Jeddah is the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital city, Riyadh. Jeddah is the principal gateway to Mecca, Islam's holiest city, which able-bodied Muslims are required to visit at least once in their lifetime. It is also a gateway to Medina ,the second holiest place in Islam. Jeddah is the most cosmopolitan and tolerant of all Saudi Arabian cities, hosting expatriates from all over the world who have made Jeddah their home. Economically, Jeddah is focussing on further developing capital investment in scientific and engineering leadership within Saudi Arabia, and the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is in the Middle East, bordering the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of Yemen. Harsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes. Mostly uninhabited, sandy desert. The official language is Arabic. Most Saudi business people and government officials have a reasonable knowledge of English. Expatriate Asian business people in Saudi Arabia invariably conduct business in English. The main religion is Islam. Saudi Arabia's economy is petroleum-based; roughly 75% of budget revenues and 90% of export earnings come from the oil industry. The security risk for expatriates in Saudi Arabia is medium. Risks include petty crime, the highly conservative Islamic society (particularly the religious police strict interpretation of Sharia law), and underlying security threats. Other risks include the extremely high rate of road traffic accidents. The population in Jeddah is 4.5 Mil (2014 est.), while the inflation rate is 2.7% (2014 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in Jeddah as at 1 April 2015 is low in comparison to other places in the world. In Jeddah, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average in USD, is categorized follows: 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Very Low 2) Clothing: Average 3) Communication: High 4) Education: Average 5) Furniture & Appliances: Low 6) Groceries: Low 7) Healthcare: Average 8) Household Accommodation: Average 9) Miscellaneous: Average 10) Personal Care: Very High 11) Recreation & Culture: Very High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Average 13) Transport: Very Low Jeddah is for example -11.2% cheaper than Montevideo for groceries, -1.3% cheaper for household costs than Durban, and -42.4% cheaper for transport costs than Athens. Jeddah is ranked as a high degree of hardship location. Hardship (also know as quality of living) refers to the degree of hardship an expatriate and their family are likely to experience in the host location. Hardship pay is compensation to encourage people to move, in particular to less desirable locations. In determining the amount of hardship premium payable, factors such as economic, political, religious, infrastructure, environment/climate, personal safety, health, education, and transportation factors are considered. The hardship premium for Jeddah for an expat from Zurich is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Jeddah) premium of 30% minus home (Zurich) location premium of 10%. Xpatulator.com has been created to assist subscribers calculate expatriate pay using the online calculators and extensive database of cost of living and hardship indexes, for 780 international locations. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship or expat pay in Jeddah? Register subscribe to your home location and Jeddah and run your personalised reports.