The Odyssey Guide to Jeddah


Fraser Clarke

Expats moving to Saudi Arabia tend to end up in either Riyadh or Jeddah. Both cities are home to high quality healthcare facilities, plenty of amenities and expat-friendly compounds. Jeddah’s more relaxed atmosphere however makes it a particular favourite, especially with those looking for a less intensive Saudi experience.

Where to live?

Most expats moving to Jeddah will choose to live in one of the city’s compounds. These offer a very secure, almost Western standard of living, with impressive villas, apartments and communal facilities that make them ideal for families. 

Arabian Homes are one of the most established compound suppliers in the region, and they run four villages in Jeddah - all of which are located near the airport and other local attractions.

Elite Compounds and the recently constructed Divona also offer a high quality of living, however they are far from the only attractive options.

If you’re more adventurous, or keen to maximise your money, then you can live in the city itself, however standards and security levels are far lower than in the compounds, so we would only recommend this to someone with a decent knowledge of the city.


What is there to do?

Many people moving to Saudi Arabia are put off by the lack of tourist attractions, however that is slowly changing as the Kingdom starts to open its doors to more and more visitors. Here are three things to consider visiting:

Fakieh Aquarium - One of Saudi’s premier tourist attractions, the aquarium is home to a fascinating selection of marine life.

Athr Gallery - A thought provoking contemporary art gallery located just off Jeddah’s main shopping area - Tahlia Street.

Al-Shallal Theme Park - Covering 60,000 square meters this park has long been popular with families.

Where am I likely to be working?

Jeddah is home to some excellent public and privately owned hospitals and medical centres, and the demand tends to change depending on when you are looking to start, the speciality and your qualifications.

At the moment we’ve got a range of openings in Government owned facilities. The Saudi Ministry of Health has split the healthcare system into four - with public hospitals, Ministry of Defence and Aviation (MODA), Interior Ministry (MOI) and Saudi National Guard (SANG) facilities Kingdom-wide.

These all offer a high standard of care, attractive salary packages and good locations in the heart of the city.

Who is suited to a move?

Saudi Arabia is well suited for an experienced medic looking to increase their savings, via a short-term move overseas.

Most people moving to Saudi only stay for between two and four years, which is enough time to sample the culture, boost your bank balance and test your professional skills within a new environment. 

As with the rest of the Gulf a lot of focus is placed on the importance of working independently, so we’d only recommend it to someone with a decent chunk of post-qualification experience back home.

Why move?

Looking for a few reasons to move to Jeddah? Here are five:

1 - You’ll be given more responsibility within the hospital, thus having more freedom to tackle cases in the way you believe best.

2 - Financial attractions are a given, high tax-free salaries and a relatively low cost of living makes moving to Jeddah extremely lucrative.

3 - The city is home to a vast range of restaurants, serving incredible food from all around the world.

4 - A move to one of the Gulf’s most historically significant cities can be a unique cultural experience.

5 - Jeddah itself looks absolutely beautiful at night, when lighting turns it from a sandy, dusty beige into a warm gold and black.

If a move to Jeddah is something that would interest you register on our website today. A dream move could be far closer than you might imagine.