I need to make use of your Riyadh experiences
March 31, 2009 8:27 AM   Subscribe

Can someone help me determine the legitimacy and existence of an establishment in Riyadh? Furthermore, have you lived and worked in Riyadh? What do you think of it?

Without getting into specifics here in the green, I need to know if there is anyone around here who can help me determine if a particular Saudi establishment, located in Riyadh, is legitimate.
Asking for a friend, who was invited to work at said establishment, and was promised a large sum of money were he to work there for a period of two years.
The work is highly skilled, and my friend is the top of his particular field, so the request is not completely out of the blue. What we are having trouble with is independently verifying the existence and legitimacy of this enterprise. If you have any knowledge or access to Riyadh, could you please memail me? I would prefer not to provide too many details here in public, but I don't want to post anonymously, which would prevent me from responding.
Furthermore, I would like to know about living conditions for foreigners in SA. My friend is neither a Muslim or an American. Thanks all.
posted by msali to Work & Money (4 answers total)
I've never lived in Riyadh full time, but I was recently there for three months for a project. I commuted back to Dubai (where I live) for a weekend every fortnight, but even then, Saudi can be very boring.
Is your friend working for an oil company? If so, he might be living in an ARAMCO compound, if this is the case then he will be able to live in what is basically a super whitebread American suburb with alcohol and cinemas and such.
Riyadh is not (at the moment) at all dangerous, with the exception of the crazy traffic.
I'm not really sure how to go about verifying the legitimacy of this company, but I don't know why you'd doubt it (unless they ask your friend for money, obviously!).
Have they asked your friend to fly over for an interview?
posted by atrazine at 9:20 AM on March 31, 2009

General response: I know someone, though not in Riyadh, in S.Arabia. They might know someone who can verify the info for you, so MefiMail me if you'd like.

There are many nonMuslims, nonAmericans in the Gulf region. Infact after relocating to Dubai I realised to my surprise that I come across very few American expats, and most westerners hail from UK/Australia/other parts of Europe..and lots of Russians/Uzbeks and other assorted former USSRians too. So if the distribution is similar in S.Arabia that should not be much of an issue. I guess Aramco might be the one of the few big companies with higher Americans/nonAmericans ratio - but I'll safely assume your friend is not in Aramco, cause there's nothing to verify or check for legitimacy there. However if it's Aramco, then be rest assured it's a westerner's green zone, your friend won't feel like he's in Saudi.
posted by forwebsites at 9:30 AM on March 31, 2009

That General response tag should not be there. I initially had a longish reply, and realised it didn't add much so removed it except for that weird intro hanging in there. Also, I am out for some work and not respond to MefiMail until tomorrow or day after.
posted by forwebsites at 9:33 AM on March 31, 2009

This wouldn't happen to be an opening for a piloting/checkairman job, would it?

If it's the same one I'm thinking of, yes, the operation is legitimate.
posted by Thistledown at 11:11 AM on March 31, 2009

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