Saudi Red Crescent
Favorite thing: The providers of health care in K.S.A. are:
1. Ministry of Health ……………………………………….....MOH
2. Ministry of Defence & Aviation …...............................……MODA
3. Ministry of Interior …………………………………………MOI
4. Ministry of Education …………………………………....…MOE
5. Ministry of Municipal & Rural Affairs ………………….....MMRA
6. Ministry of Labor & Social Affairs …………………...……MOLSA
7. Saudi Arabian National Guard …………………………...…SANG
8. General Presidency for Girls Education …………………....GPGE
9. Saudi Red Crescent Society ………………………..……….SRCS
10. University Hospitals……………………………….………UH
11. King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center ………KFSH
12. General Corporation for Social Insurances………………...GCSI
13. General Presidency for Youth Welfare ……………………GPYW
14. Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu ……………………RCJY
15. Health Service of the Private Sector ……………………….HSPS
Easier than I thought!
Favorite thing: We only visited Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. One of the first things I was told was that as Jeddah is a seaside town, they are more relaxed than other parts of Saudi Arabia. And they were right! Sure I wore my abaya everytime I went out, but I didn't have my head covered, but then neither did about half of the other women out and about.
And with regard to the abaya, its not just a shapeless black coat, most of them have clever embroidery, sequins, patterns, and I saw my first green abaya. Even saw a Fendi one. Fashion has caught up with the abaya!!!
We visited the Sheraton Beach Resort in Jeddah, and went snorkling, with the children. Beautiful.
I had my hair and nails done in a lovely salon in Jeddah (sorry I can't remember its name). It was odd that people were smoking in a salon, but hey, not everywhere in the world is smokefree yet.
I was completely taken by surprise with the number of international brands that are well established in Saudi Arabia. I guess all we hear on the news is the bad stuff, yet all the big corporations are busy setting up, or even expanding their holdings in Saudi. I even had a coffee in Starbucks. Now that was not something I was expecting to do.
A girlfriend and I wandered around a shopping mall, completely unaccosted, sipping our takeaway coffees from Starbucks. Just like home! I hope that doesn't sound too condescending, that is not my intention. It's just that I was so prepared for restrictions on my activities, that when I found that there were very few, it took me by surprise.
All in all we had a fabulous time. Everyone was wonderful with the children. We ate superbly. The fruit cocktails were the best I have ever, or will ever, have.
Fondest memory: All the sculptures on almost every street. What an amazing sight.
The guava & milk cocktails. WOW.
Snorkeling in the Red Sea.
The hospitality.Related to:
- Family Travel
How to reach Half Moon Bay from Khobar Cornice
Favorite thing: drive beside the khobar corniche in the direction opposite to dammam, and keep driving so that you have the restaurant area to your left (friday's, chillis, ...etc.) you'll reach a light with airline building to your left, turn left and keep driving so that you have the sea front visible on your left, untill the road twists a bit to the right leading to a roundabout, take a left so that the sea front remains on your left still, you'll find an area with a lot of gardens called (el shebeily) you may not be able to see the sea so clearly but its still on your left, untill you reach an area where you see a desalination plant, turn right so that the plant is on your left and keep driving straight all the way you'll eventually find yourself ont he half moon road
Favorite thing: Hi,
Do you have single entry visa? if yes then you can renew it here and continue you stay but you can not exit and come back on single entry business visa. If you have multipal entry visa then I think you can not extend or renew but you can exit and come back on same visa untill visa valid.
Visa to Saudi Arabia
Favorite thing: Dear, you can apply for a visa through a travel agency in London. They do Umra trips and in this case you do not need a sponser. Also approach the embassy and ask for a tourist visa (this is a new type of visa). Validy of visas usually do not exceed one month but renewable from local immigration office. Don't bring heavy cloths waether in Jeddah and Makkah is around 28- 36C until May.
Internet charges on - april 2008
Favorite thing: for internet charges...here's an idea..
you have the regular 56kbps phone line connection by dialing a number and paying a small amount charged to your phone bill for the amoun of time you use, i think its something like 2SR / hour or something... but its very slow
you have another option of adsl ... which has different costs depending on the speed you desire and the isp you will have your account with...generally speaking you pay for 2 things when getting dsl....you pay saudi telecom a monthly fee for adsl service 128kb is 90sr/month, 256 is 100sr/month,...etc.
and you purchase a prepaid dsl account from an isp, which varies depending on the isp, prices have dropped significantly lately and keep dropping (they're still higher than many other countries)the latest offer i'm currently using is 450sr for 256kbps duration of 3 months from saudi net, however, saudi net made an offer of doubling the duration so now i get 6 month of 256kbps for 450srso its basically 75sr now....so to sum it up ... if you get a 256 connection this i what you will pay:
1. Telephone line installation fee 300sr (sometimes there's an offer and its for free)
2. dsl service installation fee 300sr (sometimes there's an offer and its for free)
3. dsl modem ...150-800sr
the above is the setup cost regardless of the speed of connection, the folloing is the running cost:
4.saudi telecom fee (monthly)
for 128kbps .......90sr
for 512kbps ......... i'm not sue but i think its 120sr
and so on
5. ISP dsl fee - average fee for most isp's now (usually those prices are provided when you purchase a 3 months prepaid card)
for 128kbps.....40-60 sr
for 256kbps ....70-100 sr
for 512kbps .... not sure but i think 140-170sr
there is also satellite internet but i don't know the prices, all i know is that its way too expensive for me
Myanmar people in M.East
Favorite thing: I heard from one of my friend only. So I personally don't have the experience with MM Embassy. Better come to visit Riyadh for one day. It is nearer. But, sadly I will not be able to entertain you in Riyadh unless you come to Jeddah....Related to:
- Business Travel
Religion is the Epitome of Saudia
Favorite thing: Ok, i grew up on this land and i have been blessed to have the chance to look at it as an insider and outsider, having lived in the west and received western education compared to my islamic and arabian upbringing. i got to tell you, it's frustrating to spend the rest of your life comparing and contrasting, and just complaining if things could be better on either side. however, sometimes i find it fascinating to experience all of this and live as a cultural adventurer, taking the risk of break these rules and applying them to a different context.
what i want to say is that there is a very distinctive identity for every culture i have lived in. for Saudia, this distinction resides in Religion. It is the epitome of living in and being Saudi. Locals literally pray for anything they do or have. Even the common use of expressions are religiously embedded. it doesn't have to do with being conservative or liberal, but rather it has become very cultural and an essential part of the Saudi identity. i know the western world might view this lifestyle as religiously conservative but honestly i myself see as part of the package. you put on your coat not because you believe in it, but you just do it. the same thing applies when it comes to religion; you pray a brief line before you go into the toilet, because you grew up like this. and to be a good average citizen in saudi means that you perform the usual five islamic prayers and fast ramadan, that simple! you're not even considered religious if you carry out this practice. Religion is something different from Religiosity.
the joke is, if you want to drink alcohol (which is islamically forbidden and by saudi law), you got to pray, 'in the name of God, i shall drink alcohol', lol.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Travel and Work in Saudi Arabia
Favorite thing: Just entering the country - from the moment you get off the plane or drive into the country you will see an abrupt transformation of lifestyle - women covered completely only in black abayas - often even gloved and veiled. The vast majority of men will wear traditional Thobe and Gutra with the Egal. There is also strict observance of the prayer calls 5 times a day and ALL businesses close. Even the airport checkin lines and gas stations and restaurants unless you are in a 5 star hotel. You will often see herds of roaming camels when outside of the city but if you see herders they will usually be hired help from another country.
Alcohol and Pork products are strictly prohibited. Beheading and amputations in public are still routinely used punishments and are an effective deterrent. I felt much safer there than in any large city in the USA.
I also loved to go fishing in Saudi Arabia on the Arabian Gulf with my Saudi friends who were superb fishermen - Faisal, Rashid, and Isa. There is phenomenal diving on the Red Sea but I never experienced this first hand.
I lived in Saudi Arabia working as a physician for the Saudi Arabian oil company ARAMCO. The process for getting a visitors visa is much easier nowadays but still harder than for any other country in the world unless you are Muslim coming for the Hajj. You can be invited there by a Saudi citizen also.
Fondest memory: The people and the food stand out. The freshest food and hot breads with yogurt, cheese or zatar toppings are THE BEST you will have anywhere.
The people for the most part are sweet and extremely polite and very private. They dote on their children.
The prayer calls are a constant reminder of God's presence.
The architecture is Islamic.
Shopping for gold in the gold souks and shopping for vegetables in the large public markets was always a popular pastime for the expatriates as well as Saudi'sRelated to:
- Food and Dining
- Work Abroad
- Arts and Culture
Mahd al Dhahab
Favorite thing: The photo: digging inside the mine.
Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources
Saudi Arabian Mining Company
Saudi Geological Survey
Khobar, King Fahd Causeway
Favorite thing: The King Fahd Causeway was built by the Saudi government to connect Saudi Arabia with Bahrain, with the aim of further strengthening the friendly relations between the two countries and facilitating movement between them.
The total span of the Causeway with its service utilities is 25 km (16 miles). During its construction it was known as the Saudi-Bahraini Causeway, but after it was inaugurated in a ceremony attended by the leaders of the two countries, Sheikh Eissa AL-Khalifa, the Emir of Bahrain, chose the name King Fahd Causeway for project. This has been its name ever since.
In the photo the artificial island on a side of King Fahd Causeway from the Kingdom side and the border area.
Saudi, a rainy epoch
Favorite thing: A rainy epoch that lasted from 30,000 to 8000 years ago left limestone outcrops in central Saudi Arabia riddled with sinkholes. Some remain valuable water sources today, while others lead down to spectacular, largely unexplored dry caverns such as “The Dome” in Dhal Shawyah.
al 'Ola, Madaen Saleh
Favorite thing: There are believed to be more than 4000 archeological sites in Saudi Arabia, many not yet thoroughly investigated. The most famous is Mada‘in Salih, which more than 2000 years ago was an entrepôt at the southern frontier of the Nabataean realm that extended north and west to Syria. Today only the sublime sandstone tombs remain, but as both religious and commercial tourism grow, visitors can follow in the footsteps of the long-gone traders.
General blah about Saudi
Favorite thing: The endless sand dunes in the Eastern Provence are amazing... most people just go there for a quick look around and head off back to civilisation, but I can't stress enough on how important it is to stay and LOOK around you. Most animal life is hidden away, and scurry into safety when they sense you around, but their tracks on the sand are usually a dead give-away. Be careful for snakes, but like I mentioned before, they usually hide away way before you come into sight.
The Arabian Desert also offers star gazers unimaginable visibility of the night sky. We went there one night, looked up, and were all gobsmacked at the amount of stars. Let's put it this way, if you looked up, all you saw was shiny little specks in the sky, and just an inch of black sky. Constellations can easily be lost in the mix, but it's well worth it, especially on a full moon.
The Red Sea on the Western Provence is trully amazing. Even if you don't dive, walk out on the reef (wearing protective shoes of course) and just stick your head on the surface of the water... you'll be amazed at how many fish are there. Most experienced divers I spoke to said that the Red Sea comes in at a close second behind the Great Barrier Reef.
Fondest memory: I grew up there, both on the Eastern Provence (Abqaiq) and the Western Provence (Jeddah)... I miss the culture, the shopping, the geography, and the people. Quite an unusual place to spend your childhood in, and in light of recent events around the world, I think people have a huge misunderstanding of this region of the world. Most people are peaceful, modern and very kind. You obviously get a few nutcases, but let's face it, where on earth wouldn't you find them?
Unfortunately, unless your Muslim or have a work permit, you will not be able to visit Saudi Arabia, which I believe is a great shame.Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
Favorite thing: Everyone who enters the Kingdom should have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity and the appropriate visa.
Unless you are a visitor from a GCC country or in transit, all other nationalities require a visa to enter the Kingdom. Visas can be for business, tourist, transit, residency, family, Hajj, or conference attendance.
Visas can be obtained from the visa department in the Saudi Embassy of the visitor's home country or from Saudi Consulates available in all main cities around the world.
The cost of a visa is generally 200 Saudi Riyals. However, visitors should check with the Saudi Embassy or Consulate.
All visitors to the Kingdom must have a return ticket.
Pilgrims must also have all valid documentation and a passport that is valid for 6 months.
p.s. this tip is quoted. See the link
Usually to get your visa processed more easily and quickly is to gather other 5 tourists (to show evidence you're tourists and not intend to stay as residents in Saudi) and apply for a tourist visa. You can then get your visa in two weeks on average. Also make sure you have all documents needed; return tickets, bank statements, valid passport..etc
Fondest memory: This tip is for non-Saudis...obviously most of the fondest memories are here in Saudi, my home country;^)Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Work Abroad
- School Holidays
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