Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

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msk
Posts: 1227
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:40 am

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

Post by msk » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:08 am

Pros for the wife: she has school age children, best situation to make friends with other mothers.

Query for the OP. Why would anyone employ you rather than a local lad who has been educated stateside (plenty) at a much lower compensation because the employer does not have to convince the local lad that life there is good? Or somebody coming from a low income country? Remember that once the employer has determined that he needs a foreigner (with all the visa headaches) he has no compunction as to which country the employee comes from. Possible positive answers could be that you have very specific, narrow skills that are not learned quickly (so you can always get a job quickly if you return early back to the US) or that the employer is truly a personal friend that would love to have you on his side for this venture of a lifetime (for both of you). If the latter is the answer then there is no need for endless suspicions and guarantees. It may well be a fabulous adventure of a lifetime and you may never have regrets even if both you and your buddy end up broke. But still friends. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Nothing really to do with most of the comments posted above. Some people relish adventures, some do not (most BHs?). True BHs do not even relish the excitement of picking individual stocks! Probably asking for advice on the wrong forum :confused

masonstone
Posts: 391
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:01 pm

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

Post by masonstone » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:12 am

msk wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:08 am
True BHs do not even relish the excitement of picking individual stocks! Probably asking for advice on the wrong forum :confused
Agreed, we're a boring bunch :mrgreen:

Beatle Boots
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:28 am

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

Post by Beatle Boots » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:27 pm

I believe, a big factor on your quality of life will depend on your living arrangements and how your employment contract is structured (your employer may require you to live in specific housing). For instance, if you live on a "Westerner Only Compound" I believe you and your family will be more likely to succeed as opposed to living in a mixed arabic / westerner complex in Manama. The benefit of the Western only compound is that your family can meet and befriend other western families from all over the world. This networking allows everyone to piggy back on the cumulative group experience on how to get along in all manners such as dress, entertainment, etc.. The Western only compound prevents you from making an embarrassing cultural mistake in front of people from the host country.
s
On the other hand, the folks I knew in Kuwait, who lived in mixed Arabic / Westerner apartments complexes were a little more isolated although they had way more freedoms that folks in KSA.

The cultural differences between Arabs and Westerners are huge. For instance:

-Moslems get called and often go to prayer 5 times daily.
-The religion of Islam includes government, judicial (eye for an eye punishment), governs when a couple can have sex....and on and on.
-Driving in this part of the world is un-freaking believable. Imagine 12 lanes of traffic at a stop light and a guy in the furthest right hand land makes a left!!! Don't even ask about traffic circles! Sometimes you can read the traffic signs somentions not.
-Third country nationals (TCNs) sometimes appear to be "treated as indetured slaves".
-Womens rights are vastly different than in the west. My wife was groped by a TCN at the Riyadh camel races!

Bottom line is this: There are lots and lots of cultural difference in daily living and of the people from the host country.

Ansh Allah you will make the right decision for your family. Good luck!

AKsuited
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:50 pm

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

Post by AKsuited » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:46 pm

msk wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:08 am
It may well be a fabulous adventure of a lifetime and you may never have regrets even if both you and your buddy end up broke. But still friends. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Nothing really to do with most of the comments posted above. Some people relish adventures, some do not (most BHs?). True BHs do not even relish the excitement of picking individual stocks! Probably asking for advice on the wrong forum :confused
The hesitation is the family. If the OP is single or had grown children and the family is not coming along, then I highly recommend him to take the plunge having done it myself as a expat in the middle east. I think the culture differences are just too great to raise a family there as oppose to the US.

Having a family changes the equation quite a bit.

bltn
Posts: 446
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:32 pm

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

Post by bltn » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:10 pm

masonstone wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:12 am
msk wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:08 am
True BHs do not even relish the excitement of picking individual stocks! Probably asking for advice on the wrong forum :confused
Agreed, we're a boring bunch :mrgreen:
After spending a bunch of investment money on adventures early on, I began to realize the value of being boring. I m glad I stopped my “adventures” when I did.

bltn
Posts: 446
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:32 pm

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

Post by bltn » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:20 pm

AKsuited wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:46 pm
msk wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:08 am
It may well be a fabulous adventure of a lifetime and you may never have regrets even if both you and your buddy end up broke. But still friends. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Nothing really to do with most of the comments posted above. Some people relish adventures, some do not (most BHs?). True BHs do not even relish the excitement of picking individual stocks! Probably asking for advice on the wrong forum :confused
The hesitation is the family. If the OP is single or had grown children and the family is not coming along, then I highly recommend him to take the plunge having done it myself as a expat in the middle east. I think the culture differences are just too great to raise a family there as oppose to the US.

Having a family changes the equation quite a bit.
I haven t read the entire thread. But I m sure the increased financial risk of the ventured has been discussed. However, the biggest risk is family unhappiness. For me, this opportunity is not very attractive.

Starfish
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

Post by Starfish » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:40 pm

renue74 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:59 pm
You live in the greatest country in the world with the most freedoms.
You would think Bogleheads are above pure propaganda, but it seems not...

renue74
Posts: 1584
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:24 pm

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

Post by renue74 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:58 am

Starfish wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:40 pm
renue74 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:59 pm
You live in the greatest country in the world with the most freedoms.
You would think Bogleheads are above pure propaganda, but it seems not...
:D Ha. It was a little patriotic. I’ve heard good things about living in the Nordic countries, but I don’t like cold weather. So, I stand with my statement. ‘Merica

TedSwippet
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Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:19 pm

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

Post by TedSwippet » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:38 pm

renue74 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:59 pm
You live in the greatest country in the world with the most freedoms.
Less true than in the past. Freedom House's 2019 report ranks the US as the 52nd freest country overall:
The United States currently receives a score of 86 out of 100 points. While this places it below other major democracies such as France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, it is still firmly in the Free category. Nevertheless, its decline of eight points in as many years is significant. The United States’ closest peers with respect to total Freedom in the World scores are Belize, Croatia, Greece, Latvia, and Mongolia.
A score of 86 is well above Bahrain (score 12) and Saudi Arabia (score 7), though. My country scores 93 :-)

boglesyourmind
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:54 am

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

Post by boglesyourmind » Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:38 pm

Here is the angle of a child...

I lived in Riyadh in the 90s as a child and have fond memories of the international school I went to (SAIS-R). Very international and I would put the education as average. I am male so this does make a big difference. My parents sacrificed a lot to live there for 7 years so I could have a better future. It allowed me to go to college in the US and be in a position to retire at 35. I do not think I would have had these opportunities given my birth country so I am indebted to my parents for their sacrifices.

I believe money is a great tool so you have to be OK with selling your soul for a period of time. I remember very few American families being able to survive more than a couple years given how important "fairness" is to most Americans. Obviously the ME has changed since the 90s and I can't go back to Riyadh so don't know the specific changes.

A good example is. If you got into a car accident to no fault of your own with a Bahraini. Would you be able to walk away taking 100% of the blame and fault? If someone told your wife to cover her head while you were standing next to her. Would you be able to keep your mouth shut? These are not extreme examples but have happened. My mother also told the mutawa at the time to GFY (Good for you):)

In the end you have to remember you are a visitor and your freedoms are very limited.

This whole thing is a huge sacrifice for your wife. I think 80%(if not 100%) of the decision has to be hers. When my family moved, it was my mom's decision and we were in KSA for 7 years. It takes strong will and no ego to last. IMHO. GL and reach out if you have specific questions I can answer. I also know a couple people that lived in Bahrain as kids (not American) that can opine.

masonstone
Posts: 391
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:01 pm

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

Post by masonstone » Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:45 pm

renue74 wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:58 am
Starfish wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:40 pm
renue74 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:59 pm
You live in the greatest country in the world with the most freedoms.
You would think Bogleheads are above pure propaganda, but it seems not...
:D Ha. It was a little patriotic. I’ve heard good things about living in the Nordic countries, but I don’t like cold weather. So, I stand with my statement. ‘Merica
I would rather be a very high-net worth individual in a less free country than a middle income person in America. Actually, come to think of it, it's probably even better to be a very high-net worth individual in a more corrupt country than in the U.S. since you can buy yourself out of and into anything you want. Also you can always come to America whenever you want since you can buy a Green Card for 500K in the U.S.

Humility101
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:39 am

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

Post by Humility101 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:57 pm

Ignore all the non-cultured Bogleheads who are fearful of crossing the border. It’s way safer there despite the false rhetoric pumped by the news media. Do your homework first, but it will be worth it for 2-5 years. Bahrain has tons of expats (majority of the population is not even from there!). Just learn and respect the culture first. Financially the tax incentives are worth it (Ive done it) and you can travel on weekends to amazing places (Dubai, Muscat, etc.).

Starfish
Posts: 1175
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

Post by Starfish » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:24 am

masonstone wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:45 pm
renue74 wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:58 am
Starfish wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:40 pm
renue74 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:59 pm
You live in the greatest country in the world with the most freedoms.
You would think Bogleheads are above pure propaganda, but it seems not...
:D Ha. It was a little patriotic. I’ve heard good things about living in the Nordic countries, but I don’t like cold weather. So, I stand with my statement. ‘Merica
I would rather be a very high-net worth individual in a less free country than a middle income person in America. Actually, come to think of it, it's probably even better to be a very high-net worth individual in a more corrupt country than in the U.S. since you can buy yourself out of and into anything you want. Also you can always come to America whenever you want since you can buy a Green Card for 500K in the U.S.

I have a similar opinion. A country is "good" or "bad" depending on individual circumstances.
I also don't get people who said "I wouldn't want to raise my kids there". I grew up in one of most oppressive communist countries and I had a great childhood (with all material deficiencies) and the good parts of my childhood/youth I can't dream to replicate in the US for my kid. It's wrong to assume any correlation between the "freedom" of a country and how a particular family/individual will feel there. Only the OP can say and unfortunately only after living for a while there (it takes several years to adapt to a country).

As for the safety concerns, do they have mass shootings in schools every other day or so?

FireProof
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Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 12:15 pm

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

Post by FireProof » Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:17 am

The US is far from the frest country in the world, but compared to Saudi Arabia or Bahrain, it may as well be. And for people saying Bahrain is so much better, when did you last live there? Since the Arab Spring, it has completely cracked down on any kind of civil liberties. Of course, as people have said, if you're a foreigner who's an ally of the dictatorship, you may be able to live high off the hog.

JHU ALmuni
Posts: 107
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:40 pm

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

Post by JHU ALmuni » Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:53 am

Random Poster wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:23 am
DeathFalcon wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:56 am
Financials seem to me that this is a great can’t miss opportunity, but I’m here looking for other general opinions/thoughts on all aspects of our situation.
No way would I take that opportunity.

If you want to make money in O&G but not fear for your life while doing so, move to the Permian. The water may be foul, the roads may be terrible, the schools may be abysmal, and the scenery may be demoralizing, but the social and political climate is a lot more friendly than Saudi Arabia.

Or if you want more of a challenge given the current economic climate, go to Calgary and try to make it there.

But the Middle East? No thanks.

Living in the ME isn't exactly what you see on Fox News. Bahrain is very safe and based on what the OP mentioned this seems a nice way to early financial independence. Personally I would not pass such opportunity.

BV3273
Posts: 290
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:20 pm

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

Post by BV3273 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:31 am

Sounds to me like you already sold the idea to yourself and something is keeping you from finally pulling the trigger. There’s tons of folks with experience on here who have spent time in the area you are looking to move and they seem to be all over the board. Make a decision and stick to it.

retired recently
Posts: 388
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

Post by retired recently » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:18 am

I lived in the FSU for 14 years and would do it again in a heartbeat. I vacationed in Dubai and Turkey and would live in either place without hesitation. During my time overseas I saw many couples struggle though. You will be at work and occupied whereas your wife will have a tough time unless you are in some sort of expat compound?

If I were you and were seriously considering this, I would book a one week vacation there now and go spend some time there.

For those that say there is not enough money I strongly disagree. I made a lot of money and was able to retire at 40. Also I was fortunate enough to have travelled to almost 40 countries and it definitely gives you a different way of looking at things.

Good luck!

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