Monday, October 15, 2007

Working women in Saudi Arabia

Working in Saudi Arabia could be a challenge, particularly for women. Unfortunately, only a few professions are open for working women. Teachers, Doctors, Nurses and house maids are a few of those jobs which women are allowed to work. Usually, working women find it easier if their husbands also work in the same city. For those who are not accompanied by their husbands, life could be quite uncomfortable.

Driving by women is prohibited in the kingdom. Hence, commutation could be a problem because you are dependent on some one else to drive you around. Usually, single working women stay together in the same apartment. They enter into a private arrangement with some transporter or their sponsor takes care of their transport to work.

Many teachers do part-time jobs at home taking tuitions. Qualified teachers are in great demand in the kingdom and private tuitions for the kids is big business. Some women also do translation work sitting from the comfort of their homes. There are also painting classes, music classes, etc., by women but all of these are strictly on one to one basis as a private arrangement.
House maids have a tough work cut out for themselves. Some countries have prohibited their nationals from working as maids in Saudi Arabia due to fleecing and physical abuse by their sponsors. Of course, there are good sponsors who treat their maids properly, but in majority of the cases they are not.
There is almost no social life for single working women in Saudi Arabia. Those with their husbands also visit other families for social interaction as there is not much by way of entertainment. However, on a short-term perspective, particularly for doctors and nurses, expatriate working women can save quite some money as they are paid reasonably well.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this nice site.

Expatguru said...

Great to know that you liked this site. Do let me know if you want me to cover any other topic that would interest you.

Amna said...

this is really good site and it has helped me alot in understanding the enviorment of saudia...actually i have recently shifted here in riyadh...want to know how can i find job (any just to keep my self busy).

any good site available or through some job hunter.

Expatguru said...

Glad that you liked my site, Amna. Unfortunately for expatriate women, only medical and teaching professions are open. If you are in the medical line, you may contact any hospital nearby. If you just want to teach, I guess just approach any good international school in Riyadh. You may also like to register with the Headhunter whose ad appears at the top of this blog, as he specializes in Gulf jobs.

Since you have just shifted recently to Riyadh, over a period of time you will establish contacts with other families. Privated tuitions would be a great way to keep yourself busy and also make some money. Good luck in your endeavour and do keep visiting this blog!

Hussain Ratlamwala said...

Dear Guru,
Can my wife work as a beautician in any beauty parlour? Or can she cater to other women from home? Does she need a licence of sorts to start her own beauty parlour? Thanks in advance for the reply
Regards
Hussain

Expatguru said...

Hussain,

As long as your wife works from home unofficially (i.e., by word of mouth), there is no problem. But opening a shop and carrying it out in a large scale definitely needs a license from the Municipality.

Anonymous said...

i'm going to riyadh soon as a single woman, can I travel abroad on my own?? i'm not Muslim

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Yes, you may, provided you have a valid exit / re-entry visa.

അബ്ദുല്‍ അസീസ് വേങ്ങര said...

dear sir;
ur post is very nice. i'm working in saudi. can u give me you g-mail id or add me azeeznm@gmail.com

Expatguru said...

Azeez,

Thanks for your comments. I would prefer to be contacted only through the comment form here and not through my private email id. Hope you understand.

Anonymous said...

Dear Guru,
I have a question about working as a maid in Saudi. I am Australian and have a chance to travel with a family to Saudi as their nanny/maid. After their 12 month contract has expired will I be able to get work as a maid for another family. It does seem most maids there are Asian, will being a westerner be benificial or a hinderance.
Blessings,
Kim.

Expatguru said...

Kim,

Expatriate families cannot sponsor maids legally. Only Saudis can. I do not know how the family you are referring to is sponsoring you as a maid (unless they are Saudi, of course). I would strongly advise you to reconsider your decision to come to Saudi as a maid.

Anonymous said...

Dear Guru,
Thank you for your advise.I should have given you more info. We thought that I would travel not as their maid but as a family member. Work for them (to pay off ticket)for the 12 months then find other employment as a maid. This would allow me to stay a while longer. I know a little of the maid/sponsor arangements there but hopefully I can bypass the system???

Blessings,
Kim.


Kim.

Expatguru said...

What you are planning is not bypassing the system but cheating. Please, there are other legal ways to enter the kingdom even as a maid. Do not even try this. You simply cannot fake that you are a family member, because you have to prove the same by documents such as birth certificates, etc., which need to be attested by your Government's Foreign Affairs Ministry.

If you do want to work here as a maid, try approaching any of the recruitment agencies in your country and come to the kingdom legally - you can hold your head high, need not fear anyone and can go back with dignity.

dadu said...

Dear Guru
You are doing a fantastic job.. its really very helpful...I would like to know to whether to take permanent or visit visa for my family do i need to show bank a/c statement. I can manage the sponsor letter. My position in the iqama is engineer.

Expatguru said...

Dadu,

The reason why showing your bank account statement is preferred is to know your capacity to support your family. You can definitely submit your application without this too, but then you have the risk of getting rejected by some officer who may insist on it.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I have one question. Can woman works offshore in Saudi?

Thanks,
Anne

Expatguru said...

Anne,

Legally there is nothing which prevents women from working offshore. The only issue is the mindset of companies who do not wish to hire women for such jobs.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the post. I wanted to know if a woman who is not native English speaker but have done her honours and then after taking tefl/celta (can't remmember which one is for graduates) course if she wants to teach women in Saudi (part time),is that possible? She has studied in UK in Accounting and can speak English fluently. So, can she work as an English language teacher? Also, how much will she get if she works part time?

Thank you

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Please fill in your query using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for this consultancy, which would ensure that you get a personalized reply.

Lena said...

I am a business undergraduate. Are there any chances for me to find a job in saudi?

I am a woman and a male saudi friend invited me to saudi. Is it safe to visit him? We are not relatives.

Expatguru said...

Lena,

Due to the extremely huge number of queries I get daily, I have stopped giving free consultancy. If you are interested, please fill in your query using the link in the top right corner. I charge a nominal fee for this service which would give you a detailed personalized reply.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I with our 10 yrs old grandson are considering working on contract in Saudi Arabia, I am a sales executive here in the UK could I work in KSA?

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized and confidential reply by email.

Rennais said...

Hi I'm a 27 yearold Canadian female. I am thinking about moving to Jeddah and working there as an English teacher. I worked in Mexico for 2 years and enjoyed it. However, I realize Saudi culture and value system are quite different. I can handle the dresscode and teaching, but if I want to go to the grocery store or meet other people my age, how does that work as according to many articles there are no movie theatres and I cannot travel alone?
Please note: visually I am of Carribbean descent, I'm not sure if that works in my favor.

Expatguru said...

Rennais,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link given in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized and confidential reply by email.

kaneesh said...

hi my name is kaneesh

recently i got one offer from suadi ie from saudi transformers as design engineer.
they hv selected me as design engineer.but they are providing me quality control examiner visa.
my question is
1)is that visa is same as engineer visa.
2)in my offer letter family status is there(whether i am eligible to bring my family along with me with this visa ?)
3)can i travel all gcc countries with this visa like engineer visa
4)my degree certificate is not attested in saudi embassy but attested in kuwait embassy before)

please advice is thr any problem for going with this visa
Looking forward to yoru reply

Expatguru said...

Kaneesh,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized reply by email.

Anonymous said...

I'm an architect. Openings came up in international office in Saudi. It seems I will have hard time once I step outside of the office?

Ex[atguru said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

It totally depends on what you want. In case you have specific queries, I would be glad to be of help. Please fill them in the form in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized reply by email.

Anonymous said...

hi,
i would like a help from u.i m a finance student and looking forward to a internship or little work experince in corporate sector.i would like to know about women in corporate sector in saudia arabia.specially related to my profession.i need to knw where should i start from wat is needed for me to do.
please help me out!thank u
husna

Expatguru said...

Husna,

Unfortunately, you will never find women in corporate sector in Saudi Arabia. For expat women, the only professions allowed are as doctors, nurses and teachers. Saudi women need a male companion as per local laws, so you will hardly find any women at corporate sector. You will find women in neighboring countries like UAE, Qatar, etc., in your profession. All the best.

Margo said...

This is extremely helpful and direct information. Thank you for this blog.

My husband and I are applying to teach English in Saudi. We both have Masters' degrees (not in English). If only he gets hired I plan to move with him and bring our two children. What would be the best way for me to find work once we're there?
I have heard and read of many sub-par contracting services and do not want to get stuck in a bad job.

Thank you.
M

Expatguru said...

Margo,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized and confidential reply by email.

Anonymous said...

is a labour room nurse allowed to apply for a family visa

Expatguru said...

No

zeeshan said...

hi,
i am a doctor and my wife has just got a translator's visa, does this fall in professional category? can she get exit re-entry visa easily on this

Expatguru said...

Zeeshan,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized reply by email.

Anonymous said...

I want to ask that how likely is it for a Master chemical engineer student from Kaust to be hired (if Asian female)?
Also, is there any discrimination against asian female in workplace (say saudi aramco or company that have international employee)

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized and confidential reply by email.

fathima said...

Dear Sir,
I'm an Indian and a fresh M.E graduate . I'm in visit visa in Saudi Arabia with my husband. Could i know whether it is possible to get teaching job in either school or college ? If so, will i be given permanent visa by them?

Expatguru said...

Fathima,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized and confidential reply by email.