Is living in Dhahran different?

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Is living in Dhahran different?

Postby wannago » Sat Mar 11, 2006 4:01 pm

Hi everyone. :)

I need your opinion on something.

We are still deciding whether or not to make the enormous decision of working for Aramco.

My husband has been offered a position, but as he pointed out, we would making a minimum of a 15yr commitment (we are both 35yrs).

We are coming across conficting reports on people's experiences there.


The common thread I see running though our different reports is this:

Everyone he has spoken to never lived in Dhahran.

Everyone I have spoken to has.


My husband has spoken with a handful of men who have lived there....in Saudi. All of them hated it. Some had families in Saudi, some did not. All affliated with Aramco, none worked directly for Aramco.
Of course this colors his views of living in Dhahran and working for Aramco.

I have spoken with only two woman personally, but read many many posts, and nearly everyone LOVES it.
Everyone I have spoken to/read are residents/former residents of DHAHRAN. All work-ed for Aramco.

My husband is afraid we will get over there and I will hate it, but we will be stuck there for the next 15yrs with no way back to the states.


Here is my summation of the situation...

He currently has a very good job that he enjoys that pays a fairly good salary. Much of his salary is devoured by the extreme cost of living in our area.

Aramco, of course, pays much much better, and living cost are minimal. We also have three small children (5,3,2) and are facing the next several years of schooling. From what I understand, the schools there are are far superior to American public schools (which are pathetic indeed!). Yes, I know they only go up to 9th grade. But who knows, that may change in the next 9yrs when my 5yr old is in 9th grade....

After graduation, we are looking at 3 children in collage, probably simutaneously. How the HECK are we going to afford THAT??? With an Aramco salary, we would be able to put back a savings account for them. Currently, we live from paycheck to paycheck and are unable to do that. :(

I have never been outside this country (OK...I have been to Canada...does that count?) If we stay here, I will NEVER see the world, nor would my children. If we work for Aramco....well....if you are reading this post, you must know the travel possibilities!

Of course retirement with Aramco is great. Average with the company he is currently with.

The community at Dhaharan seems close knit. Quite a different story in suburbia, USA.

Well, I could go on, but that is a summary of my current view of life in Dhaharan. Maybe I am just looking for the good and miss the bad. What are the BAD points of living there?

So far I have not read about or talked to one person yet who hated it there.

If anyone add imput that would help us out I would greatly appreciate it. :)
Not being there, we are kinda walking in blind. 8)

This is a 'no-return' decision. It will seal the next 15yrs of our families life. I do not want to get there and be miserable!

Thanks for the input everyone. :)
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Postby clwsmith » Sat Mar 11, 2006 7:27 pm

Hi,
I replied to the private message you sent me, let me know if you received it or not. I have received a few private messages over the last month or so, and have replied to them, just not sure if they were received by the people that I replied to or not.
There are good and bad sides of every situation, and every place. In all honesty, I have found more good about our decision to come here than bad. The interstates and driving in the states bother me, so here, it "really" bothers me. But I deal with it. Not always being able to find what I am looking for at the grocery store can be an inconvience at times. But it has taught me to improvise as well as to try new things. It has also taught me to appreciate things more. I can deal with all of that too. Our children are getting a wonderful education, and getting to meet children from all over in their very own classroom. We are meeting people from all over as well, and making wonderful friends. We have far more family time than we ever did in the states. We will be able to take our children and travel around the world. They are enjoying getting to do so, and are looking forward to more traveling. They love it here, and are happy that we chose to come here. For us it was ther right choice.
Good luck in deciding if it is the right choice for your family, and feel free to ask whatever questions you have. Maybe it would help your husband if he were to actually speak or email with someone that actually lives in an Aramco community.

Take Care,
Cindy
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Postby vpainter » Tue Mar 14, 2006 8:00 pm

Your husband in talking with men who did not directly work for Aramco is not getting the correct information. People who have to live off the Aramco compounds (contractors usually) Do not always enjoy life in SA. If you get to live inside an Aramco Compound, most people like it if not love it. The world travel is truly a benefit. You'll not regret moving to SA. Living in Dhahran is like living in a resort year round. Sounds to good to be true, but you have all the amenities provided for you that you would get in a resort at no cost or low cost. You can't beat it. Most women are happy there, although, I'm sure there are those who are not. It usually depends on the attitude of the husband and wife. Positive attitudes are happy, people who have negative attitudes will have a negative attitude over there too and will be unhappy about something.

There's lots of social family things to do, and your children will get an excellent, not just sufficient education.

I encourage your husband to talk to men who have worked for and lived in Aramco.
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Working at Aramco

Postby rotary » Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:37 am

Hi
I am new to working at Aramco-only one month now. I went thru the same thoughts as you are going thru. I had a good job with good money but no job security.
In the end I made the Aramco choice due to job security. From what I have seen the last month I can assure you it was the right decision.Aramco takes very good care of employees.Job conditions seem to be very good.I wish I had come 10 yrs ago.I think the people who do not like working for Aramco are not looking at the whole picture.As far as working for contractors and not Aramco I think its about par for the course-both good and bad. In the end if you have the choice to work for Aramco you should take it.
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Thank you.

Postby wannago » Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:17 pm

Thank you for your reply.

Everytime someone replies it helps tremendously in making this decision.

The position(s) he has been offered would have us residing in Ras Tanura.

:?: Does anyone know much about Ras Tanura?

It seems everyone talks about Dhahran (which is where I would prefer to live!), but scarce is any info available on Ras Tanura.
Has anyone LIVED there? Does anyone KNOW anyone who has lived there?

I have heard both good and bad about it.

How about the school? As my previous post says, I have three small children, my youngest is starting Kindergarten this year.
Education is my TOP priority and social opportunities for my children second (ball games, karate, scuba lessons, soccor, etc).

Thank you to EVERYONE who replies to my posts. I wish I could express how much you are apprecited!
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Postby vpainter » Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:28 pm

Just remember: different is not bad. You'll enjoy living in RT. You hear so much about Dhahran because there are alot of people there. RT is smaller, but smaller has it's own advantages.
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Postby Caroline » Sun Apr 23, 2006 6:11 pm

I lived in Ras Tanura for 6 wonderful years and when I had to move to Dhahran I found it quite hard initially. Dhahran is a wonderful place but larger and therefore it takes a bit longer to get established. Its also closer to better shopping and restaurants. That said, Ras Tanura has a wonderful community spirit and is very friendly (at least when I was there and Im sure it hasnt changed) and a wonderful beach right inside the camp. Toddlers will have a wonderful life whether in RT or DH, lots of time with their parents and plenty of activities. Good Luck.
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Thank you

Postby wannago » Sun Apr 23, 2006 7:57 pm

I loved your reply! It was so good to hear from someone who lived in Ras Tanura!

Thank you for taking the time to reply!

Image
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Aramco Camps

Postby boards » Tue Apr 25, 2006 3:11 am

Hi,
Over a 25 year period, I lived in the four main camps in the Eastern Province, raising children in all of them. The kids loved RT; I think Dhahran is great but preferred RT for raising kids!

Ras Tanura is a great camp; everyone loved living and working there.
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Sold!

Postby wannago » Tue Apr 25, 2006 3:35 pm

OK.

I'm sold!

Sign us up. :D

I'm ready to go to RT.

I wonder if the whole hiring process, and passport/visa processing can be done in time for my oldest to start Kindergarten there in the fall?

Probaby not, huh?

One can dream anyhow....:roll:

Thanks so much for your post!!
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