Moving to Saudi Arabia for a new job – packing checklist

Moving to Saudi Arabia is exciting but you need to prepare and pack properly. Besides the extreme climate, do not forget KSA is a conservative country, therefore you have to meet the standards regarding clothing, especially in public space. Here is the packing checklist that will make your packing easier.

Moving to Saudi Arabia – packing checklist

The culture is different so you have to follow the rules and fit in. It’s definitely a challenge to pack for hot weather but still meet their standards. It also hard to pack for international relocation in general. Here’s a packing checklist that might help you out a little.

The interior of a building in Saudi Arabia
It’s important to follow the rules and fit in. The culture is different so you have to work hard to adjust.

Thawb for man and Abayas for women

The best option for a man is to wear Thawb, an Arab garment with a long sleeve and coming down to the ankle. It covers the whole body and you’ll fit into the local culture. Even though it’s long, it is refreshing to wear it because of its loose material so the air flows well underneath. Women are, by Islamic standards, expected to wear black abayas and use a headscarf. In less conservative regions, it’s still possible to get around the Abaya and wear other Western clothes. Just make sure they are decent and covering the whole body. For example, skinny jeans or long but tight dresses highlighting a women’s curves are not good.

Sun cream and comfortable walking shoes

You are already aware of the fact what kind of climate Saudi Arabia has. Make sure to bring sun cream so you don’t burn. Bringing good comfortable walking shoes or even better, sandals. There are a lot of walking areas so make sure to be comfortable.

A light jacket or something a bit warmer

Yes, we know we just said how extreme the climate is. But, this is not the case indoors. And you’ll be working in an office or visiting a moll or something indoors at some point. So, make sure to have something with you as the indoor climate tends to get cooler in order to help you recover from the outside warmth.

Items you should NOT bring

Some of the things are strictly forbidden in KSA. Here are the things you should not bring with you:

  • Alcohol
  • Any type of sexual and offensive materials
  • Any symbols implying other religions than Islam like religious books or similar items

It is still not that clear what’s exactly forbidden to take to Saudi Arabia. However, the above-mentioned items are most definitely illegal in KSA. 

alcohol bottles that are forbidden to bring when moving to Saudi Arabai
The possession and consumption of alcohol are forbidden in Saudi Arabia.

Moving to Saudi Arabia

International relocation is already stressful enough, especially when moving for a job. You have so many things to worry about regarding visas and other bureaucracy. This is exactly why hiring moving professionals is the best decision you can make. This will ensure you a stress-free relocation. Whether it’s packing or transportation, whatever help you may need professional movers are operating on a different scale and offering numerous moving services.

Transportation of your personal belongings

Transporting your belongings yourself, especially internationally can be tricky. This is why you’ll need the services of a moving company like Four Winds KSA. It is definitely worth paying extra for the professionals to pack your possessions for you. Since your items will be transported a long distance, you have to make sure they are well-protected. You should also point out in case you have any fragile or important items so they can carefully wrap and pack them.

Moving to Saudi Arabia – cultural differences and shock

It is of utmost importance to do detailed research regarding Saudi Arabia’s laws. Like we’ve already mentioned, this is a different culture. There are things you should be aware of before the move. Public display of affection is considered inappropriate in public, not even hand-holding. Alcohol is not allowed. Neither the possession nor consumption. You should also be careful when it comes to religious talks. Possession of any type of religious book that’s not Muslim is illegal.

A religion centered country

Moving to Saudi Arabia requires a lot of flexibility if you are not used to living in a restrictive society. Their hospitality well known, but that does not mean they will not tolerate any type of behavior showing disrespect to their culture or religion. Foreigners are expected to follow all the written and unwritten rules of the local life. Remember, you are the one who needs to adjust. However, some areas are more conservative than others. Riyadh, the capital, is very conservative whereas Jeddah, although following the way of Allah, is more relaxed.

Great Mosque of Mecca
Moving to Saudi Arabia means you’ll have to adjust to some of the written and unwritten rules regarding religion.

Working in Saudi Arabia

Workplaces in the private sector are international, with a mix of ex-pats from all over the world. Meetings usually take place around prayer times. In case you are about to meet Saudi women you may choose not to shake hands with her. They aren’t allowed to do so unless it’s someone they are related to; not even as an introduction. Another fun fact – get ready to work on Sunday! In KSA, the weekend is Friday – the traditional day of rest in most of the Middle East – and Saturday. It will probably take some time for you to adjust to the workweek. But hey, at least you have Fridays off! Working hours may vary and they mostly work in split shifts. However, by law, you can only work eight hours a day which is pretty much the same.

You are all set for moving to Saudi Arabia

We hope this packing checklist was helpful. We’ve also provided some of the most important information regarding your Saudi Arabia relocation. Make sure to research as much as you can so you can readily embrace the culture shock you will probably receive. Good luck!

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