A lot of people move to Saudi Arabia due to a new job position. And, more often than not, that job position comes with a relocation package that has secured accommodation. Now, if you happen to be one of those people and you move into an apartment that suits you just right, great! But, if you are among those who need to find an apartment when moving to Jeddah, you are in for a bit of a hassle. Finding an apartment in Jeddah is a bit different from finding one in the U.S. This is why we going to go through some important points that should make your apartment hunt in Jeddah a bit easier.
Before moving to Jeddah
So, before we get into the proper way to find an apartment when moving to Jeddah, let’s go over some important preparations. In order to even start looking for an apartment, you need to have the proper paperwork with you. Almost every landlord will want to see your legal documentation before they let you rent their apartment. This includes your personal travel documents, your visa, and proof of employment.
Moving to Jeddah as a foreigner
The ideal time to start looking for an apartment in Jeddah is the moment you decide that you are going to move. Know that apartment hunting can take a while. And, while it does, you might even have to live in sub-par apartments until you find the one that suits you right. So, with that in mind, let’s go over a couple of useful tips for moving to this interesting city.
Finding a moving company with storage options
If you haven’t found an apartment before moving to Jeddah, we suggest that you hire a company that has storage capabilities. Until you manage to find the apartment you want, your best bet will be to keep your belongings in a safe storage facility. And the easiest way to deal with this is to hire a single company that deals with both moving and storage. Companies like Four Winds Saudi Arabia are your best option as they have experience with international relocation.
Preparing for a long-distance relocation
Alongside your standard items, we also suggest that you bring some transferable appliances. If you are forced to live in a subpar apartment untill a good one opens up, you may not have access to certain appliances. So, the more of them you bring, the better equipped you will be to handle any hardships.
What to keep in mind while trying to find an apartment when moving to Jeddah
As a U.S. citizen that has never been to Jeddah, there little to no chance of you finding a decent apartment on your own. Most of the quality housing here is owned by wealthy Arabs that have no need or desire to learn English. So, in order to find an apartment when moving to Jeddah, you will first need to find a real estate agent to represent you. Only with their help do you stand a chance of finding proper accommodation.
Finding a realtor
A large number of foreigners look for apartments in Jeddah. Therefore, finding a real estate agent that can help you shouldn’t be too difficult. Our advice is to look carefully before you settle on one. There are quite a few of them that specialize in providing foreign, English speaking citizens accommodation. So, give yourself some time to check them out online and see their track record. Finding decent accommodation is difficult, even in Miami. And Jeddah is no different, which is why you need someone capable to help you with apartment hunting. Ideally, your company should help you with finding one. But, don’t shy away from checking out a couple by yourself.
Most expats live in expat compounds. They are considered as the best accommodation option since they were made to draw in foreign professionals to Saudi Arabia. With any luck, your company should have a standing agreement with a compound owner. Therefore, you should be able to find a decent apartment with your realtor in no time. These compounds have all the amenities you can think of, and they come fully furnished. Unfortunately, it does sometimes happen that you have to wait for an apartment to open up.
Once you find an apartment that you like you will have to sign a rental contract. You can either go for a short-term one that is between 2 and 6 months. Or, you can go for a long-term one that is a full year. Whatever you opt for doing, try your best to honor your contract. While some contracts can be changed or even void, try to honor yours as much as possible. Good credit goes a long way in Saudi Arabia while having a bad rep can ruin your chances of finding a new apartment.
Also, keep in mind that you will need to have a sponsor in order to sign a contract. This is usually a Saudi Arabia resident that is going to vouch for you. In most cases, this is going to be someone in your company or close to it. So, keep in mind that dishonoring your rental contract can also bring them trouble in the long run.
Which areas to check out
Ideally, you should talk this over with your employer and in order to find an apartment when moving to Jeddah. Go online and research the area, and to also talk with fellow U.S. cities who are currently living in them. Remember that when it comes to living here, you really want to live surrounded by your fellow westerners as you’ll have a much easier time making friends. The most popular ones in Jeddah are Al-Safa and Ash Shati. But, if your realtor has better ideas, be sure to check them out as well.