- Working in the country
have to pay a religious tax called the Azakat,
which represents 2.5% of their assets. There is
also a tax on profits which for foreigners goes
from 25 to 40%
It is a good idea to take Arabic lessons, but
English is used everywhere. The quality of the job
that you can get will possibly depend on your level
of English. There are several institutions in
France where you can brush up your English.
you are employed by a French or international
In the case where your employer is a French or
international company you don't have to deal with
administrative formalities, the administrative
services in the country usually deal with the
formalities for all the expatriate staff. You will
only have to deal with them yourself if you are the
only representative of your company in the country
(commercial agent, in charge of a liaising office,
for your departure and looking for a job
could start by looking for information by writing
to French associations existing in the country, to
Trade Commissions, to the commercial services of
foreign banks in France or French banks in Saudi
Arabia. The French consulate usually has a service
dealing with jobs and training and can put you in
touch with companies wishing to employ French
French Chamber of Commerce also offers information
about the job market and the most dynamic sectors
of the economy and they also edit a bulletin for
French companies and local members. You could
publish a job application in this
Trade Commission in Saudi Arabia or the CFCE in
Paris can let you consult their list of French
companies set up in Saudi Arabia.
is a comprehensive documentation about the country
available from the cultural service of the Saudi
Arabian Embassy in Paris.
could also make a personal appointment with the
Franco-Saudian Chamber of Commerce to complete your
information and to obtain professional
you are looking for information you could also
contact companies directly and send in an
application proposing your services.
is often relevant information to be found in
international Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Directories and files on the country will be useful
in looking for important bits of information
concerning the sectors of activity and the local
organisms such as the ANPE, the APEC, the APECITA
and the ILO can also be of help.
to look for job offers :
In the French press (Le Monde, Le France Soir,
Figaro, Moniteur du Batiment, Expat magazine..) for
French companies sending people abroad.
the international press nearly all the big daily
papers have a column or a section of job offers
(The European, The Guardian, Vacature, Corriere
della Sera, La Tribune de Genève
can often find international job offers via the
bigger employment agencies and temporary work
Internet you can get easy access to several data
banks offering jobs locally.
your CV and the accompanying cover letter :
Sending in information about yourself is the
first step to getting an interview, so it's very
important that you do it properly.
CV must be in English, clearly set out, typewritten
and very detailled. It should be accompanied by a
handwritten covering letter. Some companies are not
very interested in graphology, but it is still
advisable to write your letter by hand.
forget to attach a recent photo, preferably where
you are smiling.
is not necessary to send in all the documents as
proof of your diplomas, work certificates etc with
the first letter. If you mention all the important
points in your CV and give the addresses of former
employers, so that they can eventually be
contacted, it is sufficient initially.
ever you should think of arranging a CV to suit the
employer's requirements, you should know that
according to a study made by the Florian Mantione
Institute, your CV has a 45% chance of being
checked by the prospective employer, 34% of the
candidates are eliminated following that
verification, and that 60% of the checks are done
with the previous employer.
whatever your motives for adapting your CV, you
should know that it will not help you during future
interviews and could possible play against you.
Questions you should ask yourself before
Ø What exactly is the mission ?
Ø What is the length of the contract ?
Ø Are you going alone or with your
Ø What is the life like locally ?
Ø Have you thought about coming back, how
you will manage to get reinstalled financially?
Ø Do you have the right character to be an
you need :
Ø emotional stability (so that you can
react rapidly to all kinds of situations).
Ø autonomy, (can you make important
decisions on your own)
Ø mobility and availability, are you able to
Ø social contact, (don't forget that an
expatriate is an ambassador for his country in his
working and his social life ).
Ø accomodating (you can easily adapt to
changes of culture, climate and way of life)
Ø the ability to accept and understand
Ø tolerance and respect for other people's
habits and traditions.
Family: Your partner should share your
ambitions, this is very important and can play in
the recruiting choice.
Some companies, particularly if the offer is for a
long term job, want to interview the candidate's
partner to check that there are no conflicts in the
couple which could eventually disturb the
the interview :
Punctuality is appreciated all over the world.
Be on time for your interview.
Whatever post you are applying for, dress well, you
will be judged on your appearance and the way you
First interviews can be short but can also last for
several hours if your application is found to be
interesting, depending on the position to be
filled, and if you have to do psychotechnical tests
(handwriting analyses) or aptitude tests.
Be careful not be appear pretentious about your
know-how, or to exaggerate your professional
abilities. Emphasise your real competence, your
ease of adaption, your mobility, your ability to
work in a team and your willingness to bring in any
experience you have gained.
Don't forget that unemployment is high nearly
everywhere in the world.
companies often like to show that they employ
expatriates in their company. International
personnel can bring in experience and knowledge
which is beneficial for the company.
: It can be difficult to negociate a salary,
especially when you are not sure of the cost of
living in the country. Higher salaries could mean
that the cost of living is higher also. If you are
employed by a French company you will normally have
a salary which gives you an equivalent standard of
living to the one you had in France.
For several reasons, particularly concerning the
salary and social cover it is often preferable to
go abroad with a European or international company.
The salary is usually calculated on a portion
"European base" which can be paid either in Europe
or abroad plus a living allowance. This living
allowance will be calculated by the company from
up-to-date information coming from the French
Embassy or other companies in the
: (see our guide for expatriates) If you are
employed locally you will have to pay the taxes in
the country. If you should have an international
contract you could have a tax free salary. In some
countries taxes are taken off the salary at source
by the employer.
- car - fringe benefits : If you are employed
locally it is very unlikely that you will be able
to negotiate housing. Whether or not you get a car
will depend on your function and your place in the
hierarchy of the company. On the other hand if you
are an expatriate with an international company you
will probably have accomodation, car, travel
allowance, return trips home etc included in your
conditions : The local work conditions will be
applied with their advantages and their
Sometime work or living conditions can be difficult
for foreigners abroad, particularly if you happen
to be dealing with an important site in an
inhospitable zone, but this is not often the
If you have an international contract you will
normally have 15 days home leave every three
months, that is the usual rota in the Middle
If on the other hand, you have a local contract,
regular paid leave periods with air tickets will be
very difficult to negotiate.
With an international company you will have no
administrative problems with police, customs,
immigration, taxes, visas or consular declarations,
the companies usually have a service which deals
with all that for their personnel and handles any
problems that should come up.
hours will be the local ones, foreign companies are
subject to the legal obligations in force in the
- Entry Formalities
need a passport which has at least still three
months validity on it and where there must be no
sign of an Israelian visa.
You are obliged to have a business visa which costs
200 FF for a short visit.
Attention : the country does not give
tourist visas. The only foreigners admitted into
Saudi Arabia are business men (and immigrant
is however the possibility of getting a 'visitors
visa' if you are related to a foreign resident. All
applicants have to have either a Saudian or a
resident 'sponsor.' The visa is valid for 30
state of hygiene in the country :
hospitals are well equipped and of an excellent
insurance is forbidden in principle. In spite of
that there are 74 insurance companies operating in
the Kingdom. It seems that individual medical
insurance will be the first kind of insurance to
become official and even obligatory for
expatriates, and eventually also for the Saudians,
and this will partially help towards financing
public hospitals (which are free of charge at
present for Saudi Arabians).
There is a risk of malaria in the south and the
west, except in Djeddah, Medina, Makkah and
The vaccination against meningitis A&C is
obligatory during the period of the pilgrimage to
You must also have had a yellow fever vaccin if you
come from an African country. It is a good idea to
get vaccinated against cholera and follow a malaria
If you have not had the requisite vaccins you will
be vaccinated on arrival and held in
Household pets must be accompanied by their