Culture Shock in Saudi Arabia | Expat Arrivals. 2014. Culture Shock in Saudi Arabia | Expat Arrivals. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.expatarrivals.com/saudi-arabia/culture-shock-in-saudi-arabia. [Accessed 08 October 2014]. Saudi Arabia is a deeply conservative Islamic state. Islam dominates all aspects of life in the Kingdom and expats will find that many of the freedoms they enjoyed back home are strictly regulated. However, one’s feeling of culture shock in Saudi Arabia may be tempered somewhat if living among the expat community within a Western compound. Many Western food franchises also thrive here; the shopping malls are pretty similar to Western malls, and satellite television can provide all one's favourite shows from home. While non-Muslims are allowed to practice their own religion in the privacy of their own homes, proselytising is strictly forbidden and those caught trying to spread any other religion will be harshly dealt with. Expats should avoid openly speaking about religion and should not wear any overtly religious symbols or jewellery. Saudi culture imposes distinct roles based on gender in society, and women may struggle to adapt to what they perceive to be misogynistic regulations that, for example, deny them the right to drive a car or ride a bicycle, and insist on their clothes being covered by an abaya (long, flowing black or dark-coloured robe). Women are also prevented from travelling or working without their husband’s permission, and are also forbidden from socialising in public with men they are not married to, or directly related to by blood. Such rules are actively and aggressively enforced by the religious police, and expats are expected to comply. Food and alcohol in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabian cuisine is rich and aromatic, mostly consisting of meat, rice, dates, vegetables and plenty of spices. Western foods are also widely available, including many international fast food and restaurant chains. There is a Starbucks on just...
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