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Moving To Saudi Arabia From The UK

If you are moving to Saudi Arabia, whether to Riyadh, Jeddah, or Mecca, Britannia Movers International has the experience and the local knowledge to tailor the move to your individual needs.


Importing Personal Effects to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has many restrictions on importing effects and your local Britannia Member will be able to provide you with up to date details of these. If the consignment is valued over US$3000, all effects are subject to duty at varying rates, excluding books and used clothing. Electronic items are subject to customs duty at 12% and furniture at 20% of the landed value and invoices should be provided. All printed goods, videos/DVDs, photos, and personal computers are subject to censorship and will be held for inspection and later delivery, and there are heavy fines for items that are confiscated. All shipments are subject to a 100% customs inspection, and the owner must be in the country prior to arrival of the effects.


Prohibitions and Restrictions

In general it is in your interest not to import the following items:

  • Firearms & ammunition
  • Inflammable goods & substances
  • Plants & plant material
  • Foodstuffs, perishables or otherwise
  • Narcotics and dangerous goods
  • Offensive materials
  • Alcohol & Tobacco

Saudi Arabia Transit Times

Sole use containers take on average 5-6 weeks door to door. Groupage container loads will take around 6-8 weeks.

Bar Coding

Bar Coding

All Groupage consignments will be bar coded before they are loaded into the shipping container. This will ensure that no items are left at origin.


Taking Domestic Pets to Saudi Arabia

Britannia can recommend a specialised shipper of animals to assist you in sending your family pet(s) from home to home. They will coordinate all documentation and necessary veterinary procedures.

Find out more about pet transport.


Moving Motor Vehicles to Saudi Arabia

Right hand motor vehicles are prohibited from import.

International currency exchange

International FX

When you are making international payments for individuals you can benefit from IFX expertise in seeking the best possible rate, whether you are sending or receiving foreign currency.

IFX can help to protect you from exchange rate fluctuations and save you time and money on international payments.

IFX offers :

  • International payments
  • Regular Overseas Transfers
  • Prepaid Currency Card
  • Forward Contracts

More info on the IFX website.

Moving to Saudi Arabia with Britannia

Your Move to Saudi Arabia with Britannia – Britannia can offer you a door to door shipping service to Saudi Arabia, and can either ship your effects in a wooden crate or by full container load. In addition, we can undertake airfreight consignments to Riyadh. Our agents in Saudi Arabia will arrange customs clearance, and deliver and unpack the effects, including removal of debris on the day of delivery. A copy of the passport, valued inventory, insurance certificate, and residence permit are needed to clear the goods.

Additional Removal Services – Britannia can provide a variety of additional removal services when moving to Saudi Arabia. We are authorised to provide comprehensive insurance, can arrange storage prior to delivery, and can also take care of your pet transport.

If you are interested in moving to Saudi Arabia, find out your removal costs, and read more about our international removals.

Living in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is not a very popular destination with expats and tourists. Most expats move to Saudi Arabia for better professional opportunities, and to earn tax-free salaries, but the country could also be an exciting destination if you are open-minded to different cultures and are looking for new challenges. Saudi Arabia is an extremely conservative country, so experiencing the genuine Saudi life would not be the ideal lifestyle for most expats, especially women. Your life in Saudi Arabia will most probably be very different from the Saudi lifestyle. Most expats in Saudi Arabia live in villa compounds maintained for Western expats. These villa compounds do offer some amenities, and a relatively comfortable lifestyle, but you might find them artificial and limited after a while.

Saudi Arabia is a country located in the Middle East, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and is bordered by Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, Oman, Yemen and Bahrain. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy governed on the basis of Islamic Law. The country has the world’s largest oil reserves, and oil accounts for over 90% of exports, and more than 70% of government revenues. Saudi Arabia can boast a relatively high per capita income, but unemployment rates are relatively high, and corruption abounds. Saudi Arabia is also a very conservative country, where women have limited social and legal rights. For example, all women are required to have a male guardian, and need the guardian’s permission to travel, open a bank account, get married, or work.

If you are open minded and are looking for a different and challenging experience, Saudi Arabia could be an exciting expat destination, and you’ll have the chance to explore the country’s historical sites, deserts, and enjoy sports, such as scuba diving, windsurfing or sailing. However, before moving to the country permanently, make sure to do your research and be aware of the vast cultural differences and restrictions that you’ll experience in the country, even if you are planning to live in one of the Western villa compounds.

Interesting Facts About Saudi Arabia

  • ARAMCO, a Saudi company is the world’s largest producer of oil.
  • Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s driest countries, and more than half the area of Saudi Arabia is desert.
  • Saudi Arabia provides extensive welfare benefits compared to some other Arab countries, including free public education, free public health care, and 2 years of paid maternal leave for women working in the government sector.
  • Saudi Arabia is the only country which bans women from driving.
  • Mecca and Medina, located in Saudi Arabia are the two holiest places in Islam.
  • Islam is the dominant religion in Saudi Arabia.

Tips About Moving to And Living in Saudi Arabia

  • UK citizens entering Saudi Arabia will need a visa. Saudi Arabian Embassies can issue four types of visas – a visitor’s/business visa that requires a formal invitation from a Saudi individual or company located in the country, a residence visa, a work visa that requires employment contract and academic records, and a transit visa. You should also be aware that there are restrictions and regulations on leaving the country as well.
  • There are a number of professional and business opportunities for those planning to move to Saudi Arabia permanently, especially in the oil, engineering, IT and telecommunications sectors.
  • If you are moving to Saudi Arabia with your children, you will also have to consider education opportunities. Only locals and naturalised Arabs can send their children to Saudi schools, but there are a number of of British and American international schools.
  • Living and housing costs in Saudi Arabia will be substantially lower than in the UK.

Key Information

saudi arabia flag Moving To Saudi Arabia From The UK
Time Zone:

AST (UTC+3) - Summer (DST)
(not observed) (UTC+3)

Currency: Saudi Riyal (SR) (SAR)
Calling Code: 00966


FHIO APG Worldwide ISO9001 FIFI Living Wage accrediations2