The Kingdom was founded in 1932 by Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdul-Rahman Al Saud and is the largest state in the Arabian Gulf by land and population. Oil was first discovered in 1938. Nowadays Saudi Arabia produces ten million barrels of crude oil a day and has the world’s second largest oil reserve.
Saudi Arabia’s free market economy has undergone remarkable changes in a relatively short period of time. It has evolved from a basic agricultural society into a regional and global economic power with a modern infrastructure.
Petroleum is an integral part of the Saudi economy; Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest producer and exporter of oil. In recent decades the Kingdom has increasingly diversified its economy, and today produces and exports a variety of industrial goods all over the globe.
The government has an essential role in industrial and economic development. The Ministry of Economy and Planning formulates economic and social development plans that set long-term economic goals. Additional sectors of the economy are overseen by individual ministries, such as agriculture, energy, transportation, communications and finance.
The private sector is playing an increasingly larger role in the Saudi economy – it now accounts for 48 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). The sector is expected to continue growing, especially as Saudi Arabia opens its doors further to foreign investment.
Saudi Arabia is rich in culture, heritage and natural beauty. Common expat holiday destinations include the beautiful Mada’in Saleh, desert driving in the red desert close to Riyadh, mountain touring in Al-Abha region and scuba diving in the most preserved parts of the Red Sea close to Jeddah.
On average expats spend 6.9 years in Saudi Arabia, and more than 80% of expats living in Saudi Arabia report much higher satisfaction level with the state of their current economy than expat across the world.
Large numbers of expats work as engineers, IT specialist, doctors, bankers, teachers and project managers for construction. Expat compounds provide great level of security, recreational opportunities. Expat packages on top of generous pay and bonuses offer housing allowance, company car and yearly flights to their home country.
Expats highlight diversity as an unanticipated benefit from living and working in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia also finished at prestigious seventh place on the raising children abroad league.
Alcohol and pork meat is forbidden in Saudi Arabia. Women are also not allowed to drive.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Population: 30 million
Expat population: 9 million,
Land area: 2,150,000 km2
GDP Per Capita (PPP): 53,000 US$ ( 8th in the world)
Expat Economics and Satisfaction global rating: 15th globally
Cost of living index: 56th