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. The climate is harsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes. 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. In Saudi Arabia, Muslim sensitivities must be respected, such as avoiding public displays of affection. Expatriate business dress comprises business suits for men and loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves, hemlines and conservative necklines for women. In public, women must cover their heads and wear long loose-fitting clothes that cover their arms and legs. Wearing an abaya – traditional dress for local women – can be the simplest method of dressing to avoid attracting attention. 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 currency of Saudi Arabia is the Saudi Riyal (SAR). Medical facilities are of a high standard in major cities. Most towns have a health centre or basic hospital, however serious cases may require evacuation to hospitals in a major city. The population of Jeddah is 4.5 Million (2016 est.), while the inflation rate is 4.3% (2016 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in In Jeddah, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Jeddah as at 1 April 2016 is average in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Very Low 2) Clothing: Average 3) Communication: High 4) Education: Average 5) Furniture & Appliances: Average 6) Groceries: Low 7) Healthcare: Average 8) Household Accommodation: High 9) Miscellaneous: Average 10) Personal Care: Very High 11) Recreation & Culture: Very High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Low 13) Transport: Very Low Jeddah is for example -43.8% cheaper than Singapore for groceries, 77.2% more expensive for household costs than Slovakia, and -38.9% cheaper for transport costs than Bratislava. The hardship premium for Jeddah for an expat from Pretoria, is for example 10%, i.e. host location (Jeddah) premium of 30% minus home (Pretoria) location premium of 20%. Jeddah is ranked as a high degree of hardship location. 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.