Saudi Arabia: The Other Side of Travel

returning home



Whether an expatriate or a Saudi, travel outside of the Kingdom is a fun and exciting affair.  It’s pretty common for most expatriates and Saudis to travel out of the Kingdom for one to three months during the height of the heat when school is out.  It’s a welcome break away for everyone!

However, at some point it is time to return and that is when one must be prepared for some surprises or what I like to refer to as ‘the other side of travel.’

Don’t be surprised if you return after an absence of sixty days or more to find that your internet account  has been disconnected or even to discover that your bank account or credit cards have been frozen.  For some reason, this is a fairly common happening in the Kingdom after an absence.

Utilities and internet can get easily turned back on after a few phone calls and perhaps having to pay a personal visit to the place of business.  If ones bank accounts were frozen then that will certainly require a visit to the bank.  Don’t forget to take all your important documentation (iqama, passport, ID card, etc.) with you when going.   Talking to the bank prior to departure is no guarantee that your accounts would remain untouched.

In addition, it is ideal to have someone come in and clean your house thoroughly prior to your return due to the accumulation of dust.  If that is not possible, you’ll want someone available as soon as possible after your return.

Most expatriates or Saudis do not take their housemaid with them when traveling for an extended period.  In many cases, the housemaid will stay with another family until the sponsoring family returns.


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