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Saudi Arabia
Old 02-26-2014, 09:21 PM   #1
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Saudi Arabia

Hi everyone. My son just announced he has a six month gig in Saudi, he mentioned the Red Sea side. No specifics yet. He works in the Oil industry, 24 y/o. I'm concerned about his safety. Can anyone offer any personal insight? BTW I enjoyed reading Meadbh's "A feminist visits Saudi Arabia", thank-you!
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:11 PM   #2
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Long time no see, Ratface! Hope you are well.

I have not been back to KSA since 2009. I see that the US State Department currently does have a travel warning for Americans

Saudi Arabia Travel Warning

....though the Government of Canada does not have one for Canadians

Travel Advice and Advisories for Saudi Arabia

....and neither does the Government of the UK for its citizens

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/saudi-arabia

As always, most foreigners will be just fine provided they follow the rules and take appropriate precautions. If your son does go to KSA will he be accompanied by family?
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:04 AM   #3
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I have been working in KSA since 1996 (my wife since 2001), planning to stay until 2017, and have found that it is not any more "unsafe" than any other place in the world (actually it may even be much safer!).
The actual crime rates are low, and I have never personally been in a place/situation that made me extremely uncomfortable (I also do not go looking for such places!).
I used to live (up to 2002) across the street from the Oasis Compound before the attack in Al-Khobar happened on the 29th of May 2004 and my company used to be headquartered in the Petroleum Centre:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Khobar_massacre
Please note however that I would not count this as a normal occurrence, just like what happened in Boston is not a normal occurrence (I did not put this in here for shock value but just to demonstrate that bad things can happen anywhere, at any time just watch the evening news for what happens inside the USA let alone overseas).
I do not find that being in Saudi is any different than being anywhere else, follow the rules, be respectful of local customs and courtesies and I would not see why a person would have a problem.
The biggest problem that I have seen from American Expats working here is their adaptability to the “culture shock” if they have never left the USA before (most Americans have not).
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:42 AM   #4
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I left KSA the end of 1988, so I have no idea what's going on there now......except that, if he's on the west coast, he'll be further away from the Wahhabis (albeit closer to Yemen if he's in Abha.....not a bad little town when I visited), than if he was further east.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:16 AM   #5
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I'm doing very well Meadbh, thanks for asking. Coming up on five years for me in July. To answer you question he is traveling alone. Do work communities live always on a compound? From my research it seems everyone lives in a gated compound of sorts? Just trying to get a mental image of everyday life there.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:24 AM   #6
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I'm doing very well Meadbh, thanks for asking. Coming up on five years for me in July.
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Yanbu
Old 03-18-2014, 10:44 AM   #7
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Yanbu

updating information. Destination is Yanbu on the Red Sea. Staying in one of the hotels. So, Anyone been to Yanbu?
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:30 AM   #8
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My brother worked in KSA for a while. He found it to be very safe, but he & his wife could not deal with the anti-woman attitudes, so they left. IIRC, that was their only complaint.

If you're male, can live without alcohol, pork, porn, external displays of any non-islamic religion, and remain unaffected by their attitude towards women, you'll be fine.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:51 PM   #9
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If you're male, can live without alcohol, pork....
Literally everyone on our compound made their own wine, and a buddy of mine, (trained as a chemist), even built a still in his villa; (plus, you can always buy siddiqui (moonshine))......and we were often offered pork, (or 'round-nosed beef' as it was commonly called), which was flown in (ostensibly by a US government 'agency' whose contract allowed them to have alcohol for their own usage).
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