One of the biggest benefits of living in Saudi is that, for most people, the accommodation is free, fully furnished and includes electricity/utilities. There are a few different options available depending on the hospital that has employed you and the type of contract you have taken.
For the most part, nurses and AHPs are housed in hospital housing. This can be either a high rise apartment complex, or a western styled compound. All our hospitals provide accommodation for single female employees. For male employees, most hospitals provide accommodation or alternatively are allocate a housing allowance for those who wish to find their own. For families or couples, depending on the contract type you’ll either have a housing allowance or accommodation provided. So let’s look at the different types of accommodation….
Expat compounds were first established in the early 1980’s in an effort to allow foreign expats to feel a little more at home in their living environment. Generally, compounds consist of a number of 2-4 bedroom villas to create almost a small village or gated suburb within the city, similar to a university campus. Within the compound are a range of amenities including pools, spas, saunas, gyms, tennis courts, basketball courts, squash courts, restaurants, small grocery stores, movie theatres, bowling alleys and other such amenities. Compounds vary in size and can rate between 3-5 stars. This will determine the types and number of amenities available on your compound if you are placed here.
Compound life is a great way to meet fellow expats and build friendships. If you’re not housed on a compound, don’t worry! These compounds quite often hold social events & gatherings and you’ll still get a chance to meet people. For those who prefer a more private or quieter social life, the compounds are big enough to provide people with their own space too.
For our hospitals, some compounds are on the same grounds as the hospital. However, most are located approximately 20-30 minutes away from the hospital. Shuttle buses are provided free of charge to transport staff to and from the hospital and allows staff to have that separation of work and home life.
Apartment complexes are either on the hospital grounds or 10 – 30 minutes away from the hospital. Shuttle buses are provided if housing is not on hospital grounds. Apartment types consist of either studio, 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom apartments. Depending on the hospital, some apartments will be older but more spacious apartments, others will be new but smaller. Apartment complexes will have large shared laundry facilities along with shared amenities such as swimming pools, gyms and computer rooms.
For males, if you choose to live off hospital housing you will need to calculate your housing allowance based on your contract type, and use this to determine which type of housing you can afford. Compounds with a large number of amenities for example, will naturally be more expensive. Apartments may suit your budget but may not have the amenities you want. Quite often a group of colleagues will rent a large share house together allowing for social connections and shared costs. Do your research and ask your colleagues who have lived in the country for their advice. There are also many expat groups that you can utilise for further information.
All hospital provided accommodation is fully furnished. Furnishings include beds, couches, linen, kitchen cutlery, pots, pans, towels, TV, landline phone etc. Everyone’s taste is different & so while the furnishings may not be to your exact liking you will have everything you need. There are plenty of great home-ware shops in Saudi Arabia including IKEA so once you get settled you will be able to go shopping for nick knacks, cushions & plants to make your new place feel like home.
You can find out more about our client hospitals accommodation here