Principal Engineer Maintenance Operations Control Flight
"My primary reason for joining BAE Systems was to become part of an organisation where I would feel valued and where my efforts would not go unnoticed. As a secondary reason, coming to work in the Middle East seemed to offer a sense of adventure and as you know the Welsh as a nation are not renowned for their desire to travel. The training I received before coming to Saudi Arabia was first class and prepared me well for my role as an aircraft technician.
Living and working in Saudi Arabia enabled me to remain close to my daughter during her formative years and support her during her education at the Dhahran Academy. I have also had the opportunity to meet many people from different walks of life, both here in Saudi and during my regular foreign holidays. All of the above has been possible whilst having the benefit of employment which I consider as secure, well rewarded and satisfying".
"I have had a long career working on the front line Tornado squadron with the RSAF. Training the RSAF technicians, from the youngest recruit to the flight commanders is a pleasure especially when the training goals have been achieved. The social life here has just about everything you could want, from the gymnasium or swimming pools to tennis, squash, football or rugby. There are also some excellent social facilities where we gather on the weekend to let our hair down. Saudi Arabia is also an excellent jump off point to visit the Far East, Europe, Africa or even further afield."
"I was in the RAF for 13 years before arriving in Saudi Arabia. I think this helped ease the culture shock, but you soon become acclimatised to the weather and the culture. At present I'm working in production on a Tornado Squadron and it gets very hectic at times, thinking on your feet is certainly a skill that's required. I've been promoted twice and hope to go further, the opportunities are there you just have to apply for them.
Social life is, as ever, what you make of it. There are sports facilities available and plenty of social clubs to pass your free time in. The community spirit is that of the RAF, which I like because everyone sticks together and there's always something going on. We are due to move onto a new "Multi Compound" next year where everyone will be on the same compound so no more travelling to visit friends. My wife is really looking forward to this as well because even though we love going home to see our families we still look forward to coming back to see our many friends too. My wife and I will stay here as long as we are enjoying the lifestyle and I cannot foresee that changing in the near future. I sincerely recommend bringing your family out for a visit or if possible to stay, it makes such a difference."
Functional Head, Engineering
"Progression within the company is by no means simple but if you are prepared to work at it and grasp opportunities when they present themselves, then career progression is within most people's reach. If you are hard working and don't mind operating away from home in what from time-to-time can be difficult working conditions and circumstances, then you can turn what starts off being simply a 'job' into a career with the company.
Working and living in Saudi Arabia enables you to achieve some of the financial goals you perhaps only dreamt of in the UK. With competitive salaries and the tax free status it most certainly enables those to be achieved. The social scene in the Middle East, albeit different from perhaps what you are used to, is excellent, if you are into sports and enjoy a vibrant social life then it's most definitely the place to be."
Team Leader, Continuing Professional Development
“There are lots of professional development opportunities with BAE Systems. I joined in 1995 as an English Language Teacher, but since then I’ve enjoyed a range of roles, and have received training in such diverse areas as desktop publishing, health and safety, and management. This year I intend to complete my Masters in Educational Management and, hopefully, apply for more senior positions within the company.
I originally intended to work in Saudi for only a couple of years. Now I’m married here with three children! Saudi Arabia is actually an excellent place to raise a young family. We are able to do virtually all the things we could do back home – and out here we have a lot more time in which to do them. There are playgroups, swimming lessons, trips down to the beach, ballet lessons, gymnastics, martial arts, family barbecues… and so much more."
"Flying with the Royal Saudi Air Force is a great experience, offering a new challenge to work through each day. Although the pilot stream offers limited opportunities for immediate progression, those that have changed streams have done extremely well, most now occupying senior managerial positions here in Kingdom. The company has provided an excellent vessel and the required support for them to branch out and utilise their skills.
I am now approaching completion of my third year with BAE Systems and apart from an initial settling in period and adjusting to life after military, the company has been fantastic to work for. Living and working in Saudi Arabia is a great experience. My wife and kids love it here and apart from some of the cultural restrictions, we live a completely normal life - in many ways it's better than we had back home. The compound lifestyle is very colourful and the facilities are second to none. When you throw in the attractive remuneration package and wonderful travel opportunities, this place is definitely a two thumbs up, I'd recommend it to anyone."