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International Moving Company to Saudi Arabia

With no income taxes or VAT and the largest economy in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is an attractive relocation destination for more and more Americans.

Saudi Arabia is a beautiful country with a lovely, seemingly endless desert. While the lifestyle will not be suitable for many, Americans are welcome in Saudi Arabia. Still, to get a long-term visa, you should either have a Saudi citizen as a family or a concrete job offer.

What’s on this page?

01 | International Household Moving to Saudi Arabia
02 | International Car Shipping to Saudi Arabia
03 | Saudi Arabia Customs and Regulations
04 | Moving to Saudi Arabia Checklist
05 | International Shipping Options

In many industries, you can expect to earn a good salary and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. Saudi Arabia is about as different as you can get from the United States. Whilst continuously changing towards Western norms, ideals about women, particularly in areas such as employment and travel, will seem strange.

The major destinations for Americans moving to Saudi Arabia are Dammam, Jeddah, and Riyadh. Most homes in these areas of Saudi Arabia are large and should be able to accommodate all of your furniture and household goods. 

International Household Moving to Saudi Arabia

SDC International Shipping has been competently doing International household moving to Saudi Arabia for decades. We move clients from origin points throughout the United States to Saudi Arabia. Not all of our shipments are full container loads, but while this is the most common method to move to Saudi Arabia, we can also send shipments of any size there (starting at 100 cubic feet). 

Your possessions will be carefully handled by our packers. If you have furniture that takes up a lot of space, like bedroom sets or dining tables, they will be taken apart at the pickup location, wrapped in protective linings made from bubble cloth or furniture wrap. In the container, they will be further protected using protective moving pads and/or bubble wrap.

If you own fragile items, they will likely require special handling. SDC International Shipping’s expert packers will take care of these items individually. Customs crates will be built for odd-shaped or particularly fragile things. Stone furniture and metal items are also protected individually.

As your cargo will be handled many times, slight damage during shipping is a probability, so you should always let our professional packers do the work. If you intend to insure your shipment against damage, then you must use professional packers.

International Car Shipping to Saudi Arabia

You can send your American automobile to Saudi Arabia. Cars are delivered to either Jeddah or to Dammam, where they will need to pass Saudi inspection. Also popular is sending pickup trucks. Smaller pickups can fit into shipping containers either separately or with your household cargo, while full-size pickups like the F-Series and Silverado won’t fit in.

Read more: International Vehicle Shipping from USA

Larger pickup trucks like these are shipped employing a method known as RO-RO (roll on roll off), where the cars and trucks are rolled on and off of ships. When sending cars that fit into shipping containers, like most sedans and SUVs, we prefer to send in them. When we send the vehicle in your container, they are the last things put in so that they can easily be removed for inspection at the port of entry to Saudi Arabia. 

Four-wheel drive vehicles can be imported to Saudi Arabia, but only by a family. Cars that have been in an accident at all can’t be imported.

Used vehicles that you send need to be registered to the shipment consignee. They should have been owned for at least six months and no more than five years. You will need to provide your vehicle’s original title and registration before it is picked up for transport.

Saudi Arabia Customs and Regulations

Only used goods can be imported to Saudi Arabia without paying taxes. Please keep in mind that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an officially religious country, and there is a long list of things that you should not bring into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

These include alcohol, drugs, pornography, and many works of art, toys like stuffed animals and many games, and most books. As a rule of thumb, if you are in doubt, you can check with the closest Saudi consulate or just assume that the item should not come.

You will need to provide a complete list of the contents of your shipment. When SDC International Shipping loads your cargo onto our moving vans or your container, this list will be prepared for you, but you will be responsible for this list. If you know Arabic, you should translate this document. If you are shipping precious items, please make sure that you can show some sort of proof of ownership, best translated into Arabic.

You can bring your animals with you to Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requires that you provide a veterinary health certificate for your animals. You will also have to meet certain additional requirements detailed below. 

Let us know right away if there are commercial goods in your shipment. We will have to use slightly different logistics in this case.

Moving to Saudi Arabia Checklist

Whilst you are anxiously awaiting SDC’s moving van to come to pack and load your house and send it to Saudi Arabia, you will need to get things in order. Start early.

  • Visa for long-term residency. You can consult this website to learn about how a long-term visa can be requested. You can also call the closest Saudi Arabian consulate. Even though you can apply for a long-term visa, you will not be able to work in Saudi Arabia without a work visa.
  • If you are moving to Saudi Arabia to work, your employer will be a part of the visa application process and will provide necessary documents to the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 
  • Saudi Arabia requires that all visitors and immigrants bring updated immunization documentation. You must have meningitis and MMR vaccinations to enter the kingdom. 
  • Make copies of your family’s medical history. For the most part, you should be able to get by in English as many doctors are ex-pats and all will speak English. If you are a citizen of the kingdom, you can enjoy the high-quality coverage available to all citizens. If you are going on a work visa, your employer will arrange for private health insurance.
  • You need copies of any marriage, death, divorce, or birth certificates. School records for all family members should be brought. Where appropriate translate to Arabic.
  • If you are bringing a pet you will first need to ensure that it has a microchip, vaccinations 30 days before entry, an import certificate from the embassy, and a recent health certificate from a vet (10 days) and APHIS form.

Read more: The Ultimate International Relocation Checklist

International Shipping Options

Saudi Arabia has several major seaports. All sea shipments go through the ports at either Jeddah or Dammam. From these points of entry, your shipment will be delivered to the address of your final destination after our agents clear them through customs. It is critical that your shipment not contain any prohibited items.

Air cargo can be sent directly to Riyadh. As shipments to Saudi Arabia can often take two months, and deliveries from the port to locations like Riyadh can take a week longer, it is often necessary to send cargo directly to King Khalid International Airport, with door-to-door service taking only a few days.

The cost is far more expensive than sea cargo and is typically used only for small shipments that businesses can’t wait to receive. Other locations in Saudi Arabia can also be served with air cargo.

Smaller shipments can be sent, starting at 100 cubic feet, about the size of a fully packed pallet of boxes. From our experience, clients moving to Saudi Arabia typically send full container loads.

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