About Me

I am an American female expat living in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.  This blog started as a way for me to show friends and family back home some of the things we see in here in Saudi Arabia without cluttering up my family blog.  It has grown into a place for me to experiment with photography as well as a resource for those considering moving here.   I realized when my family was making the decision to move to Dhahran that there was not a lot of information out there.  I am a visual person and I wanted to see pictures of the camp and what there was to do here for families.  Hopefully this will help others have a better idea of what daily life on a company camp is like and what there is to do outside the camp.  If you have questions about any of this please just leave a comment and I will respond. Enjoy!


This blog has taken off in ways I never imagined! THANK YOU!!  As a result I am finding that with specific questions sometimes it is easier for me to answer these via email then on a public form.  If you would like to correspond in a more private manner please leave me a comment with your email address in it.  I will NOT publish any comments that have an email address in them!  I have to approve all comments so I will just copy your email and then deny the comment which will delete it so that no one other then me sees it.  Hopefully for some this makes it easier.


I claim copyright to all my images so please request for permission to use any, thank you!

65 comments:

  1. Hi, My Husband is looking to come over in the next three to four months, and we now have the task of thinking about whether i follow him over. What i would like to know is there jobs for partners on base? and if not what is there to do to keep me busy as i'm use to having a full time job and worried i will not cope with all this time on my hands as we do not have children.

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    1. Hi there, interesting questions, i may be on the way too as a wife, i have a good care and do wonder what i will do after shopping and the beaches explored
      would love to hear more.

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  2. Hi, There are not a lot of job opportunities for spouses even if they are qualified. They are really limiting the number of visas given to expat women. About the only people I know getting them are in the schools. It has to do with the Saudization that is being pushed.

    There are lot of groups on camp that meet such as the Women's Group. There is lot of exercise groups as well. I went from working to not and it is an adjustment. One that I am not sure I have completely made yet, it takes time. As you meet more and more people though you find you stay busier and busier. This place is what you make it. You will have to force yourself to be sociable, to get out and meet people and get involved. They won't just show up at your door knocking. That being said I think their is plenty to keep you busy if you look for it. Hope this helps.

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    1. Nonsense regarding lack of oppirtunities for women working. My wife has been fully employed for various companies and organisations for the last 8 years.

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    2. Which means she got a work visa prior to the ban that has gone into effect. I have meet over twenty women who are more than qualified, some even holding PH.D's that can not get a job. Myself included. Even if the Dept. wants them they can't get the work visa from the Saudi gov't. That being said there are some who choose to work off camp and are being paid under the table. I do know a few of those women although that means having a driver, wearing the abaya daily and dealing with normal Saudi life, not camp life. If you are coming as a spouse you need to plan on not working no matter how qualified you are. It is very frustrating and something that will hopefully change soon!

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    3. interesting...my husband is flying out there next week for a final interview and they asked if I was interested in working also and to submit my CV at the same time. I'll keep ya posted on what happens next.

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    4. TYF- I wish you the best of luck. I have learned the hard way thought that there is a disconnect between what ASC tells you and what the reality is. Hopefully one of these days that will change there are many very qualified women on this camp that would love to work maybe you will be one of the lucky ones. Keep me posted.

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  3. Thank you for your blog! My husband and I are considering jobs at the school and like you, it's been hard to find information about life there. I love your blog!! It's been a great source of information for us! Thank you!

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  4. Cindy, if you'd more info about working for Saudi Aramco Schools, contact your recruiter (or the Saudi Aramco Schools office) and ask if you can have the contact info for a teacher at the school(s) you might be joining. Most of us would be very happy to answer any questions you have. This isn't the perfect environment for everyone, but many expat teachers are very happy here.

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  5. Hi there! I am about to receive my offer from Aramco for a nursing position in Dhahran. Do you know any nurses currently there that I could contact?
    Thanks,
    Diana

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  6. Send me your email. Will not publish it. I will forward it on to the nurses I know. Congrats on the offer!

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  7. Udhailiyah!!! Best place ever!!!!(for me at least)

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  8. I have have heard great things about UDH. I hope to make it up there soon :)

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  9. Hi there!! Our family departs next month for RT. I had a question for you and wondered if you could help. I know there is a motorcycle club in Dhahran, can you get me in contact with someone there to see what the requirements are for a motorcycle?? The office here can't give a clear answer. My husband wants to bring his Harley over, but has been told, he can't because it's more than 4 years old?? I know we would ship it ourselves. Any help would be great!! Thanks!!

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    1. Please send me your email. I would prefer to send this info that route. Thanks!

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  10. Hi thanks for the blog, it's a joy to read and I love the photos! We (me, wife, daughter 8yrs, son 4yrs) have accepted a position with Aramco and will be living in Dharan. So far the kids have been accepted by the schools, and we passed the medicals, now we are just waiting for the background checks to finish. It is a painfully slow process (recieved the offer in late March) and I'm sure Ramadan probably added to the wait, but we nonetheless are really looking forward to starting our new lives in Saudi and really appreciate the small preview you've given us!!

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  11. Send me your email (Will NOT publish!). I have some info that might be useful to you and your family but don't want it on a public forum. Congrats on the offer and move! Y'all are going to love it here!

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  12. Hello, I am waiting for my BI to be approved so I can move to the visa phase. I am now in the 7th month :( I now am having many doubts about making the move. To me houses look like cotages. It is a trade-off decision. USA-nicer houses, and lower saving, but KSA-smaller houses, larger savings. what are some driving factors for one to move to KSA? What qualifications do you need to get a GC15.

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    1. The move here is a very personal decision. Houses are not assigned based on grade code. They are assigned based on family size. So potentially you can be higher graded than someone and still in a smaller home. That being said we came out of a 3000+ sq.ft. home in the States and have found that the homes here are just fine. They have more room than you realize and are set up to use the space well. My only complaint is the yard isn't big but there is lots of green areas by us as well. There are other houses on camp that have huge yards. It is just hit or miss on what you get assigned and where.

      The driving factors for me to stay here are family time, travel, friends, and ease of life. If you read through my pros and cons you will see most of that elaborated on. This is not some place I would have ever dreamed of moving to but we are enjoying our time here.

      Good Luck with your decision. If you have more specific questions send me your email and I will correspond that way.

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  13. How would it work if you were a woman with a family who got the job with Saudi Aramco? Would a stay at home dad be acceptable in the camp?

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    1. You would not be able to bring your family if you accept a job. No exceptions! Males are the only ones that are allowed family status here. Even there they have to be a certain grade. The spouse always come and then some get jobs as causal employees once here although don't count on that. I know a lot of really qualified women who can't get the work visas even though the departments would love to hire them.

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  14. We are considering a move to Saudi Arabia. I have some questions regarding medical care/concerns and access to certain food products as my child has severe dietary restrictions. I would like to discuss with you via e-mail, not on a public forum. How do I go about contacting you that way? thanks.

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    1. Send me your email address. I will not publish it but will respond to you via email. I LOVE medical here!!!!

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  15. I wolud like to ask if there are also Filipinos working in Aramco?? Thanks and God bless to you!!

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    1. Yes there are numerous Filipinos that work at Aramco.

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  16. Hi!
    We are single women in our early thirties possibly interested in a job at one of the schools there--are there many single men?
    Thanks!

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    1. Send me an email. Won't publish but will possibly get in trouble if I write on this public form. Short story yes. :)

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  17. hey, i found this blog very interesting.do you have any experiences on how is living in riyad?

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    1. Sorry I have not visited Riyadh yet. It is on the to do list.

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  18. Do I understand you correctly: A married woman cannot bring her husband with her if he does not have a job also?

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    1. Yes you understand correctly. A married woman can not come on family status. She can only come by herself. If your husband gets the job then he can come on family status and you can come along. Most of the time when that happens the wife is not offered a job even if qualified once they get here.

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  19. Hello! Thank you for all of the information that you have included on your blog! We are currently considering the move to Saudi Arabia. I have started researching life there and your blog has been very useful. I have three children, a 4 year old who will be starting kindergarten in the fall and 20 month old boy/girl twins. The thought of moving is very overwhelming! I would love any additional information about schools, family life, MDO programs, etc. that you might be able to provide through email! Please let me know what is the best way to send you my contact information. Thanks in advance!

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  20. Hi! I love your blog!! The information has been super helpful. We are moving there in 5 months. Would you be willing to send me the list of things to bring? Greatly appreciated.
    Thanks so much!

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    1. Congrats! Send me your email and I will be happy to send lists. I will NOT publish that comment with your email in it.

      Delete
  21. Hi,I came across this blog and really enjoy it, thank you! My husband is currently thinking about taking a position in Saudi flying. We would be staying at the Oasis. I live in Columbia, SC, have no children and am somewhat scared to move. I have NEVER been to the middle east. The furthest places from home I have been is the Carribean! I know that this will be an adventure and now is the time to do it. I hope I don't seem like a complete idiot for asking this, but I am pale with blonde hair and blue eyes, and all of my friends are saying that I am going to stick out like a sore thumb. I just really care about safety, and need all of the feedback I can get, and there's no better way than to ask someone who lives there.
    Thanks for any feedback.

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    1. Hi, Your friends are right you will stick out but mostly because you won't be covering your hair or face like the locals. We all stick out that way. There are actually a lot of blonde hair blue eyed ladies here. As far as safety I feel more safe here than I did in the States. You get a lot of fear put into you by the media. The reality is that you will be very safe here. It will be weird at first just because we aren't use to seeing thobes and abayas walking around but you eventually just get use to it. Most people you meet are very nice. As a female I go out into town every week. By myself when needed and have never had a problem. If you send an email I am happy to correspond that way. (Won't publish emails)

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  22. Hi!

    Great webpage!

    I have a question reg. female employees. I'm considering to apply for a job as technical staff in Saudi Aramco. I know that as a female, you are not allowed Family status and will have to come alone. Does this also mean that your Family (husband and kids) will not be allowed to visit you in Saudi? And in that case, how much vacation do you approx get per year (I'm an engineer) to go back and spend with your Family? I would really love to Work for Aramco for a while, and this year would suit very well with reg. to my Family if I can't bring them, as my kids are in boarding school. However, if they can't come to Saudi at any point, I can not Work there for more than a year's time.
    Alternatively, we are wondering if I get a job there, will it be possible for my husband to apply for a job later (he is a very skilled engineer and would technically be qualified but cannot move right now) and then come over and hence change our status to a Family status (through him) when I already have a job there?
    And last but very essential question: Do they accept a female candidate when they know she has a husband and kids at home?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    Mairee

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    1. I don't know the answer to this one. I do not believe your family can come visit but ASC should be able to tell you for sure. I don't know how it works if you come first and then your husband applies. I know it would move you to casual but really don't have an answer for you on this one. Sorry! You might try asking on the aramcoexpatsforum.com

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  23. Hello:
    I know it is close to the end of 2013. Are you still in Saudi Arabia? I am very interested in Saudi Culture and would like to exchange messages with you. I am in America.

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    1. Yes I am still here. Send me your email. (Won't publish)

      Delete
  24. hi,i just want to ask if its possible for a couple who is both nurse to work in aramco dharan? we are currently working in jeddah and we will end our contract next year and we are planning to bring our daughter also.thank u.

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    1. Females can't work here as a casual. There are a few exceptions to that. Teaching couples who are hired as such being one. The Saudi government is not giving out visas so even if Aramco wants you they can't get the visa to allow you to work. As a wife you need to plan on NOT working. Eventually it may happen but the reality is it will not so you need to be okay with that.

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  25. Hello everyone, Can u help me about my curiosity, what if you get hired by the Aramco company through agency as librarian position?

    -Am I able to get my husband after probationary period? even I was hired through agency from Asian country?
    -Is he can get a job or apply in Aramco company after he resides with me?

    -Anyone has an idea about the salary package for librarian position?

    Thank you in advance.

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    1. Your husband will NOT be able to join you. You will come on single status and NOT be allowed to bring your husband over even to visit. I have no idea on salary.

      Delete
  26. Hi, I really enjoy reading your blog.I’m a freelannce Photographer based in Saudi Arabia and i’m trying to expand my network.If you like to use any of my photos on your blog giving me credit.
    You can see some of my work here http://www.aahadk.com
    Thanks and keep bloging :)

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  27. Can I leave my husband in the states and tell my job im not married and live single there? Can I get fired if they find out?

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    1. You do not have to lie. You can come married on single status. Your husband will NEVER be able to visit you though. I would not recommend it.

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  28. Great you have created a nice blog

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  29. Are the conditions still the same for a married woman coming in single status? Is the environment the same? Do you still feel that it's a safe place for a married, but single status woman to work? I have interviewed with a school and they want to offer the position, but I would have to go alone. Do you think it's worth it? I have no children.

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    1. Send me an email. I will not publish it. I need to know more. Which school, where in KSA plus don't want to publish everything I have to say.

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  30. I'm interested to see you ,even though I have no idea who are you ❤️๐Ÿ˜Š

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  31. HI, can you give me the names of some westernized compounds ins Dharan? My husband has been offered a job at the jonhns Hopkins aramco hospital but we can't live in aramco housing. I am trying to find some leads on some of the cheaper compounds to rent from. Thanks.

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    1. Please send me your email address. I won't publish it but can send you some info that way. Thanks!

      Delete
  32. Hi, is there any opportunities for women architect to get work in Dhahran?? Thanks

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  33. Hi,
    I have accepted an offer with aramco. Initially in my contract it was mentioned that my housing will be on camp but now, as I am getting ready to depart in a few weeks, I have received word that maybe I would not get on camp housing instead would have to find & stay elsewhere on my own. I am a single women going there & for me this is an appalling news. Kindly advice regarding this scenario. Thanks

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    1. This is not uncommon. What pay role and department will you be working. That will give me a better idea if you are going off camp or not. Also if you send me your email we can correspond that way. I won't publish your email.

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  34. Hi there

    My husband has just started working as a Technician on the airbase in Dhahran for at least 2 years. He is living on a compound. I would love to join him but cannot find sites to find secretarial work. Can you advise best way to progress this.

    Many thanks

    Suz

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  35. Hi There

    Please advise on the accomodation outside camp. I am awaiting an offer from JHAJ. I also want to know if its possible to request for my 10yr old daughter to come with which will make things easier for us.

    Many Thanks
    Shaz

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    Replies
    1. Sorry I do not know the answers to this.

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