The Leslie Corporation
 
WELCOME TO LESLIECORP.COM
r e c r u i t i n g  e x c e l l e n c e  s i n c e   1 9 7 7
Most of these questions refer to living and working in Saudi Arabia

Am I paid in U.S. Dollars or the local currency?
What am I allowed to take with me?
What should I not take with me?
Do I have to surrender my passport?
How is the medical care?
What is the typical work week?
Can I attend church services?
Can I take my Bible into Saudi Arabia?
Are there any vaccinations or special medical requirements?
What is the weather like?
Can I take a pet with me?
What is there to do for recreation?
Are there any age limits to working in the Middle East?
Are women expats from the US and Canada employed in the Middle East?
What are the typical benefits offered to someone working in Saudi Arabia or another Middle Eastern country?
Can I take my family with me to Saudi Arabia?
Is there education available for my children?
Can my family visit me?

Am I paid in U.S. Dollars or the local currency?
When working in Saudi Arabia (which is where the great majority of jobs are) you are usually paid in the local currency which is the Saudi Riyal. However, the Saudi Riyal is tied to the U.S. Dollar and the exchange rate is stable at 3.75 Saudi Riyals per Dollar.

What am I allowed to take with me?
Most positions provide fully furnished housing as part of the benefit package. Typically, you are permitted to bring 2 large suitcases unless the client company has a provision allowing excess baggage to be brought along. We suggest that you take mostly clothing because western style clothing is available but quite expensive.

What should I not take with me?
In Saudi Arabia, forbidden items include alcohol, illegal drugs, pornography of any type and any pork products. You should not take kitchen utensils or bedding unless you have an excess baggage allowance as these products are readily available and inexpensive. U.S. televisions and VCR's will not work in Saudi Arabia as they use the European PAL broadcast standard.

Do I have to surrender my passport?
The company that employs you is your official sponsor and they are required to hold your passport when you are in the Kingdom. They are responsible for your financial well being as well as being held accountable for you if you get into legal trouble. Duplicate passports can be obtained from the U.S. government or Embassy if you wish to hold a passport.

How is the medical care?
Medical care in Saudi Arabia is good as most hospitals are accredited by the same organization that accredits U.S. hospitals.  Some medications are not as readily available as they are in the U.S. but can be shipped in easily.

What is the typical work week?
Most business works a 5 day, 40 hour week. The days of rest are Thursday and Friday.

Can I attend church services?
Many expatriates gather in small, informal worship services. Saudi Arabia is officially a Moslem state and they do not sanction other worship services officially.

Can I take my Bible into Saudi Arabia?
Yes, you are generally allowed to bring your Bible or other religious items with you as long as they are not intended to be used to try to convert Muslims.

Are there any vaccinations or special medical requirements?
For travel to most of the Middle East there are no required vaccinations. During the Hajj season (the annual pilgrimage that Muslims make to the holy city of Mecca) it is sometimes required to obtain a hepatitis vaccination if you are traveling to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia which is close to Mecca. This is because of the huge number of third-world persons entering the country at one time. Most countries require a medical exam be passed in order to obtain a visa. The medical requirements include a chest x-ray, blood and urine tests and an aids test.

What is the weather like?
The summer months are very hot with temperatures reaching in excess of 110 degrees. The good part is that you get many months of almost ideal weather, with highs in the 70's and 80's. A jacket or windbreaker is generally the heaviest coat needed. Imagine you will be living in Phoenix or Las Vegas and you have a good idea of the weather conditions.

Can I take a pet with me?
Dogs are frequently taken by expatriates to Saudi Arabia. A certificate from a veterinarian is required as well as several other documents. There is no quarantine required. It is much more difficult (if not impossible) to take a cat.

What is there to do for recreation?
There are no bars, nightclubs or movie theaters. In general, recreation consists of sporting activities of all types, special interest clubs, socializing, sightseeing and shopping. Video rentals are widely available.

Are there any age limits to working in the Middle East?
Retirement is at age 60 based on the Hejra calendar. When you are 55 years old based on the Gregorian calendar (the one we use in the U.S.), you are approximately 58 years old when computed on the Hejra calendar. Therefore, most business' in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries do not prefer to hire above the age of 55 when computed on the Gregorian calendar.

Are women employed in the Middle East?
The various Arab countries have different policies on this issue. In Saudi Arabia, women work but mainly in positions within the medical and teaching fields. Many of the wives of candidates that we have sent to Saudi Arabia have found gainful employment there.

What are the typical benefits offered to someone working in Saudi Arabia or another Middle Eastern country?
Although each company varies somewhat in the benefits offered to an expat employee, there are some standard benefits. Free housing with paid utilities, free in- country medical insurance, 30 days paid vacation, a car or a transportation allowance and at least one round trip ticket back to your home of origin each year are standard.

Can I take my family with me to Saudi Arabia?
Yes and no. If you are hired on a family status contract then your family is allowed to join you after you have completed your probationary period (usually 90 days). Many companies prefer to hire on a bachelor status and this is becoming more common because of the tremendous expense involved in bringing family members over. If you are hired on a bachelor status, your family can visit you in Saudi and stay for 90 days each visit.

Is there education available for my children?
Yes, there are many private English schools in Saudi Arabia and the other Middle Eastern countries. However, in Saudi, there is no education beyond the 9th grade for non-Saudis. Some Americans in Saudi Arabia choose to enroll their children in the British school system where they can complete high school and then take a GED exam for American equivalency. Many families choose to "home school" their children. All of the private schools in Saudi and the other Middle East countries are equal to the finest private schools in the US. Some companies pay for child education and some do not. Costs average around $6000 per year per student with some discounts given for additional children from the same family.

Can my family visit me?
If you are employed on a single status contract, your family can visit you after securing a visit visa. Visitors are allowed to stay for up to 90 days.

Our Most Frequently Asked Questions