Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Old wine in a new bottle!

This is probably not an appropriate title to use for a blog post from Saudi Arabia! Nevertheless, I thought it was apt for this particular post. Yes, your favorite blog has now got a brand new look.
Just thought that a third column was required to avoid clutter. Also added a few useful tools for your convenience. I am very keen to know your feedback. Do let me know your views on the new look of this site - great? lousy? just okay? - any comment is welcome from you, dear readers. Also, if you want me to add or delete something, I would do the same.
So, what are you waiting for? Just drop in your comments right away.


Faisal said...

Looks neat, Expatguru. Keep up the good work!

Mohammed Israr said...

This is really a nice effort to help the expatriates community in Saudi Arabia. Even I have a blog on Indians working in Gulf. We can add each others links for reaching out more appropriately. Check my website at http://gulfindians.co.nr/

Expatguru said...

Thanks, Faisal. Glad that you liked it.

Mohammed, thanks for visiting my blog and for your comments.

Asher said...

I love ur blog guru....hmmm constructive feedback.... the color combination still needs some work man....



Arslan said...

Brillian stuff! thanks . can i email you directly?

Expatguru said...


Thanks. I realize the layout still needs some fine tuning. Just let me know where the improvement is to be done.

Expatguru said...


Thanks for your comments. I would prefer if you leave your message here because it becomes difficult to separate my private mails from those related to this blog. If you do not want any message to be published, I would not do so, butyou will have to mention the same in your query. Hope you understand.

Arslan said...

Loved the article on living in Saudi...I am muslim,asian and British and have been living in London all my life. I may be offered a role wth a bank in Riyadh. The package woud include travelling, housing allowance etc. I have a few questions and was hoping you'd be able to answer:

1) As a single male, what kind of challenges do you envisage me facing by living on my own over there? would it make a difference for me to socialise? is there anything for a single guy to do?
2) How expensive is the cost of living there? what kind of inflationary increases are there across the board on a yearly basis? and what is the minimum amount you think i would need to live comfortably on?
3) How hard would it be for friends to visit me? would they need to infor the ministry in advance? and if they do come rouind, would they need permission (as i assume i would) to go to another city? travel internally?
4) how bad is the beuracracy there? and how slow? can't embassies help with expediting driving licences etc?
5)I have also heard that it is also a racist place..ie the local population don't exactly welcome foreigners with open arms..would you say that this is true?
6)What do you think would be the major obstacles in residing in saudi? what would i have to completely give up on (apart from the alcohol etc).
7) do you think that working in an arab organsiation may hinder my career development internally? ie are promotions more political than on merit etc?
8)How safe is riyadh compared ot other places? also is it easy to reside on the compund? ie more to do and people to meet? (ie to minimise the chances of going stir crazy..!)
I really appreicate you taking time out of your busy schedule to answer these..hope you are well and still enjoying your time there!

Take care


Expatguru said...


You have asked so many questions which have already been covered earlier. Please look in the archives on the right hand side of this blog for earlier posts on almost each of your queries.

I can understand your anxiety before you relocate to an unknown country, but everything depends on how you view life. Working in Saudi Arabia is definitely a challenge, but as an expatriate, you cannot or should not expect the best of both worlds. Not that it is a bed of roses over here, but I can tell you with certainty that this is the best place in the Middle East where you can save money, if that is what you are looking at.

I would advise you to go through all my previous posts and get back if you still have any specific query. Cheers!

Asher said...


The baby pink color layout on either side as well as the baby pink color font on the top seems to be out of place.

Content wise u are the best any day :)


Expatguru said...

Thanks, Pat. Changed the same. The blog still needs some tweaking, for instance the bottom left sidebar, but there seems to be a bug in the HTML program and I am trying to fix the same.

Expatguru said...
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Expatguru said...
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Expatguru said...

This is a request to Syed Navas and to all other readers who are mailing to my private email id. I generally do not like to entertain any questions emailed to me, as I would like to separate my private email id from queries related to this blog. I request all such readers to post your queries only in the blog comments, rather than to my email id. Hope you understand.

lallay said...

Really, it is very nice blogs for expatriat. Thank you very much to help us.

Qazi Mahzar Hasan

sheila hare said...

Nice blog
I hope you don;t mind but I saw an article in Gulf News about your blog and I have put the information up on our website and forum.
We are Expat Network, www.expatnetwork.com if you want to have a look. A support organisation for expats, based in UK (you might already be a member). Anyway your blog is amazing, our members would be interested to read it.

Expatguru said...

Thanks, Sheila. Would you be kind enough to tell me the date in which it was published in Gulf News?

I am already a member of expatnetwork.com and it would be my pleasure to be introduced in the group.

Biju said...

Dear Expat Guru,
As per ur advise I attested my Eng.Diploma certificate from Indian Min.of External Affirs and Saudi consulate in India too.Now I need this certificate again get stamped from Saudi Arabia Min of External affairs,Riyadh? Need to make translation of my certificate to Arabic?
How could I chnge my Iqama from book to Card, as it will expired my middle of November?
Is it possible to change my profession from labor to Technicin by the time of Iqama renewal? how many days takes whole procedure?
Awaiting 4 ur reply.

saifulla. c.m.p said...

Thanks for your brilliant blog,You have done a great job.I would like to know some information regarding working in KSA ,I have got a job offer for a Mechanical Engineer from Saudi Arabia,Their offer letter tells my job contract is open contract,what is meant by an open contract in saudi arabia,They told me to get An engineer status VISA you should attest Your Degree certificate from MEA and Saudi Embassy,From your blog I understood that only the jobs in the supervisory level can bring their family to Saudi,and What are the other advantages that have for an Engineer VISA,I am very greatful for you for answering my these questions,

Expatguru said...


You must definitely get it translated into Arabic and attested by the Chamber of Commerce in your city. Unfortunately, there is no online link for profession change. Take your sponsor into confidence. With his help, you should submit all your documents for profession change. But, before that you better renew your iqama as time is very short. Once your iqama is renewed, start processing your profession change. It hardly matters whether you have card or book.

Expatguru said...


By open contract, it means that it can be terminated with one month notice on either side at any point of time. This type of contract has its own benefits and pitfalls and it all depends on the reputation of your employer. An engineer visa has its own advantages. You will be able to visit other GCC countries and obtain a visa on arrival. Bringing your family would be a lot more easier. When it comes to the crunch, people with engineer visa are usually among the last to be "Saudized" (i.e., replacing expats by locals).

Anonymous said...

Hi Expatguru...

Assalamu Alaikum

I'm enjoying reading a lot of comments on your blog. It gives a lot of information to a million expat working here in Kingdom...Would you mind to answer some of the question playing on my mind ..
First - What will be the effect of getting loans from the bank then going vacation and did not comeback or being terminated from job. Do the debtor obligation to pay or the company will shoulder it

Second - In case of that incident, Do they search the debtor in his/ her origin

Third one - In Islamic rules, Is it haram ..

Hoping for your response ....


Expatguru said...


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.