34% of expats want to leave

Updated 01 March 2013
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34% of expats want to leave

About 34 percent of foreign workers in the Kingdom seek to return home due to several reasons including rising cost of living.
An HSBC survey has confirmed that most expats in Saudi Arabia find integration difficult and raising children expensive.
“Despite the strong economy and the pull of job opportunities, it is unhealthy for the Saudi economy to let expats leave,” said economist Mohammed Shams.
“They are the driving force of the economy. I particularly mean the professional expats who have been working in Saudi Arabia for long years and they know very well how the Saudi business is developing fast.”
He added: “Such rate of expats who want to leave the Kingdom is really high. I think we should start working from now to prepare a Saudi young generation that will be able to replace those expats.”
According to the survey, the cost of raising children in Saudi Arabia is high with 70 percent of parents noticing an increased cost.
“Moving from our home country is tough, and we had hard time getting things done in the beginning,” said Lina Abu-Auof, an Egyptian teacher who came to Jeddah 10 years ago.
Mohammed Irfan, an Indian IT expert working in Jeddah, said he moved to Saudi Arabia 20 years ago and expected to gain a higher salary.
He said that although he received decent pay, he still was unable to save money. “I found that as much as I earned here, I had to spend all that on children’s school and house rent.”
Samira Qabbani, a Syrian mother of five, said that raising children in Saudi Arabia is difficult. She also stated that raising boys is much more difficult in Saudi Arabia.
“The need to keep children indoors and away from strangers is a major challenge I faced while raising my children,” she said. “In Syria, I used to leave my children to play in the garden next to our home, socialize with their relatives, and even walk to school alone.”


Where We Are Going Today: Workout studio aims to empower Saudi women

Updated 27 April 2018
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Where We Are Going Today: Workout studio aims to empower Saudi women

  • Studio55 is about empowering women to be more in all aspects of life. It’s more than just an exercise
  • It combines spinning with yoga, pilates, TRX, zumba, core fitness and strength training all in one session

Studio55 is a boutique chain for women in Saudi Arabia with a workout studio that features a complete cross-training approach to fitness and well-being. 

It has two branches, one in Alkhobar, established in June 2015, and one in Jeddah, set up in October 2017. 

Al-Batool Baroom, Studio55’s commercial director, said that the studio’s particular approach combined spinning with yoga, pilates, TRX, zumba, core fitness and strength training all in one session.

“It is offered to all our members under one roof through our four workout zones: Ride55, Fitness55, Focus55 and Fusion55.” 

The studio also keeps track of members’ workouts through a software program called Performance IQ. 

It sends the member their workout performance statistics by email at the end of the class and stores the data on their studio profile. 

The information includes their average heart-rate, calories burnt, average RPM (in spinning classes), time and distance.

“Studio55 is about empowering women to be more in all aspects of life. It’s more than just an exercise. We work on awareness, education and community events alongside our workouts and fitness engagement,” Baroom said.

“Every now and then we invite inspiring role-models to come and give an open talk at the studio, as well as prominent instructors to give classes. Some of our guests have included Princess Reema, Raha Moharrak, Dina Al-Tayeb, Manal Rostom, Nelly Attar and Hala Alhamrani.” 

Fatima Batook, founder of Studio55, encouraged women to visit the studio to help to change their lives for the better.

“Women should come to us to be more, to get inspired by our trainers and live their lives to their full potential, achieving not only health and fitness goals but personal life goals,” she said.