Hi My name is Lyn Birrell

I was an Expat living in Jeddah with my husband.

Originally I wanted to write this blog for family and friends  to share our experiences and adventures of what life is like living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  Also as a record of our experiences as a journal to look back on and share with our grandchildren. However, as time has passed I had another reason to write this blog and that is to share what Jeddah has to offer to Expats. Jeddah has much to offer, things to do, places to go, shopping, cultural events, tours…

I have thoroughly enjoyed living in Jeddah sharing these experiences. Hopefully it will serve to educate and help others to learn about Jeddah’s culture and the beautiful people that live there.

We left Jeddah in March 2016 to go to Spain.  I returned to Australia in July and am now living here in Perth Western Australia. I will never forget Jeddah and all the wonderful people that I met there. The dear friends I have made. I miss the Jeddah life, however I do have some lovely memories to hold close to my heart.

Here in Australia I have set up a facebook page to share Sewing, Arts and Craft projects with each other. People may also sell and buy the hand made crafts. Here is my facebook page.

Anyone is welcome to read my blogs if they are interested. Please feel free to comment as I enjoy receiving them. This blog is not intended for commercial purposes so please don’t put spam in the comments as I will not publish them.




  • Alessandro Borgogna says:

    Ms. Birrell,

    I am Italian and supporting a Saudi start up which aims to simplify the lives of expats and Saudis in searching for Saudi service suppliers, including home repair services, event planners, business consultants, beauty specialists, therapists and more …

    We started in jeddah and i think it will be useful service for all the expat community in Jeddah …the site is called http://www.serviis.com

    thanks for publishing



  • Joyce says:


    My name is Joyce, I am a marketing executive at expatfinder.com which is a leading expat information and services website.

    I saw on your blog that you are and expat. I wish to interview you to further share some of your tips. The questions are mainly about the housing, the daily life etc.

    It just takes 5 minutes (or more depending if you have lots to say 🙂

    Of course, if you accept we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.

    If you are interested to participate at this project, please send me an email at [email protected].

  • Jessica says:

    Hi Lyn,
    We would love to share some content with you. How do we get in touch?
    Best regards,

  • Layla says:

    Hi Lyn

    We have recently launched a new restaurant guide to Saudi and Jeddah called ArabiaEats.com
    I hope you can take a look and let us know what you think, hope you and your readers find it useful:


    Thanks and regards!

  • Michael says:

    Hi Lyn,

    I am an Australian single male (recently divorced) who has been living in Jeddah for the past nine months, and the G.C.C region for nearly a decade now. I have a few friends here in Jeddah, but they are married and live a private life which I respect.

    I find it difficult to meet expats and wondered if you can give me some pointers? Someone said try and get into the embassy social life. What do you think?

    I miss Australia but have learnt to adapt to Jeddah and quite enjoy learning about the local people.

    Many thanks for your time.

    • Hi Michael, It can be lonely as a single male. I would suggest getting involved with the activities of the embassies, as they do have events which are a good place to make some friends. I would also suggest that you join the following as well.




      Hope this helps. - Lyn

  • Anonymous says:

    Good evening Lyn. I wonder if you can assist me with something. I am writing a dissertation about domestic tourism in Saudi Arabia. Would you be interested in helping me distribute and complete a questionnaire about the extent to which expatriates travel within the Kingdom. There is an incentive depending on how many completed questionnaires I receive. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks in advance for your time. S.W.

    • Hi There,
      I am leaving the country very soon, so am not able to assist you with your dissertation. May i suggest that you go to the following sites as they may be able to help you.

  • Michelle says:

    Hi Lyn, I love reading your blog! My husband has been offered a role in Jeddah with a German company. He signed his contract and sent all the paperwork though on the 26th of November and they have out in his application for a business visa. We’re still waiting to hear from them. Is this normal? Thanks for your help. Michelle (Brisbane)

    • Hi Michelle, It can take some time for the process to happen. My husbands took 3 months. Then mine took 2 months. I suggest your husband contact them to see what is happening. You have to be pretty pro- active in Saudi. Good luck! - Lyn

  • Jami says:

    Good morning Lyn,

    My name is Jami. I am a 25 year old female living in London. I have family in Jeddah and other places in Saudi, I am flying over on Sunday for personal reasons but am concidering a job offer starting this November.
    Can you please advice, how life is over there for single expat woman? How are you dealing with the laws?
    Any info would be super helpful! Thank you.

  • Alpha says:

    Hi Lyn,

    I found you blog very useful. I’m planning a 3 city tour starting from Jeddah, Ritadh and ending in Dammam and I’ve been on the hunt for rental services that comes with a driver. So far every place I’ve contact seem to think everyone must ride in a Mercedes, Rolls Royce, et al which also comes with eye-popping prices.

    Appreciate your input on any service providers you’re familiar with I can try. Cheers in advance

  • Anne Marie says:

    Hi Lynn,
    we live near Jeddah and were thinking of getting a cat however, we travel back to the uk every few months or so and were wondering if you knew of any pet sitting services etc in Jeddah? Or a kennels or cattery.
    I would appreciate any advice .
    Kind regards Anne Marie

    • Hi Anne Marie, I have asked around and found out that there is a place that will look after your pets while you go away.
      her is their website.
      thier facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/KittyTenderLoveAndCare
      hope this helps. - Lyn

  • Micki says:

    I am a nurse and I want to work in Saudi, preferably Jeddah. I might work Home Health or ER. Do you know any nurses currently working in Jeddah as homecare nurses? I would like to ask some specific questions regarding entering peoples homes and drivers. Thank you

    • No I do not personally know any nurses. I suggest you go to Expat Blog or Inter-nations to contact people who are working as nurses in Jeddah. Hope this helps. - Lyn

  • Peta Johnston says:

    Hi Lyn - I have not had a chance to read your blog, as I only discovered this today. My husband has been approached about a job in Jeddah - I am a little unsure of what to do. We have two girls - 8 and 5 1/2 (light coloured hair and beautiful (well we think so)), and I was wanting your thoughts on relocating my family to Jeddah. Is there a compound for westerners? What about schooling - can the girls be home schooled? Do you really enjoy living there? How long did it take you to get used to living there? Sorry my head is swarming with questions, but I can’t remember them all. Thanks Peta

    • Hi Peta,
      Currently I am travelling in the UK on holidays. It is very scary to think of living in another country. Jeddah is very different than anywhere else in the world. I get back on the 24th July, perhaps you would better having a Skype chat with me. In the meantime I suggest you read some of theses blogs for more info.

      Expat blog, Susie of Arabia, jeddah blog

      Kind regards,


  • Rayeesa Tabassum says:

    Hi there,
    I want to do a guest post on your site about Jeddah Elite Ladies Toastmasters Club. Could you please give me ur email. Or message me on [email protected]

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Lyn I was wondering if you could help me, I came across your blog (which I have thoroughly enjoyed reading) whilst trying to research Jeddah. My husband and I are considering relocating from Scotland to Jeddah later this year, and I have a few questions I would be very grateful if you could shed some light on? Mainly re working as a Western Dentist and finding a compound initially. My husband has spent a few years in Riyadh but has never visited Jeddah, and I myself have never visited Saudi Arabia so I would like to have as much info as possible so I can make an informed decision. Like I said I would be very grateful for any info regarding relocating/what to expect.

    Warm Regards,


  • Sarah merson says:

    Hi, I’ve just send you a message on your phone, Chris passed on your details to me as I know her family, but I’m not sure if I sent the txt right so just contacting you this way too.
    My husband is saudi, and we are visiting Jeddah for 3 weeks, I really want to get a taste of life here from an expat perspective to help me imagine living here long term- something which at the moment I’m finding hard to do.
    Look forward to hearing from you.

  • sophia pantelois says:

    HI there, I am interested in information for living in Jeddah. I have lived in Abu Dhabi/Dubai… How is it for an American Woman.

  • Salmita says:

    Hi Madame, I’m offered a job in international field in Jeddah and I wanted to get your impression about how easy or difficult living there could be for a single arab woman;thanks in advance

  • Hanan Jauhari says:

    Hi Lyn Birrell, Im Hanan from Lamudi company for Real Estate http://www.saudi.lamudi.com/
    we would like to invite you to our conference at Jeddah for Real Estate it will be at 26 Nov Hilton Hotel, waiting for your kind reply so we can send you a full invitation through email or hard copy

  • Andy Smith says:

    Hi, I will be moving to Jeddah next year (spring 2015).

    I was wondering, what compound are you in, and how would you rate it? From the pics and articles you have done here, it seems like a nice, fun compound to be in.

    My employer, as part of the package, is going to help me into a compound (though he warns me it will be a few months since almost all the nice ones have a waiting list), so I’m trying to get a sense of which are the better ones, and hopefully “nudge” my employer to try and get me into one of those 😉

  • Heidi Jul Taulborg says:

    Hi Lyn.
    My husband and I are going to visit Jeddah within the Next month. He has a jobinterview. My question to you are: Do I need to Wear khimarr, I know I have too Wear an abaya, but I finde it difficult figuring out about the khimar?
    Hope you can help me… and thank you for blogging, I am looking forward to reading more about your lige i Jeddah
    [email protected]

    • Hi Heidi,
      As an expat woman you do not need to cover your head. Expats usually just wear an Abaya. No niqab, hijab or khimar is required to be worn by an expat women. Jeddah is not as strict as Riyadh. Lyn

  • Joyce says:

    Dear Lyn,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in Jeddah, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,

  • Alan Walker says:

    Dear Lyn,

    I heard about your blog on the BBC’s Travel site. It’s terrific! Do you mind if I ask you for a little advice? I realize you’re in Jeddah, but do you have any insights about Dhahran? I might be transferred there but I’ve never lived there before.

    Thank you again for the terrific blog.


    • Thanks Alan. I don’t know much about Dhahran, however I am sure you could find out more by going to the following sites.

      You can also join interNations http://www.internations.org/ and look up members in that area. There are some who work for Aramco in Dhahran which is probably what you will be doing I am guessing. -Lyn

  • Asim says:

    Hi Lyn,

    Thanks for creating and curating this precious blog. I have recently moved to Jeddah and found many of your insights immensely useful. Please keep going.


  • Rodrigo Maza says:

    Hi Lyn

    Very helpful blog, will be moving to Jeddah in November and wanted to ask you any useful things that i should bring with me that are not possible to find there?

    Thanks for the help and it would be lovely to meet for a coffee once I am there if you have time

    Wish you a good day


    • Rodrigo,
      You can pretty much get what you need here. Some things you can’t or it may be hard to find. We love vegemite and can only get it sometimes in a couple of places. You could check out Jeddah Blog, Expat Blog and Internations. These are very helpful sites for expats.

  • Amjad, I will send you an email. - Lyn

  • jeni says:

    Hi Lyn,
    You’re blog Is really helpful and enjoyable to read. I’m moving to Jeddah to teach in a British international school; it’s my first long trip away from home so I’m a very nervous lad; however your blog has been really mind pleasing even my mum is starting to read your articles. Any useful tips on what to pack would be really helpful 😉 I really don’t know how im going to fit my whole life In suitcases.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind Regards

    • Hi Jennifer, The trick is not to fit your whole life in your suitcase. Come with an open mind and a sense of adventure. Leave all your things and just bring what you need the basics. You will be on a new adventure with new memories and things to collect along the way. Clothes wise it is not cold here at all. At the moment it is summer and hot. Just bring light summer clothes, a pair of jeans, a light jumper or long sleeve shirt. You can buy clothes here very cheap.Food and electrical are very cheap here. As long as you have a positive attitude you will enjoy it. - Lyn

  • Marcel Hennecke says:

    Dear Mrs. Birrell,

    My Name is Marcel Hennecke and I am from Germany. There is a little opportunity for me to work in the German School in Jeddah as of september 2015.

    With great interest I`ve found out something about living in Jeddah in your blog.

    After your and your husband`s experiences I like to know how Easy or how difficult it is, to find an appartment for a single man in a compound.

    Are there any expat-specialized and trustworthy real estate agencies in Jeddah?

    What about the monthly rent? Is it affordable?

    How many time did it take for you to find a comfortable Place to live?

    I hope I don`t offens you with my questions.

    Marcel Hennecke

    • Hi Marcel, Good to her that you found some information that was useful for you on my blog.
      Regarding rental housing, usually the employer will help you with that. You have to negotiate a price with your employer. Jeddah is very affordable to live here.You usually cannot buy houses here unless you are Saudi or married to one. It took my husband a month of looking around before he found ours. There are quite a few compounds in Jeddah. September is when most new contracts start so there can be a lot of people looking.

      Another good source of information is a website called Internations. If you join you will find much help, forums and information about many aspects of living in Jeddah. Here is the link: http://www.internations.org/ Hope this helps. -Lyn

  • Vidhi Khanna says:

    Dear Ms. Birrell,

    I am from Liana Technologies Middle East, a Finland based company specializing in digital marketing.

    As a professional Saudi blogger, we would like to request you for your email address for our PR customer database we are building. This database would allow us to send you industry news relevant to your industry (Travel, Hospitality, Food and Beverages) using our digital media portal.

    This portal includes more than 1000 media agencies from the Middle East. It is a spam-free service as it is a paid service for our customers, but as a recipient you would receive the news for free.

    I would highly appreciate your response. You could get back to us by email.

    Thank You.


    Vidhi Khanna
    Email: [email protected]
    )( Liana Technologies

    • Vidhi,
      Thanks for the info. Sounds interesting. In the past I have done extensive marketing. My blog has grown very quickly. My stats are now up to 82,500 viewers.

      I am not doing my blog for commercial purposes. I do not have the time to invest in that nor do I want to. Too busy with many other things, I run an Arts & Crafts class on our compound teaching women new skills. Then on school holidays I teach the children skills. Along with a lot of other activities.

      It is my way of volunteering and sharing my knowledge and skills, in order to help other people. Many people get in contact with me through my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/525990224114803/, twitter, tripsadviser blogs, other blogs I am linked to, and my blog. Other people contact me by word of mouth.

      So I do not wish to have a barrage of emails sent to me.
      Please do not put me on your data base. Thanks, Lyn

  • Farah says:


    wanted to invite you to a press viewing and a shopping event in Jeddah, Red Sea Mall, Victoria’s Secret.

    Please let me know if your interested:

    [email protected]

  • julieanne says:

    Hi Lyn
    Sorry I didn’t get back to you - I’ve been working all week and just seen your message.

    Thank you for the link to internations 🙂

    Keep blogging I love reading what you have done.


  • julieanne says:

    Hi Lyn

    I’ve loved reading your blog - we may be moving to Jeddah very soon and it is good to read positive experiences.

    Is there a forum or other group I could ask questions ? So many questions !

    many thanks

    • I am calling a lady who wants to know more about Jeddah on tuesday at 3pm on skype. If you are interested in joining with a conference skype call let me know.

      There is a website called Internations. Here is the link http://www.internations.org
      Once you have become a member either paid or free you can go to this page to read forums. http://www.internations.org/forum/local

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