So you have scored yourself that dream job in Saudi Arabia. Congratulations! You’re now considered a modern hero, not just by your kid, but by a whole country. Here are some tips to help make your years in Saudi Arabia fruitful.

  1. Do find out more about your terms of employment, what is included in your benefits, your renewal options, and most especially your exit visa. Arm yourself with knowledge about your rights and benefits as an OFW.
  2. Do familiarize yourself with the different business hours. Also, take into consideration that everything closes down during their times of prayer. This will help you plan your off days accordingly.
  3. Do research about the cost of living so that you’ll know how much you can expect to spend, save, and send home. Compute how much rice you consume in a given month, say 10 kilos. Given that it is PhP80 – 100 a kilo, you can begin budgeting.
  4. Do learn some phrases in Arabic. You don’t need to be an expert, but an A salaám Alaikum as a greeting is not a bad start. Thank you, welcome, and good day won’t come amiss, either.
  5. Do be careful when posting anything on social media. Think about your stay in the Kingdom as akin to that of a guest in a stranger’s house. You will not do anything untoward or say anything to offend your host, would you now? As for Instagram, don’t take pictures of people. I know, right? Simple, but this might get you in trouble with the locals.
  6. Don’t try to shake hands upon introduction. This is a different culture, but it does not mean it’s bad, just conservative.
  7. Don’t be seen with a woman who is not your wife. If she’s your wife, have the documents to prove it. For single women, make sure that you always have your transportation ready to and from work.
  8. Don’t bring in alcohol, pork products, and religious items. If you are a porkaholic and a Friday night type of person, indulge yourself while you’re still in your country and say an emotional goodbye to all your haunts in order to get closure.
  9. Don’t criticize the King, their flag, or Islam. This may sound like common sense, but most of us have gotten used to the freedom to criticize everything. This is a different country with different laws.
  10. Don’t ever lose your Iqama. As Gandalf said, guard it with your life.

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