For many, joining Saudi Aramco will be the first time they set foot in Saudi Arabia. Here’s a summary of what the country is like, and what you can expect when you live here.
The climate will depend on where you are in the Kingdom but, in general, the summer lasts from May until September with the hottest months being June to August. There are strong winds, during June and July, which pick up quantities of sand and dust and are known locally as “shamals.”
Winter (December to February) is characterized by relatively mild weather interrupted by stormy periods with some rain, thunderstorms, and blowing dust.
The basic monetary unit used in Saudi Arabia is the Saudi Riyal (SR). The Saudi Riyal is printed in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500 bills/notes. The coins used are called “halala” and are issued in denominations of 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100. One Riyal consists of 100 halalas. The Saudi Riyal exchange rate is fixed to the U.S. dollar at SR3.75 to one U.S. dollar and fluctuates in value, relative to other currencies, in line with the U.S. dollar.
Each Saudi Aramco community has a local bank where U.S. dollar and Sterling personal checks and Saudi Riyal paychecks can be cashed. You can also purchase travelers checks here.
You can cash personal checks up to US$2,000. These banks will also usually cash Sterling cheques up to the equivalent amount.
A good road network connects all the major towns and cities in Saudi Arabia and all of Saudi Aramco’s major operating areas. Outside of the Saudi Aramco communities, the roads are often congested with heavy traffic, and driving conditions can often be more challenging than you may be used to.
To help you get around, we operate a system of free, scheduled bus services that cover transport to work, local towns, and between residential communities.