of Toubs) , Yahya Bishri (The Versace of the thoubs) and Thoby by hatem Alakeel( the Armany of the thoubs) to name few …

You can buy thoubs starting from SR60-3000 (and even more if you want to go over the top)

It’s not a boring question after all !!  :D

ahmadaq posted on the thread Difference between complex and compound on the Riyadh forum


Complex is a number of same style multi floors building built next to each other( not villas); they could be attached, Simi-attached or stand alone. Some will have a wall surrounding them others will not, some will have an indoor small swimming pool others will not. There is no security, only a doorman.
Basically people stay in complex mainly if they have kids, so they will have a space to play at (between the building) without worrying about their safety (mainly from crazy drivers).

Some companies will have their own complex for their employees so depending on the company policy; different roles could be applied on residence

Complex are defiantly not western style

I know very few complexes in Jeddah and Riyadh

So ask the people who suggested them to you to give you name and information’s about them since as you can see there is no real standards to describe a complex

ahmadaq posted on the thread Jeddah Gate on the Saudi Arabia forum


Jeddah Gate is an impetuses real-estate development project done by reputable Emmar, the main real-estate developer in Dubai, on the land of Jeddah old airport.
Am sure that if you visit their website, you will be impressed with the designs and think that this is a good place to live in.

The Reality, only part of the first phase of the project has been built leaving it looking like three 20 floors tall building standing in the middle of an empty dusty land.

Regarding  schools, None of the top 4 western schools are near there since they are all in North of jeddah .Al-Kon “Global “International School (American Curriculum ) is short drive away from Jeddah Gate. It’s a good school but it’s for “other “nationalities.

http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=2 … 17&m=b

It’s sad because, I think that part of town badly needs such project and I would love it if it had continued as planned. They did some extra work with some new smaller building some time ago, but even their sales offices seems to be closed (at least this is how it looks from outside).

The good thing about it is the location, if you will be working in south of Jeddah or King Abdelaziz Uni. I don’t know anybody who lives there, but it should not be different than living in any other standalone building in Jeddah.

Regarding the schools, None of the top 4 western schools are nearby, since they are all located in North of jeddah .Al-Kon “Global “International School (American Curriculum ) is a short drive away from Jeddah Gate. It’s a good school but it’s more for “other “nationalities.

There was a big discussion regarding this issue here in Saudi Last year and the year before, this discussion was sparked by the fact that most teachers working in international schools were dependent wives.

When the Ministry of Labor started their campaign to crack down illegal workers, international schools were het badly, some even had to close down leaving student and parents with little options to solve the situation. After few weeks, schools owners manage to reach to an agreement with Ministry of Labor and Ministry of Education to issue a one year permeate for dependent wives allowing them to work and this license needs to be renewed yearly. This license is issued by Ministry of Education after reviewing the teacher qualifications, the problem with that is sometimes Ministry of Labor will say that they got nothing to do with This license therefor they don’t recognized their validity.

After this history brief  :D Now let’s go to answering  your question about your wife working as a dentist, to do so her degree should be testified by The Saudi Commission for Health Specialties, also she needs to be a member with this commission  and only if she is working under a healthcare provider sponsorship she can gain this membership.
So to make it simple , NO she can’t work if she continue being under your sponsorship as a dependent specially as a healthcare professional and she will be facing jail time for donning so in case of any medical malpractice. She will be looked at as someone how is  threatening the public health.

ahmadaq posted on the thread Birthdays on the Saudi Arabia forum

Ok the answer for your second question is yes and no…

No since Moutaa don’t approve any celebration other than Eid Al Fitir (after Ramadan) and Eid  Al Adha ( After Hajj). So in general people don’t really celebrate the Hijri New Year, it’s more of sending some Whatsapps messages, posting things on Facebook and Tweeting thoughts.

Yes… traditionally , Hijazi people ( Makkah, Jeddah and Madinah area ) use to, and some still do, celebrate the new year with Drinking Milk with Cardamom first thing in the morning of the first day of the new year ( Hoping for a white year), followed by having Molokhia for lunch ( Hoping for a green year) and exchanging Mint and Taifi Rose  :heart: ( Hoping for a beautiful year full of love) and Foul Flowers, a type of Jasmine , for a year full of joy and good smells …

ahmadaq posted on the thread Saturday Meet ups? on the Jeddah forum

Hamudi !!! at least they succeeded to meet, remember how many times we tried to arrange for a get together with no luck. It made me gave up on expats of Jeddah  :mad:

So well done guys  :one

To answer your question ( even its :offtopic:  ) my vote will go to Ryan Goslin  Have you seen the hair on this guy head  :kiss:


There are a number of studio type apartment buildings in Jeddah that are designated for single men. There are two building near al Hamara Hotel and few in Tahlia and Hira Street. You need to have a look and ask the Haris for vacancy.

There is a well-known building in Al Riwais Area near Prince Sultan Aviation Academy ( old building of The American School) call Jeddah Rock , Almost every single guy that I know how moved to Jeddah started their life in the city by living at that building. Its clean and furnished with the basics, you can pay weekly or monthly and it’s very affordable …

ahmadaq posted on the thread Swimming/Swimming Pools on the Jeddah forum

Sorry for the late replly, Had a crazy active weekend with no time to log-in

It has been sometime since I was last at any of the three, but when I use to go there, one will need membership to use the facilities at both King Fahad Coastal City and Sport .For Al Ahli Club, yes you can pay as you go

ahmadaq posted on the thread Swimming/Swimming Pools on the Jeddah forum


Have a look at;
King Fahad Coastal City- Near Jeddah chamber of commerce and industry
Al Ahli Club- East End of Tahlia Street
Sport Village- Qurish Street

ahmadaq posted on the thread Kite surf lessons on the Jeddah forum


Few months ago I met the group that does kite Surfing in South of Jeddah (near an area that uses to be known as The Americans Beach). They are really Bubbly group and the guy who trains them called Adham. Not sure if the group still existing, but give it a try.

I remember reading an article on Kite Surfing some time ago in Destination Jeddah Magazine, you can find it online.

ahmadaq posted on the thread Good Coffee in Jeddah? on the Jeddah forum

Bonnon Café is a good option as well as Tim Hortons (the Canadian Brand) now open in Red Sea Mall.

If you want to go the extra mile and look for top brands like Illy and others then you can try Konouz Coffee House, it’s the main supplier for good coffee in Jeddah and they are located in Al Fay’ha area Tel: 6301878, the map in this like will help you find it

http://www.daleeli.com/en/profile/%D9%8 … 8%A9/47090


ahmadaq posted on the thread Help: Jeddah Compounds on the Jeddah forum


Am against compounds kind of a guy, since I think that they are overpriced for what they are and the extra freedom that you can enjoy  by living in one does not justify the price, especially since most of them were built on the 80’s and look oooold and outdated…

aaaanyways, thats only me  :(

Try with Elite 1 & 2 compound and Al Jandoul Compound

The last one is behind Adham Center in Madinah Road and up to few years back it was a 100% Egyptians Compound. Most of the residents were professionals working for international pharmaceutical companies, not sure if it’s still the case tho.

ahmadaq posted on the thread Plant Nursery or Garden Store on the Jeddah forum

My Garden is looking great, and to be honest it had changed our lifestyle to the better.

Don’t buy the Locally made or the Egyptian imported clay pots , they disintegrate within the first year. If you like Clay Pots (like me) then use the imported Vietnamese or Italian ones.

You must mix your peat moss with Sand that you can buy from any plants nursery ( Sands from the valleys near Jeddah so it will contain less Salt)

For Peat moss, plastic pots, seeds, chemicals…etc  the best places to buy them are from the many  agriculture shops in King Khalid Road ( Kilo-2 )

Don’t fertilize the plants during the summer months

If you don’t want to start all over every Autumn, you must provide your plants with shade during summer months. I use the green plastic sheets that will look as a tent when install, buy at least the ones that give you 50% shade (The one I have is 70%).

If you like to grow your own food then your best chance are with; Okra, Roselle, sweet potato, Molokhia, Onion, Sugar Can, Annona, Mint, Kidney bean and sage ( tried them all and it was great) . If you have some space, then  try Mango, Papaya and local small Lemon.

Good Luck with your Garden

ahmadaq posted on the thread I need German native speaker on the Jeddah forum

They will tell you that it’s for staff only, but don’t give up and be insistence and you can work out something with them or at least with one of the German teachers there