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Travel to Saudi Arabia

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I've been asked to travel to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for business. My employer has left the choice up to me and made it clear that I can say no to this engagement. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions to offer?

 

I've read the American and Belgian travel advisories on Saudi Arabia, and they aren't terribly encouraging. But it'd be a unique experience, I'm sure. Of course, if I only ever see the airport, the hotel, and the client site and don't venture anywhere else for security reasons, that wouldn't be terribly exciting either.

 

Thanks!

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If you can understand German have a look at this site. http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/diplo/de/La...itshinweis.html

 

Germans are encouraged to register with the German embassy in Riad and there is some risk of terrorism.

 

Earlier assaults were focused on western targets - luxurious residencies, single associates of companies and the last in Dec 2004 on the US-consulate in Djidda.

 

German:

Frühere Anschläge haben sich gegen westliche Ziele - luxuriöse Wohnanlagen, einzelne Mitarbeiter von Unternehmen und zuletzt im Dezember 2004 das US-Generalkonsulat in Djidda

Allen Deutschen, die nach Saudi-Arabien reisen oder sich dort aufhalten, wird dringend empfohlen, sich bei der Deutschen Botschaft in Riad zu registrieren

 

I wouldn't go there.

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Qoute (Lonely Planet)

 

Foreigners Targeted

 

Following attacks on foreigners, western governments are warning against non-essential travel to Saudi Arabia. If you are staying in the country, avoid public places where Westerners are known to congregate, ensure that your hotel has a good reputation for maintaining high security precautions and stay abreast of travel advisory updates.

 

Can't resist this but - don't be a prijk - safety first, turn it down. ;)

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HELL NO!!! Especially if you have a spouse and kids. No job is worth it. Save you "travel experiences" for countries where they don't want to kill you simply because you are from the West.

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My husband (German) has spent some time consulting in Saudi Arabia over the last 2 years.

If you're interested in discussing PM me and we'll set up a call.

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been there loads of times...safe, marriot hotel is nice...normally you paid paid shed loads for being there

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depends on how long, for a few days then fine, but a long period of time. I had a buddy that lived in Rihad, taught at the school there, but moved back to Canada after they were bombed at the school and his home 2 times in 6 months. And that was on the expat compound.

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I have enjoyed suffered two business trips to Venezuela - Caracas and I reckon nowhere else is as bad as there!

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ok I answered on here and sent you a pm...sorry being a prat but an answer to advice given would have been nice

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I wouldnt go there any more and I lived there 5 years.

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Thanks for the advice everybody. The details of the engagement haven't been nailed down yet, so can't even say for sure it'll happen anyway. It'd only be a week or two, and I'm leaning towards going. I'm young and single. I called my parents and my Dad told me that if he were my age and in my situation, he'd go. So we shall see.

 

I apologize for not responding between 10:30 and 11:30 last night, but I was already asleep. :) I did fully intend to post again, even before the flurry of responses last night, but I'm on the road and was still letting the situation play through my head.

 

Cheers!

Pete

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I was provisionally offered a job last year in Saudi and actually met with representatives of the Air Force and the company that was providing people to the Saudis.

 

Both working and living conditions and expectations of how i was allowed to act were discussed in depth.

 

Apart from the fact that i was told that under no circumstances should i ever leave the ExPat campus alone and that i should vary routes used it just seemed like i would be living in a prison camp, a very plush prison camp but prison neverthless. Suffice to say i didn't go further with the plan.

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If it's only for a couple of weeks, and the Auswärtiges Amt doesn't advise against going, then I'd say: go for it. It's unlikely anything will happen, and you could be unlucky anywhere in the world. I'd say it'll be an interesting experience at the least. If I had the chance, I would definitely go :)

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Yeah, I think you should def. go.

 

I'm actually heading down to Riyadh too in a few weeks as well, training some doctors at a military hospital there. I never thought of not going I have to admit.

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Just go otherwise you will live to regret it.

 

I was 2 years in Beirut (just after the cival war) and another 2 years in Kuwait (just after the iraq war) and although I experienced events that made you wonder what the f*** are you doing there it was a truly amazing experience that I never regretted.

 

Just keep a low profile, dont drink outside the camps and you will be alright...hopefully!

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No experience of the mid East but suffered a similar decision when offered the chance to go to India for 6 months with work. The basic problem is everywhere looks dangerous when compared to Munich, but despite what you read in the press (who report exclusively what is going wrong) most people throughout the world are decent, kind and generous. Be informed, find out what the risks are, take precautions against them, if there's a risk that you cannot adequately control then don't go, stay alert when you're there and sensitive to local traditions & customs, but if I were young, free & single I'd go.

 

If that's not enough for you then someone was advertising work in Afghanistan too (although US$700 per day is a shit wage, some people here earn more than that).

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Well Mr Rat, have you any direct Middle East experience?

 

When I left in '99 the atmosphere was getting shitty. The friendliness of the Arabs I knew was disappearing. I actually swam for charity on the Oasis compound where the Khobar massacre took place, and the restrictions to get into places were getting too irritating.

 

If you go first advice is ask an expat where to join the Riyadh Rovers to get into the desert to see real Arabia. I travelled a lot there in the late 90s in my 4WD Lada Niva. If you get the chance and it is safe, camping in the Arabian desert - and I camped out hundreds of times - is an amazing experience.

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