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Just Arrived in KSA? Let’s Get You Settled

Welcome to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), a charming land of rich history and modern marvels! In addition to experiencing the local cultures and learning about the famous Arabic hospitality, you will quickly learn how welcoming and friendly Saudis can be. Let’s walk you through the points you would need to know.

The Kingdom

There are some interesting places to visit in Saudi itself. Saudi Arabia is as diverse in its landscapes as it is in its culture and traditions, from desert fortresses and mountain ranges to magnificent fish and coral reefs.

Riyadh is rapidly becoming a major player on the global stage, with plans to become one of the top 10 economies in the world by 2030. The Saudi capital is set to double in size, with its population increasing from 7.5 million to 15 million.

Being in Saudi Arabia is a total feast for your taste buds too! You’re in for a treat with all kinds of culinary adventures. Get ready to dive into traditional Middle Eastern delights like tabbouleh and hummus, or take a global tour with Italian, French, and Indian flavors.

If you’re all about boosting that bank account, Saudi Arabia’s where it’s at! They’ve got those tax-free salaries, fat paychecks, and seriously awesome perks that turn it into a goldmine for anyone aiming to make the big bucks.

Don’t underestimate the awesome perks that come with the high standard of living in Saudi Arabia. It’s a sweet deal – lower living costs compared to the UK, but way higher wages. That’s like hitting the jackpot for your wallet and your lifestyle. Plus, expats get to enjoy the best of both worlds – saving money while still having access to fancy luxuries like drivers, maids, nannies, and gardeners. It’s like living the “good life” without breaking the bank!

If you’ve recently arrived or are planning to make KSA your new home, here is your guide to help you settle in smoothly and make the most of your time here. Let’s explore some important aspects of getting adjusted to life in KSA, including obtaining your Iqama, finding a cozy home, dealing with the weather, setting up a bank account, getting a local SIM card, and exploring work opportunities. Are you ready for an adventure? Let’s dive in!

The climate

KSA’s climate is branded by its hot and dry weather, especially during the summer months. Embrace the sunshine and plunge yourself into the unique desert landscape! To stay comfortable during the hot days, always keep yourself hydrated and wear breathable clothing. Take full advantage of the air-conditioned indoor spaces, which are a refreshing escape from the outside temperatures. During the cooler months, enjoy the pleasant weather and take the opportunity to explore the kingdom’s stunning natural beauty.

December through February are the coolest months, with average temperatures of 74 °F (23 °C) in Jeddah, 58 °F (14 °C) in Riyadh, and 63 °F (17 °C) in Al-Dammm. The country experiences hot summers from June through August, with daily lows in the shade reaching 100 °F (38 °C) in the whole country.

The Iqama

The pass to everything at KSA is your Iqama or you address it as the residency permit. This important document allows you to access a wide range of services, such as opening a bank account, obtaining a driver’s license, and enrolling in healthcare.

To get your Iqama, your employer or sponsor will assist with the application process. The application process for iqama is long and complicated but with the right guidance, you’ll have it in your hand in no time. Foreign employees can only have work visas that last 1 year, and these are renewable. It is possible to get a family iqama for any dependents you or your employees might have. Once you have it, you’ll feel like a true part of the KSA community!

The housing

KSA offers a huge variety of housing options to provide to all your various preferences and budgets. Whether you’re seeking the lively city life of Riyadh, the coastal magic of Jeddah, or the historical ambiance of Al Khobar, you’ll find a plethora of choices.

To kickstart your house-hunting adventure, consider connecting with local real estate agents who have a detailed understanding of the market and can guide you in finding the perfect residence. Alternatively, explore online platforms like “Aqar” and “OpenSooq”, which offer a wide-ranging selection of available properties. When selecting your new home, take into account factors such as proximity to your workplace, local amenities, schools for families, and lifestyle preferences.

The bank

Setting up a bank account in KSA is a straightforward process, and there are abundant local and international banks to choose from. To open an account, you’ll need to give your passport, Iqama, and proof of address. Various banks offer online banking services, making it convenient to manage your finances on the go. Whether you’re looking to save, invest, or simply manage your day-to-day transactions, the banking services in KSA have got you covered!

The local SIM cards

With a local SIM card, keeping in touch with loved ones and taking benefit of everything KSA has to offer is simple. To meet your communication needs, main telecom companies like STC, Mobily, and Zain provide a choice of prepaid and postpaid plans. At their stores, booths in malls, or even at the airport upon arrival, you can buy a SIM card. You may effortlessly phone, text, and use data services if you have a local number.

Some additional tips

  • Get healthcare insurance: Medical costs in the KSA can be huge and non-affordable at times, having health insurance will help you get by those unexpected expenses. You can get health insurance through your employer or by purchasing it privately.
  • Learn Arabic: The official language of Saudi Arabia is Arabic, learning it will make you feel more comfortable around and help you get along with people. You can learn Arabic by taking classes, using online resources, or by talking to people who speak Arabic.


Starting a new chapter of life in a new country can be exciting as well as stressful. With all the valuable information about the Iqama, housing, banking, SIM cards, and climate, we hope your stress has been reduced a little. The KSA has huge things to offer you, with its unique culture, modern vibes, and captivating landscapes. The enchanting land of KSA awaits you and is waiting for you to make a mark on it!