Nowadays, along with the constant technology upgrades the world has been receiving, many new lifestyles have been created revolving around them. One of the clearest examples is the digital nomad lifestyle, being considered by many as one of the better lifestyles. Nevertheless, what can an individual do if they want to become a digital nomad in Saudi Arabia?
In this article, we will talk about everything you need to know so you can work as a digital nomad in Saudi Arabia. This lifestyle revolves around working remotely while traveling and living nomadically. However, this way of living is relatively new, and many individuals do not know enough about it. That is why here, we will discuss everything you need to know.
- What is a digital nomad?
- Benefits and challenges of being a digital nomad
- Why is digital nomadism popular?
- What is a Digital Nomad Visa?
- Tips to be a digital nomad
- Frequently asked questions about digital nomads
- How can we help you become a digital nomad in Saudi Arabia?
What is a digital nomad?
Before talking about the Digital Nomad Visa, we must first clarify what exactly a digital nomad is. As we mentioned before, digital nomad is known that way since they lead a life of traveling while working remotely. Since digital nomads in Saudi Arabia work while traveling, it is evident that their jobs are jobs that can be made remotely.
Digital nomads lead a lifestyle similar to those who enjoy backpacking (traveling for pleasure out of their backpacks). However, they differentiate themselves from the fact that a digital nomad needs to work to keep their lifestyle working. Furthermore, you can classify a digital nomad in Saudi Arabia into several categories by how they work into:
- Entrepreneurs that own a startup and work with remote employees in different locations.
- In some cases, bloggers work as digital nomads.
- Freelancers that have different clients and projects.
- Investors use their profits to invest in stocks or cryptocurrency trading.
- And remote workers that certain companies or clients employ.
Lastly, it is important to take into account several law changes that are going around in several countries for digital nomads in Saudi Arabia. Since this lifestyle is getting more popular every passing year, some countries have a Digital Nomad Visa that individuals require if they want to start working as digital nomads.
Benefits and challenges of being a digital nomad
Freedom of traveling and working
A digital nomad in Saudi Arabia has the main benefit of being able to work at wherever place they want, as long as they have the means to do it. Be it the road, the beach, a train, etc. any place can serve as your work office. Many individuals do not like to be restricted to a desk or an office to earn an income. Simply put, digital nomads can consider the world itself as their work office without restriction. However, for those looking to settle in a particular location, we recommend virtual offices.
Furthermore, being able to work wherever you want means you also have the freedom to travel. As a digital nomad, the need of earning income does not limit the ability to explore various places around the world. In short, you can work and travel at the same time, without having to take breaks in your travel plans. This benefit only increases the sense of freedom that digital nomads obtain from this lifestyle.
Meeting new people and personal growth
Continuing from the last advantage, freely traveling allows you to meet new people easily. This is because since digital nomad travels across several parts of the world, they can meet new people as they go. They could meet other digital nomads, experience other cultures, and make new friends in interesting ways. In short, you are not limited to people you meet in only one city or country.
Furthermore, by meeting these new individuals, you place yourself in unique and different places. Consequently, this gives you chances of growing that otherwise, you might not have. Exposure to new things enriches your life and you as a person. In other words, you will be able to learn to trust your instincts and form a solid sense of self.
Moreover, meeting new people also helps you with this. Connecting with like-minded individuals or other nomads will allow you to make newfound discoveries. This will strengthen you as a person.
As with many other professions, a digital nomad makes digital nomadism what they want it to be. Simply put, the sky is the limit. In other words, the effort that you decide to put in will make determine what you get out.
Additionally, a digital nomad in Saudi Arabia has financial flexibility which can reap huge benefits. They can take as much work as they can, form a routine around it, and all in all, it can be less rigid and stagnant than a 9 to 5 job. In addition to this, social media takes a huge part in a digital nomad´s lifestyle since they can promote themselves online and even earn an income from that.
No sense of home or belonging
While traveling across the world may seem fun, it comes with a big challenge. Some nomads might find themselves not feeling like they belong in their destination of choice unless they stay there for a longer period. Not having a sense of community, activity availability, and lack of fitting into the area´s lifestyle can be a big detriment. This is especially truer if a digital nomad takes time to get accustomed to a new place.
Furthermore, you will be forced to always get accustomed to new locations, which is a learning curve. You could adapt faster than others as well as not, there is no way to know which way it will be. Whether or not you get accustomed quickly, it still takes a lot of time to adjust to new circumstances.
Loneliness and Burnout
Changing from one place to another and feeling like you do not belong anywhere causes loneliness. Being far from home, friends, family, and other loved ones only increases that loneliness and even homesickness. With this loneliness, you can feel stress, and with this stress, you can get burnt out.
Feeling burnt out also makes your productivity dip. You feel you need a rest, but at the same time, you cannot.
Why is digital nomadism popular?
There are several reasons why digital nomadism is popular, but the main one can be described in one word: Freedom. Many individuals desire the ability to travel the world, explore and discover new places while having enough money to support their adventures. Mainly, this is caused because 9-to-5 jobs are not appealing to them, or are not seen as the default scheme of work.
However, as we mentioned, there are other reasons why digital nomadism becomes more popular with each passing year. Mainly:
- Internet speed and coverage increasing all around the world. This is important to take into account since the Internet can play a huge role in the lifestyle of a digital nomad in Saudi Arabia. Without it, digital nomads cannot work.
- More companies allowing their employees to work remotely. This along with the increase in remote jobs opens the door for a lot of individuals to become digital nomads.
- Numerous cities support this lifestyle, creating co-working spaces and other accommodation options.
- A lot of enterprises also support digital nomads, creating apps and software that help them with easier travel, transportation, and accommodation.
- Several cultures changing and prioritizing experiences over material possessions.
- The Covid-19 pandemic created several remote jobs for many individuals. Moreover, the pandemic also introduced individuals to remote working.
What is a Digital Nomad Visa?
Now that we have discussed what a digital nomad in Saudi Arabia is, you must know what a Digital Nomad Visa is. This travel permit allows a foreigner to work and travel in a country. Generally speaking, for you to obtain one, you must be at least 18 years old and have been employed by an employer or company outside of your host country. Another way is to start a business that is manageable from any part of the world.
Nevertheless, as optimal as it may seem, you cannot obtain a digital nomad visa in Saudi Arabia. This is because Saudi Arabia does not have a program for remote workers. Other states and countries have enabled this visa designation, but Saudi Arabia does not, although it plans to shortly.
However, a digital nomad in Saudi Arabia can carry out this lifestyle through a tourist visa. A tourist visa allows foreigners to enter and stay in Saudi Arabia for 90 days, allowing them to continue their nomad lifestyle. Furthermore, the visa is valid for one year, meaning you can benefit from multiple entries. This is true as long as each of them does not exceed 3 months.
It is not the same as a digital nomad visa in Saudi Arabia, yet it still has a lot of resemblances such as:
- It allows you to work and perform other activities in the country as long as they are not related to a Saudi Arabia employer.
- With it, you can live in Saudi Arabia and travel across the country.
- You do not need to follow any complex formalities to be able to obtain one, although you do need health insurance.
How to obtain a Tourist Visa in Saudi Arabia?
There are some ways you can obtain a Tourist Visa in Saudi Arabia. Firstly, you can obtain an e-Visa online, apply for it, filling the application, pay the fees, etc. Nevertheless, some countries do not have access to these e-Visas. In those cases, the procedure changes since you have to obtain the visa through an embassy.
Firstly, you will need to apply for a tourist visa at the nearest embassy or consulate. Afterward, you will have to submit the following documentation:
- The filled application form
- A valid passport
- Health insurance purchased from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- Visa fees of 300 SAR and insurance of 140 SAR.
- Proof of accommodation during the stay in Saudi Arabia
- Round-trip ticket and travel itinerary
- Proof of employment
- Financial solvency/bank statement
- Complete personal information, including home address.
When you decide to obtain a Tourist Visa, in most cases, it takes 1-2 business days to issue the visa through Embassy or Consulate. As for the fees related to it, they are:
- 300 SAR for the visa fee.
- Obligatory medical insurance that costs 180 SAR.
- VAT (Value-Added Tax) of 15% costs 70 SAR.
- Lastly, a transaction fee which cost is 10 SAR
Tips to be a digital nomad
We talked about what a digital nomad in Saudi Arabia is and how you can replace a Digital Nomad visa if you travel to Saudi Arabia. However, you might want to search for some tips to follow to obtain a good digital nomad lifestyle.
Develop a regular work schedule
Being able to manage your time is crucial for a digital nomad in Saudi Arabia. Setting a schedule for yourself allows you to control every demand you will be facing. You should set a schedule dedicated to working time. That way you will know when to work, travel, relax, and generally, budget your time. Moreover, this can also help you maintain a healthy sleep pattern. Simply put, this tip helps you in the long run.
If you do it right, multitasking can be beneficial for you. Nevertheless, that is only if you do it correctly, if you mismanage it, it can ruin your routine. Doing just one thing at a time helps you avoid overloading. Complete one task before you move to another and establish a healthy pattern that avoids time waste.
Use your time travel wisely
This tip refers to taking advantage of your time while you are traveling. A digital nomad in Saudi Arabia tends to spend much time traveling through many cities or countries. These travels always tend to take a lot of time (hours to days). This is why it is recommended that while you are traveling if you can, take advantage of it and start working. These times are perfect to benefit from solitude.
Do not forget to save money
As simple as it may seem, having savings ready at hand is crucial to being a successful digital nomad in Saudi Arabia. After all, it is easier to spend money than it is to make it. Eliminate any risk you have of running out of money while you are on the road. You can do this by saving as much as you can and establishing some ground rules such as never letting the savings dip below.
Frequently asked questions about digital nomads
How many digital nomads are there in Saudi Arabia?
Obtaining a general number of digital nomads in Saudi Arabia is impossible. Nevertheless, we can assure you that there are thousands if not millions of digital nomads in Saudi Arabia and even more around the world. You can find digital nomads that make a living in several ways. Be it by writing, making videos, social media posting, etc.
Is the digital nomad lifestyle legal and legit?
Yes, it is. A digital nomad in Saudi Arabia can work as one in a completely legal manner. As we mentioned before, digital nomads can earn an income while working remotely and traveling at the same time. Even if Saudi Arabia does not offer a program to obtain a Digital Nomad Visa, you can still find a way of going around it with a tourist visa. To learn more about compliance regarding freelance work, you can rely on our legal consultancy services.
How much does it cost to live as a digital nomad?
It is impossible to calculate how much living as a digital nomad in Saudi Arabia costs. Living costs vary depending on your destination, the frequency of your travels, and the modes. Moreover, accommodations should also be taken into consideration. In short, the overall cost depends on the place you plan to live in.
Do digital nomads need health and travel insurance?
Not necessarily. Most digital nomads take out their health and travel insurance since they need them for their travels. However, it is not an obligation to have them since it is not a requirement. In short, whether or not is needed, depends on your personal choice.
How can we help you become a digital nomad in Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Company Formation seeks to help foreigners and ex-pats in their immigration process. You will be able to obtain our visa-related services very easily as we are going to take care of any necessary procedures. Since Saudi Arabia is constantly changing to offer foreigners better chances, we recommend you keep a team of professionals in hand to help and support you.
Would you like to know more about the digital nomad visa in Saudi Arabia or other types of visas? If you wish to apply for a digital nomad visa in Saudi Arabia, we encourage you to speak with one of our local experts. We are also available to you if you choose to relocate here permanently. If you have any questions, contact us at +971 58 515 8876 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.