This post is the second part of four parts that combine information about moving to Riyadh. The first part is about how to get your visa, the third part is about transportation and the fourth is about healthcare, education, dinning and shopping. In this post, We would like to give you few tips about accommodation in Riyadh.
By Saudi Labor Law, the sponsoring company provide housing for expats, hence, they either offer a room, an apartment or a house in the company compound. Or they compensate by paying a housing allowance (20~25% of your basic Salary), and that gives you the freedom to rent by your own.
Finding a house for rent in Riyadh city, and in Saudi in general, is not a difficult task as it is a very common business for Saudis who only have the right to trade in real estate market. However, finding a suitable one is.
The housing range may vary from 12.000 SAR a year for a shared room in an apartment, 25.000 SAR for a decent flat, 60.000 SAR for a house (A villa), and 120~220.000 SAR for housing in compounds.
Tip: Start searching in the area nearby your work office/site as you don’t want to spend your time hanging in the heavy city traffic.
You can search over the internet for a commission free (direct contract with the owner) rent. There are many websites and you can look for expats who intend to leave their apartment such as:
Or you can check a real estate agency, they take a commission for guiding you through different neighborhoods for housing vacancies (Not a bad option!) Note: The real state office will not charge any commission if you don’t find an apartment.
In general, expatriates choose to live in compounds. They are fenced neighborhoods with many services like sport facilities, pools, restaurants, shops and schools. In the compounds, women are not required to wear Abayas and can meet other foreigners.
A lot of people want to live in compounds, so it is sometimes very difficult to find an accommodation there, waiting lists are always long. Although the prices can get very high! And can reach up to 400.000 Riyal (approx. 100.000 Dollars!).
To have a look at the compounds, please check this website that I just found: http://www.rightcompound.com/
When you find an accommodation, the contract is always in Arabic, an English version are not offered. If you know someone who reads Arabic, it is better to show them to avoid any confusion.
Paying the rent could be paid annually or for 6 months in advanced.
In Riyadh, you have to pay for the gas and electricity. For internet and land line, you have to organize it.
You can continue reading our guide “Moving to Riyadh” by clicking on the following links:
- Moving to Riyadh – Part I – Visa
- Moving to Riyadh – Part III – Transportation
- Moving to Riyadh – Part IV – Healthcare, Education, dinning and Shopping