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Living in Riyadh: What You Need to Know Before You Move!

Living in Riyadh: What You Need to Know Before You Move!


Welcome to Riyadh, home to over 7.5 million residents, the vibrant heart of Saudi Arabia! This bustling metropolis, living in Riyadh offers a unique blend of tradition and innovation, weaving together a tapestry of history and modernity. From its humble beginnings as a desert oasis to its current status as a dynamic business hub, Riyadh has captivated the hearts of expatriates worldwide. 

Understanding Riyadh

Delving into Riyadh’s intricacies reveals a city brimming with contradictions and complexities. With a GDP surpassing $ 32,372, the city underscores its economic importance on both regional and global scales. Its journey from a quaint desert settlement to a cosmopolitan metropolis symbolizes the Kingdom’s rapid evolution. Riyadh’s multicultural tapestry celebrates the fusion of ancient customs with modern lifestyles.

Moreover, its economic significance reverberates across the globe, offering a myriad of avenues for growth and prosperity.

Climate and Weather

Riyadh’s desert climate delivers sweltering summers, averaging 43.6 °C (110.5 °F) in August, while winters offer mild relief. Rainfall is scant, except for March and April, with occasional dust storms hindering visibility. Coping with Riyadh’s extreme temperatures requires dressing lightly, staying hydrated, and seeking shelter during storms. Planning outdoor activities during the cooler months, from November to March, enhances comfort in this challenging climate.

Living in Riyadh

In line with Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s Housing Program collaborates with The Stage, a coworking space in Riyadh, to establish a dedicated meeting hub for housing enthusiasts, aiming to foster innovation and awareness. Living in Riyadh offers diverse housing options, from urban hubs to suburban havens, catering to varied lifestyles. Rental prices vary based on amenities and location. Understanding these dynamics for living in Riyadh empowers tenants to secure accommodations tailored to their needs.

Cost of Living in Riyadh

Navigating Riyadh’s financial landscape requires careful budgeting, and allocating resources for housing, transportation, groceries, and leisure. Compared to global cities, living in Riyadh offers competitive affordability, with lower expenses in housing and dining. 

However, healthcare and education costs must be considered. Statistics reveal a family of four’s estimated cost of living in Riyadh, excluding rent, at 472,441.9¥ (11,689.7﷼), while a single person’s costs are 131,033.8¥ (3,242.2﷼). Riyadh proves 9.2% cheaper than Tokyo, with rent 6.8% lower.

Employment Opportunities

Living in Riyadh offers an economic ecosystem that thrives on a diverse array of industries, offering a cornucopia of job prospects for aspiring professionals. The city’s robust job market is driven by key sectors including banking, healthcare, construction, and technology. The total unemployment rate (for Saudis and non-Saudis) dropped to 4.4% during the fourth quarter and this marked a decrease of 0.7%, reaching 5.1% during the third quarter of the year. Networking platforms, job fairs, and online portals serve as invaluable tools for job seekers looking to enhance their employment prospects.

  • Job Market Overview: Industries Driving Riyadh’s Economy

The job market in Riyadh is driven by several key industries, notably oil and gas, construction, healthcare, and information technology. The oil and gas sector has traditionally been the backbone of Riyadh’s economy, providing numerous high-paying jobs. 

However, with the government’s Vision 2030 aiming to reduce the kingdom’s dependence on oil, there has been significant investment in non-oil industries, leading to job creation in construction, healthcare, tourism, and the tech industry. These sectors are experiencing rapid growth, fueled by mega-projects like the King Abdullah Financial District and the Riyadh Metro project. Living in Riyadh offers opportunities in diverse sectors, reflecting the city’s evolving economy and expanding job market.

  • Finding Employment: Strategies for Job Seekers in Riyadh

Job seekers in Riyadh can optimize their employment search by leveraging online job portals, networking, and recruitment agencies. Building a professional online presence on platforms like LinkedIn can also enhance visibility to potential employers. Understanding the local job market and its requirements is crucial, including the need for certain professions to have specific certifications or licenses. Additionally, learning basic Arabic, though not always mandatory, can give candidates an edge in the job market. For those living in Riyadh, these strategies can significantly improve their chances of securing rewarding employment opportunities in the city.

  • Jobs Opportunities for Doctors in Riyadh

     For medical assistant recruiting agency, Riyadh offers a wealth of opportunities. 

  1. The city’s healthcare sector is booming, thanks to the government’s investment in health services and the construction of new hospitals and medical facilities.
  2. There is a high demand for doctors across various specializations, including general medicine, paediatrics, oncology, and more. 
  3. Foreign doctors in Riyadh are required to pass the Saudi Licensing Examination and obtain the necessary work visas.
  4. Working in Riyadh can be highly lucrative for medical professionals, offering competitive salaries, tax-free income, and other benefits such as housing and annual travel allowances.

Transportation and Mobility

Riyadh’s Transportation System offers a blend of public and private options. King Khalid International Airport, the city’s main hub, serves over 20 million passengers annually, set to expand dramatically by 2030. The Riyadh Metro, under construction, promises efficient travel with six lines. Saudi Railways connect Riyadh with major cities, while extensive highways facilitate road travel. For newcomers, understanding driving rules and utilizing public transit is key.

Healthcare Services

Living in Riyadh offers one of the best Healthcare services in the world. There are several possibilities for accessing healthcare in Riyadh. Private hospitals grew from 40 in 2017 to 46 in 2021, while the number of private sector hospital beds increased from 5,426 to 6,339 in the same time frame. Pharmaceutical companies dominate 55.4% of all private health facilities, followed by polyclinics at 23% and supported health services centres at 17.1%. Private hospitals make up 41.4% of all hospitals and private hospital beds up to 30.9% of all beds in Riyadh, with an average of 137.8 beds per hospital, it is imperative to understand health insurance. 


For those Living in Riyadh, which is home to 82% of private health institutions, locals can guarantee quick access to high-quality care by being familiar with insurance alternatives and healthcare facilities. Furthermore, considering the growth of the healthcare sector, individuals may also explore opportunities through Healthcare Recruitment Services In Saudi Arabia to contribute to this dynamic industry.

Education System

Riyadh’s educational landscape is characterized by a plethora of options catering to the needs of local and expatriate families alike. For those Living in Riyadh, International schools offer a diverse array of curricula, including British, American, and International Baccalaureate programs, ensuring a seamless transition for expatriate children. 

Living in Riyadh, colleges and universities offer a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degrees across various fields, further solidifying Riyadh’s reputation as a centre for academic excellence. By providing access to top-tier education and research opportunities, both public and private institutions contribute to Riyadh’s status as a hub of educational attainment in the region.


Cultural Etiquette and Customs

Navigating Riyadh’s cultural landscape requires a nuanced understanding of local customs and etiquette. Embracing Saudi culture entails adhering to dos and don’ts tailored to expatriates. Respecting Islamic traditions is paramount, with cultural sensitivities surrounding dress codes, social interactions, and religious practices. 


Familiarizing oneself with local customs, such as greeting customs and dining etiquette, fosters cross-cultural understanding and promotes harmonious interactions with locals. By embracing Saudi culture and demonstrating respect for local customs, expatriates can forge meaningful connections and integrate seamlessly into Riyadh’s vibrant cultural tapestry.

Social Life and Recreation

The lively entertainment scene in Riyadh accommodates a wide range of tastes with its multiple dining, shopping, and leisure alternatives. While malls and souks provide unique finds, traditional Saudi food combines cuisines from throughout the world. All ages are catered to by parks, sports teams, and cultural events. Social bonds are fostered via expatriate groups and community events that enable connection-making. 

With more than 11,400 licenses granted and aspirations to host more than 100 million tourists yearly by 2030, Riyadh experiences tremendous growth as a result of Vision 2030’s emphasis on entertainment and tourism.

Safety and Security

  • Compared to many developed countries, Riyadh still has low crime rates, with the majority of crimes involving narcotics rather than targeting foreigners. 
  • Though they are uncommon, small-time crimes like pickpocketing do happen occasionally. But watchfulness is necessary, particularly during the Hajj and Umrah seasons when pickpocketing incidences have increased.
  •  Being ready for emergencies is essential, and Riyadh’s response systems and emergency services guarantee prompt action when needed. 

Legal and Administrative Procedures

Understanding the legal and administrative environment is vital for individuals who are new to Riyadh. Following Saudi Arabia’s immigration regulations, which include securing the required visas and residency permits, is essential for navigating residency and visa requirements.  


It is also necessary for foreigners living abroad to become familiar with Saudi legal requirements in order to properly manage their rights and obligations. Knowing local laws encourages respect for the legal system and facilitates a smooth transition into Riyadh’s workforce and culture, from labor laws to cultural norms.

Language and Communication

Learning Arabic is advised in Riyadh in order to communicate effectively in day-to-day interactions. Getting familiar with simple Arabic phrases and greetings helps you build relationships with locals. The city offers a wealth of linguistic options, such as cultural organizations and online classes. Participating in conversation groups helps people learn languages more quickly. 

The most common languages spoken by expatriates are Malayalam, Indonesian, Filipino/Tagalog, and Urdu. Comprehending subtleties in language improves intercultural communication and helps foreigners get by in their day-to-day lives in Riyadh.


Banking and Finance

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) oversees 37 licensed institutions in Riyadh’s banking and finance industry, comprising 23 international branches, 3 digital banks, and 11 local banks. In Riyadh, managing funds is made easy by the local and international banks that provide services specifically designed for foreigners. It’s easy to open an account and get access to a range of banking services, including investments and current accounts. Although it’s important to understand riyal conversion rates, Riyadh’s banking sector provides effective currency exchange services, guaranteeing citizens’ easy financial transactions.


Expat Communities

Expatriate communities in Riyadh foster connection and support through community activities and associations like Al-Hamra Oasis Village and Arizona Golf Resort. These networks provide tailored resources and services, from language courses to cultural exchanges, aiding newcomers in their transition. Active participation in events cultivates a sense of belonging and creates lasting friendships, establishing a vital support system for expatriates in their new temporary homes.

Expatriate communities


Riyadh is one of the next booming places to reside as of now. Its economic structure has been strengthening over the years and is now being recognised as solid. 

Fast Track Solutions is a guiding light for medical professionals looking to live happy, meaningful lives in Riyadh. Using our customized recruitment services, we enable smooth transfers for physicians, nurses, and other healthcare workers, guaranteeing their professional and personal fulfilment in the dynamic centre of Saudi Arabia. 

We make it possible for people to succeed professionally while embracing the diverse cultural landscape and limitless chances that this vibrant city has to offer by comprehending the special needs of healthcare professionals and utilizing our knowledge of the Riyadh market. Connect with us at Fast Track Solutions as we set off on the path to a fruitful profession and happy life in Riyadh.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  • 1. What is the best time of year to move to Riyadh?
    • The cooler months from October to March are generally considered the best time to move to Riyadh or to living in Riyadh. Temperatures are milder during this period, making the transition more comfortable.
  • 2. How do I find accommodation in Riyadh?
    • Living in Riyadh can be found through various channels, including real estate websites, local agencies, and expatriate forums. It’s advisable to research different neighbourhoods and consider factors such as proximity to work, amenities, and budget.
  • 3. Is it easy to find employment in Riyadh?
    • Living in Riyadh offers a thriving job market with opportunities across various industries. Networking, utilizing online job portals, and leveraging recruitment agencies can enhance your job search efforts.
  • 4. What healthcare options are available for expatriates in Riyadh?
    • Living in Riyadh have access to a range of healthcare options, including private hospitals, clinics, and government healthcare facilities. It’s recommended to obtain comprehensive health insurance to cover medical expenses.
  • 5. What recreational activities are popular in Riyadh?
    • Living in Riyadh offers a diverse array of recreational activities, including shopping at modern malls, dining at upscale restaurants, exploring historical sites, and engaging in outdoor sports such as desert safaris and camel riding. Additionally, cultural events and festivals are prevalent throughout the year, entertaining residents of all ages.



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