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The Royal Court moves from Riyadh to Jeddah for about four to five months a year, typically from before Ramadan to after hajj. During this time it can be nearly impossible to get hotel rooms. Getting visas for family to visit can be a real pain. - Mar 2019

It is a difficult place to be, the only thing that makes this place a good place is the compound life, and the money, but they took off the danger pay and they are going to move to the consulate to most of the families, so this place is going to be a nightmare. - Nov 2015

Think twice before you come. - Oct 2015

Don't expect the locals to perceive things the way you do. The Arab world didn't undergo an Enlightenment period in which society started favoring reason rather than religious clerics as the ultimate authority. So concepts like egalitarianism and openmindedness and tolerance don't hold nearly as much sway in this society as they do in the West. Also, Saudis grow up in a religious (and even gender) monoculture, which creates a lot of differences between their perceptions and ours. If you can appreciate those differences rather than disdain them, you will be in good shape. - May 2013

There's a golf course at KAUST, about 45 mins north of town but it's hard to get on. You need a member to sponsor you, it's far away, expensive, and it's v. hot here so you have to get up v. early to get up there and play. Saudi is an important country and an interesting place to serve. If you're interested in coming here for the right reasons, you'll be fine. If you're just trying to secure a comfortable follow on and check a box, you'll prob. complain for two years. - Nov 2010

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