Most Filipinos feel trepidation at the thought of living and working elsewhere other than the Philippines. Our extended Christmas holidays, our outsize families, and our way of life are just like nowhere else. What makes countless of our countrymen still go to live and work in Saudi Arabia is because it simply is a great place to live in. Here are the top five reasons why.

1. Compensation.

Saudi Arabian employers pay more, not to mention all the other non-monetary benefits like paid vacation of up to 30 days, free housing, and free flights back home at least once a year. There’s also no income tax. That’s right. Nada. Zilch. If we go to work anywhere else in the world, we get taxed. In the Philippines, we get docked as much as 32 percent of our take-home pay. Work in Saudi Arabia and you take home everything.

living Saudi Arabia

2. Career Growth.

No employer in the world would ever look at a résumé with a stint in Saudi Arabia and say, “This person would find it hard to adjust here.” Work in Saudi Arabia for a year and it’s like you’re investing in yourself.

living Saudi Arabia

3. Culture.

Ever heard of Arabian Nights? Bedouin tribesmen riding in their camels and smoking shisha at the end of the day? Not to mention opening up your palate to a whole new array of food you have never even heard of. The Saudi Arabian workforce is also very diverse. You will get to meet people from different parts of the world. Take advantage of this period to learn as much as you can. As they say, take the good, and discard the bad.

living Saudi Arabia

4. Travel.

If you work in Saudi Arabia, you’re one of the few who can travel to ancient citadels, colorful souks, historic mosques, and several archaeological sites. The Kingdom does not grant tourist visas, so if you work there, grab the opportunity to explore.

living Saudi Arabia

5. Experience of a Lifetime.

This is literally a period of your life that you can tell your grandchildren about when you’re old and gray.At the end of it all, how you experience a country is up to you. The best experience can be bitter when filtered through a closed mind. Open your mind to possibilities, reach out to people, and you just might be surprised if you find yourself staying for a decade.

Pictures attribution CC BY 2.0