What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear of Saudi Arabia? Perhaps you should be thinking about the negativity being shown in the media, or the chaotic situation is some parts of the Middle Eastern countries, or perhaps a country with an overflowing supply of oil and petroleum products. Whatever your impressions may be, is the result of your being unaware of the real situation inside Saudi Arabia. Well, I can’t blame you for that, I have been in Saudi Arabia since 2012 and still continuing to love this misunderstood country.
The objective of this article is to raise awareness and to tell the world what it really likes to be in Saudi Arabia as an expat, and why do I love this great country the holiest land of Islam. Being in Saudi Arabia for more than half a decade provides me the real insight and the actual life experiences based on our personal day-to-day living. Below are the following reasons why do I loved this country I called my second home:
I. It’s Very Safe Here – You should be thinking I’m joking when I said – “it’s very safe here”, contrary to what’s being shown in the media, Saudi Arabia is by far one of the safest countries in the gulf or even in the world. Saudi Arabia has a relatively lower crime rate compared to other Muslim or Christian countries respectively. You can walk outside along the busy street without the fear of being robbed even in the middle of the night! Likewise, you can hardly hear someone died out of murder or homicide here in Saudi Arabia.
II. They Pray 5 Times A Day – Saudi Arabia is the center and the holiest land of Islam, one of the reasons why it’s very safe here is because Saudi people pray 5 times a day. You wouldn’t think of doing something bad after praying, would you? Among all the Muslim countries in the world, only Saudi Arabia is the country that closes all its businesses and establishments during praying times. All neighboring Muslim countries in the Gulf region do not have this kind of culture of giving way for its people including expats to pray and rest.
III. Simple Way of Life – We all know that Saudi Arabia is a land of so much power and wealth because of its magnitude supply of oil and gas products. But one thing which I truly admire here is that – Saudi people prefer to live simply although they can afford a luxurious way of living, Islam teaches them to live humbly, a weekend spent in the corniche along with their family and friends are more than enough for them. Although recently Saudi Arabia has started opening its country along with the returns of other forms of entertainment like Cinemas.
IV. The culture of Modesty – Saudi Arabia is not the only Muslim country in the world, there are still a lot more…But what I loved specifically in Saudi is – the culture of modesty. Everyone here in Saudi Arabia including expats conform to the culture of modesty. Women are wearing “Abaya” in public places even some are completely covered themselves with only eyes are visible, and men are expected to wear appropriately as well. With the advancement of technology and the rising popularity of social media, you can hardly see nowadays in the world people with conservative culture only in Saudi Arabia. Isn’t it great? It’s absolutely amazing!
V. Peaceful – Aside from its being safe, Saudi Arabia is an extremely peaceful country, the environment of Saudi Arabia is very tranquil, thanks to its desert lands that sprawls like a never-ending sea. No wonder why millions of Muslims around the world want to visit Saudi Arabia to experience the ultimate refuge at least once in their lives. Standing alone in the desert you can even hear the sound of silence, there are few places in the world like that and Saudi Arabia is one of them.
VI. Warm Friendly People – Who says Saudi people are not friendly? Mind you – Saudis are among the friendliest people in the world. I have been in Saudi Arabia for more than five years now and I found them very accommodating. My colleagues in the office are very supportive, they are easy to get along with. They will laugh with you when you throw jokes with them, they will invite you to eat lunch with them, and just like everywhere in the world they are the same people just like us.
VII. Saudi is Home to Millions of Expats – Are you aware that there are around 10 million expat workers in the kingdom? That’s a huge number, isn’t it? Saudi Arabia is one of the most densely populated countries by expat communities. People from different nationalities are working together in building this great nation and I’m one of them. Saudi Arabia is not just a place of work – but it’s our home as well. For that, I’m grateful to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for opening its door and welcoming us to support their needs in developing their nation.
Even up to this time, I can’t imagine how I got here, perhaps one of the reasons is to share with the world through my blog the good things about Saudi Arabia. I strongly believe that the world would have been a better place to live in when we understand each one another regardless of our faith and religion. After all, at the end of the day, we are all human beings.
Have you been to Saudi Arabia? What are your memorable experiences? Let me know in the comment box below!
The author is currently based in Saudi Arabia, the holiest land of Islam. He’s a full-time employee of the largest energy company in the world. He’s a graduate of Communication Management, loves to write and travel.