US Nursing: Saudi
Nurses will see that Westerners tend to come to Saudi for the tax-free salaries and while earning it remain sequestered in Western-style compounds which are removed from Saudi life.
An engaging nurse will notice that expat life is intensely social. Fellow immigrants develop strong, quickly-formed bonds and weekends are centred on compound get-togethers, trips to the desert and diving excursions.
Nurses will become quickly aware that the camaraderie and frequent parties are second to none.
Nevertheless, after a few months a nurse will recognize that this is one of the few places on earth where expats outnumber tourists. The exception being during the Hajj when millions of Muslims from all over the world make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city in Islam.
Nurses will see that most expats live in Jeddah and Riyadh, both of which have the full range of Western amenities, from Starbucks to Toys “R” Us, a wide range of accommodation, and the majority of Saudi Arabia’s employers. Otherwise, some expats will find themselves drawn to Saudi’s Eastern Province, pulled by lucrative job offers in the hydrocarbon sector.
From a nursing standpoint working and living in Saudi Arabia is best treated as an adventure and new life experience. The key is to make sure one is going for the right reason ” if it’s solely to make money, think again. Expats need to see a move to Saudi as a package of career advancement, cultural experience, and financial enrichment.