Do remember that Saudi Arabia is a very restricted society and it is quite rare to find women working, except probably as teachers, doctors and nurses. Life could be quite taxing for working women, particularly in the medical and teaching professions. However, it all depends on the individual requirement, as mentioned in my earlier post, how far one is willing to go. All said and done, woman expatriates do get paid reasonably well, depending on their skill set.
Some of the wives of expatriates working in Saudi Arabia do keep themselves occupied though. You can find excellent private tutors for children, translators, etc. However, all these occupations are strictly on one to one basis and purely private arrangements between individuals.
Usually, it is quite rare or rather even impossible to find working women among expatriates who are without their families. The only exception to this is nursing profession. Generally, the husband would also be working in the same city as the wife. Very rarely does the wife get separate sponsorship by her company and most of the time it is the husband who is her sponsor. In all such cases, the working wife must ensure that she bargains well with her employer citing that the processing charges for her visa are borne by her husband. She must also not forget that if her husband is the sponsor, then all expenses like annual tickets to the home country, renewal of work permit (called iqama) etc., are usually borne by the husband only. So, she must keep all this in mind while negotiating her salary with her employer. Make sure everything in the contract is written in black and white and do not sign any document on verbal assurances.
Nurses are usually housed in either the hospital quarters or in private houses. Usually, the hospitals arrange for regular shopping trips to downtown, to enable them to buy their essentials, as women aren't allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia.
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