In the Philippines, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains the top employer of overseas workers. It also employs 1.54 million Indians, while Filipinos only number 0.71 million, according to research done by Global Media Insight. According to the CIA World Factbook, immigrants comprise about 37 percent of the population. You get the picture that the oil-rich country relies heavily on migrant workers for many of its industries – and will for the foreseeable future. If you are planning on working abroad, the most attractive job prospects in terms of money and benefits are most likely in Saudi Arabia. Some of you might hesitate because you believe some of the myths about working in Saudi Arabia. If you are hesitant about taking a job in the Kingdom, you might be suffering from misconceptions about life inside this conservative Muslim country.
It’s hard to work there if you are a woman
Au contraire. I personally know of three women who are currently working in Saudi Arabia and are thriving there. We have even interviewed and done a profile on Christine Burias, a nurse working in Riyadh in one of our articles! Saudi women are also leading the charge in changing their society. The mindset of the western world is that Saudi women are oppressed and retiring but they are not. Take the case of Dr. Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, the first Saudi national who headed a United Nations agency. She belongs to the Shura Council, a body whose powers include proposing laws to the monarchy and the cabinet.
You can’t have fun in KSA
First of all, that’s simply not true. One of the women I know who work in Saudi is a former high school classmate of mine. She posts a lot on Instagram about her travels in the Kingdom and the scrumptious food available there. Of course, this being the birthplace of Islam and having an ultra-conservative society, you can’t expect “fun” like you’ve come to expect in a western country. Bear in mind the local customs and respect their culture and you won’t go wrong.
It’s not safe in Saudi
This really is a pure myth based on perceptions but there is no factual basis. If you take a look at figures on crime statistics, you will see that the United States fare way worse than the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This means that there is a greater probability of death by crime in the US than it is in Saudi. Yet many people view the US more favorably than Saudi. The issue is that since KSA is more conservative and closed off, outsiders tend to view it in a suspicious way.
Ultimately, how you will find the country depends on your attitude from the start. There are millions of immigrants residing in the country, and there are undeniably a lot of horror stories. Think about it, though, if it was so bad, some people would not have lasted years in the country. And many have stayed and made it their home.
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