Ever since the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was formed in 1932, the country has used a riyal and halala system of decimal currency. There are 100 halalas to one riyal.
Notes are in denominations of 500, 100, 50, 10 and 5 riyals.
Coins are in denominations of 2 riyals, 1 riyal, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 halala/s.
One Saudi Riyal roughly equates to:
- £0.21 (UK Pound)
- €0.24 (Euro)
- $0.27 (US Dollar)
- 18.86 (Indian Rupee)
- ¥1.80 (Chinese Yuan)
Applying for a Bank Account
There are plenty of banks available in Saudi Arabia including Western Union, Samba Financial Group (SAMBA) and The Saudi British Bank, which are widely considered to be the best options for foreign workers, while Al Rajhi and Riyad Bank offer dedicated ladies banking options across the Kingdom.
To open an account, you will need to apply in person at your local bank. You will be required to complete an application form and provide a proof of address, a letter from your employer (also known as a ‘No Objection Certificate’), and your passport and iqama.
Most Saudi banks are able to offer online and telephone banking services.
There is no personal income tax in Saudi Arabia. This accounts for the high cost of government services such as healthcare.
However, expatriates may be liable to pay tax in their home country depending on their personal circumstances and home country taxations laws. Therefore, it is recommended that expatriates seek advice on the relative tax situation in their home country.
The retirement age in Saudi Arabia is 62, however, expatriates are rarely recognised by the Saudi government when it comes to receiving a pension.
Some organisations will enrol foreign workers on their own private pension scheme which is often included as part of their salary package. Should your employer not offer this service, you must make other arrangements regarding your pension.
If you already contribute to an existing pension fund in your home country, it may be possible for you to continue paying into that account, rather than establishing a new fund in Saudi Arabia.