Saudi Arabia: Relocation Services Required


Most expatriates who come to Saudi Arabia to work and live are generally provided housing through their employer.  Saudi is not as simple as New York or London or Hong Kong where it is easy to view rentals and having a competent local help one learn the lay of the land.  To begin with most rentals will require a minimum of six months rent in advance.  Most landlords expect to have one year’s rent paid upfront.  Unfortunately once the rent has been paid there is not a strong incentive to respond to requests for maintenance.  Many expatriates are surprised when seeking to rent in Saudi that a house or an apartment is truly a “shell” which needs to be filled.  Even the kitchen will be an empty room and the tenant is expected to acquire cupboards, cabinets and appliances.  Yes; there are many stores in Saudi Arabia which specialize in “kitchens on wheels” which are kitchen sets with counters, cabinets and cupboards that are on wheels and fitted to the specifications of the kitchen.  Not all homes or apartments in Saudi will have a furnace or heating unit.  That may not be necessary depending in what area one lives.  Yet how do you sort through finding the right place to call home?  Interacting with a landlord?  Knowing that you’ve chosen the right neighborhood for yourself?  Exactly how does one get settled in?


I think Saudi relocation services would be an excellent business opportunity for enterprising graduates.  Who knows a neighborhood or lay of the land better than a native?  I can envision many expatriates drawn to a service where they are able to easily interact with a Saudi who listens and responds to their needs and who will take them to view properties as well as showing and teaching them about the local area.  What an excellent venue for adapting to each other’s society and culture.  Such a service could be expanded from relocation services to seminars on customs, cultures and food.  Abdullah and I had talked about establishing such a service but our paths went a different direction.  Saudi relocation services could be available in all of the Kingdom’s major cities as well as the smaller towns which are also known for expatriate hires.


I have written in the past from the perspective of an expatriate about housing and settling in to the Kingdom.  I’ve focused on the single woman and where she can live to the couple who wants to find the special home. But a Saudi would know so much more than an expatriate.  I’d love to hear from some new graduates who would be interested in pursuing such a venture.


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