Saudi National Day 2013: 13 reasons to celebrate living in the KSA
Although only unified in 1932, human habitation in Saudi Arabia goes back 20,000 years. Those Saudis must be doing something right for all the bad rap they get as running an inhospitable Kingdom (but for its salary/oil reserves)!
In honor of Saudi Arabia’s 81st national day, we’re going to show you why living in the Kingdom is nothing short of majestic. Continue reading below »
A vast expanse of desert with no form of centralised control in the 19th century, rival tribes and sects battled it out for control of Arabia for hundreds of years. Defeating his British-sponsored Hashemite rival Sharif Hussein bin Ali (whose great-great grandson now rules Jordan) in the 1916 Arab Revolt and the battle for Arabian hearts and minds, Abdul Aziz Al Saud was instated as the first ruler of Saudi Arabia in the early 20th century.
With family ties to Wahhabism and a decent relationship with the Brits (the most fickle of colonialists) Al Saud can be credited with the creation of Saudi Arabia as we know it today. It’s even named after him! Forcing the Brits to recognise it as autonomous from colonial control in 1927, perhaps the most important date in the Kingdom’s calendar is its independence day, 23 September 1932 - the date that Al Saud unified the country and Saudi’s modern history began.
Popular with the Western states thanks to its massive oil reserves, Saudi nontheless carries a heavy-duty bad reputation - with its conservative Islamic ideology and political system rubbing people up the wrong way in the post-War on-Terror era.
We beg to differ and think Saudi deserves a second chance and even a re-'visit', or indeed first time visit (visas allowing), as well as lashings of praise. Although there are some definite limitations on freedoms enjoyed elsewhere - for ladies in particular - there’s no reason why moving to Saudi Arabia can’t be the best decision you’ve ever made.
With plenty of expats flocking to the Kingdom for the tax-free lifestyle and big pay packages, many compounds (the hub of expat existence) enjoy their fair share of sin and naughtiness! There may not be a liquor store in sight, but with access to the embassy commissaries for ‘essential’ supplies, there’s no reason for your Arabian desert dream to stay dry.
A beautiful country and a beautifully big pay check - what could go wrong? It’s time to turn your preconceptions on their heads with Al Bawaba’s guide to living the high life in Arabia.
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