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Saudi Arabia > Expat Experiences

Saudi Arabia

Giovanna, Riyadh

Published Wednesday July 08, 2015 (03:04:41)
Giovanna, Riyadh
Giovanna, Riyadh

Who are you?

I'm Giovanna, I'm an Italian wife and mother of 3 daughters.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

From one year I live in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, we moved to my husband's work.

What challenges did you face during the move?

To come in Saudi Arabia need a visa, there are many documents to do, I explained what we did on my blog (

There are so many documents to be prepared to make the boxes is the easy part!

How did you find somewhere to live?

For the first time we don't have decide where we live, but my husband company thinking about that, we live in a compound.

Are there many other expats in your area?

The compound is like a city for expatriates but with a wall around, a security at the entrance and facility inside, here there are people from everywhere.

What is your relationship like with the locals?

I don't have a daily relationship with the locals because I don't work, but at my daughters school or when I go out I fell that the people are nice with us, we have Saudi friends.

What do you like about life where you are?

We like spend our free time to visit the country and walk in the desert, the dunes are beautiful.

What do you dislike about your expat life?

In Saudi Arabia the women must wear the abaya and summer with more than 50° it's hot!

What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?

Women can not drive and for anything I have to call the driver!

The biggest cultural difference is religious, here religion is Muslim, there is a different schedule than in Europe.

How does shopping (for food/clothes/household items etc.) differ compared to back home?

In Riyadh there are lots of Mall and supermarkets,there are many Italian products but of course more expensive than at home.

What do you think of the food in your new country? What are your particular likes or dislikes?

I like Arabic food, they use different spices then in Italy but the smell and the taste is good!

Humus and Arabic bread is my favorite food with the dates for dessert!
There are more than 200 types of dates!!!

What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

Living in Saudi Arabia can be a good experience if you accept and respect the cultural difference, the country is really nice.

What are your plans for the future?

About our future plans?...we don't know!
Because we are tramps, we were born to run! (Bruce Springsteen)

If you want to read more about my experience check out my blog

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