Saudi Aramco Employee Reviews about "saudis"

Updated 27 Jun 2020

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3.8
71%
Recommend to a Friend
82%
Approve of CEO
Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin H. Nasser (no image)
Amin H. Nasser
256 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "Expats are given the least favorable performance reviews (expect bonuses to be low)(in 80 reviews)

  • "lack of professional development (for non Saudis)(in 25 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "saudis"

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Difficult place for expats"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Supervisor in Dhahran

    I have been working at Saudi Aramco full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Compensation, PTO, Benefits, Insurance, Healthcare

    Cons

    Culture is very toxic to non-Saudis. Expats are given the least favorable performance reviews (expect bonuses to be low). Many layoffs going on right now, expat only.

  2. Helpful (1)

    "good employer"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Specialist 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Saudi Aramco full-time

    Pros

    pay and benefits. living in camp

    Cons

    politics. biases. lack of professional development (for non Saudis)

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  3. Helpful (4)

    "Horrible Company"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Dhahran
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Saudi Aramco full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Money and that's really it

    Cons

    Everything, Culture is Corrupt, Racism, Abusive Saudis who hate Expats. Abusive Supervisors who yell at Employees and get away with it because they are Saudi and you are an Expat. Company is all marketing but behind the Abaya its basically a horrible local company that used to be an American owned and is the reason why it has the reputation it used to have, good job screwing it up.

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  4. Helpful (4)

    "IT Engineer"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Network Engineer in Dhahran
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Saudi Aramco full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    This is best place to work for an IT professional in my opinion. There are always huge IT projects being conducted. Saudi Aramco lives and thrives on IT Technology. There always opportunity to establish yourself in the field. Although, career advancement is limited, financial compensation and benefits are very rewarding. If work in Saudi Arabia, you can easily travel around the world, when vacation comes. Another huge advantage is that the workplace here is very harmonious. No backtalk or politicking in the workplace is allowed. The meals at the dining halls of Saudi Aramco are all gourmet and subsidized by Saudi Aramco and offered at a low cost to employees and contractors. Saudi Aramco has personnel from all over the world. It is great multicultural environment to work in. Saudi Aramco is unparalleled in my opinion.

    Cons

    Do not expect a direct promotion here. You do your job and pass on your expertise to young Saudis. There are no deadwood jobs here anymore like in the old times. You can use your free time to gain new skills and then apply for other job opportunities within the Company. Lookout for new projects that can enhance your career and help you move up.

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  5. Helpful (4)

    "Technician at Saudi Aramco"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Saudi Aramco full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Good Benefits for expats but not for the Saudis

    Cons

    different jobs have the same pay. Like in the military, it's based on your grade code.

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  6. Helpful (5)

    "Educator"

    3.0
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Saudi Aramco full-time

    Pros

    Interesting place to live and work.

    Cons

    Working with Saudis is extremely challenging.

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  7. "A perspective"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dhahran
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Saudi Aramco full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Excellent pay and benefits, and if you are adaptable, nice lifestyle. You will be paid well.

    Cons

    If you expect and need western public company values in the work force, don't come. It is not a meritocracy, and you are there until the Saudis can do the work themselves. Which is probably how it should be. Huge disconnect between what is said, and what is done.

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  8. Helpful (1)

    "Fair and square place to work in"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Saudi Aramco full-time

    Pros

    Fair and square place to work in.

    Cons

    Considered to be the limit for Saudis.

  9. Helpful (1)

    "Expat life with Saudi Aramco"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Supervisor in Ras Tanura
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Saudi Aramco full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Expat pay, benefits are some of the most generous in the world Great work life family (eat lunch every day with kids at home) Generous vacation time off Secure job and merit increases

    Cons

    No development for non-Saudis Limited promotion opportunities Lack of diversity (limited females -less than 10%)

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  10. Helpful (33)

    "Painful Experience"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Upstream Technical Professional in Dhahran
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Saudi Aramco full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Motivation Behind This Review: 1. To help people that are considering accepting a job offer with Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia by providing them with critical information I wish I had before I moved there. About Me: 1. Experienced technical professional with a robust academic background and solid practical experience in a wide range of projects with companies of various different sizes and structures mainly in the Western world. 2. Open-minded individual with a multi-cultural upbringing. Pros: 1. It made me appreciate my country and current company so much more. 2. The Aramco expats tend to quote: "you will receive your check on time" as the main positive of working for Aramco. I am personally aiming much higher than that.

    Cons

    Key Considerations 1. Unlike the experience working for a "normal" company, working for Aramco exposes you to Saudi culture, and to some extent politics, which are vastly different from anything most people have experienced and which will negatively impacts an expat’s working experience in that country. 2. First and foremost, please understand that Saudi Arabia is a tribal culture with an "us vs. them" mentality. As such, you will be discriminated against at all levels. You will be treated unfairly both inside at outside the company. This means not only that your Saudi colleagues will be against you, but also management and even the law. There are segments of the Saudi population which tend to be friendly towards expats but they tend to be institutionally marginalized and you are unlikely to find them in positions of power (e.g. management). 3. The country has been changing rapidly, and for an Aramco expat, the changes have been negative in most aspects. I found that the positive experiences of veteran expats (as were related to me before I decided to go) are no longer valid. 4. Aramco's HR personnel in the West are well trained to sell you and your family the idea of a company and a life-style which does not reflect reality. They do this by misrepresenting and hiding the truth at several levels. Do not trust them. 5. It goes without saying, make sure that you take the time to read every document before sign very carefully and make sure that you get any guarantees from them in writing. Don’t consider what should be obvious to actually be obvious to Aramco nor Saudis. E.g., make sure that you and your wife are allowed to bring your step-child with you and get confirmation in writing. My Key Tips: 1. Make sure that you get in touch with expats that ideally meet the following criteria to ask them questions before you move: 1.1 Fall in your category of sex, religion, race, age, etc. The fact is that the Saudi culture encourages discrimination against people based on all categories (inside and outside the company). Expats are continuously being discriminated against and that is very unpleasant to experience. The degree of discrimination depends on the categories in which you fall. 1.2 Are currently working, or have recently worked, in Arabia for Aramco. 1.3 Have direct knowledge of the working atmosphere at the department that is offering the position to which you are applying. The working experience is not homogenous across the company and once in Aramco, the probability of you being allowed to change departments is slim at best. 1.4 Be ready to interpret the information conveyed to you. Employees are afraid of being truthful and forthcoming over the phone or e-mail as they know that their communications are being monitored and they will be retaliated against. In person they are much more candid, but by then it is usually too late. 2. Think three times before bringing female family members with you. There are several horror stories which will be only communicated to you once you befriend expats and once you are on their same boat (i.e., already living there). Whatever you do, please make sure that you research how the Saudi men view the role of women and what they think about their rights. 3. For several reasons, including safety, do not even consider going if you are not guaranteed accommodations in the main Aramco camp. Main Tip Given to Me by Other Expats: 1. Don't "rock the boat". Meaning due as you are told, don't think "out of the box", don't volunteer any opinions, always agree with the locals, and above all, don't ever point out anything that might indicate a mistake/dishonest dealing by a local. Negatives: 1. Lack of work-life balance. The local workforce tends to be extremely lazy and unmotivated. It is just baffling what they do get away with. As a result, they will overload you with work, especially if you demonstrate to be a competent individual. 2. Work culture of the locals. While working with the expats at Aramco was a good and rewarding experience at both a personal and professional level, most of the workforce is composed of locals. When compared to the expats, with a limited number of exceptions the locals proved to be: 2.1 Lazy (arriving late, leaving early, spending most of the time socializing or complaining, etc.) 2.2 Dishonest (lying in meetings to look good, coming up with excuses and shifting blame for work they did not perform, stealing ideas and work, etc.) Example: I printed a presentation with information on a project I had been working on, a coworker asked me for a copy, I gave it to him and he presented it to management behind my back as his work. They are shameless. Keep the discrimination concept present. Another example, some of my recommendations would have saved them a fortune in wasted expenditures going forward, but instead of receiving some sort of compensation (or at least a praise) as I would have in any other company I worked for, I was yelled at and menacingly asked to "repent" during that meeting. They decided to keep wasting a high amount of resources so as not to look bad for the previous decision made. 2.3 Poor team players (if your work has pre-requisites that depend on a local's work output you are in a very tough spot and their lack of performance will be your responsibility). 2.4 Devoid of sound logic. Example: If you need a certain type of data to complete an assignment, but that data is deemed to be restricted for you to use by management, they will tell you: "that is no excuse not to complete the assignment". It is simply difficult to believe. 2.5 Those who stay do so at the cost of losing their professional integrity. 3. Lack of job security. Regardless of the value created by expats, their positions are increasingly in jeopardy. A significant percentage of the expats across the board were let go during my time there and last time I heard they were going to continue reducing the percentage of expats. 3.1 In part to create jobs for the locals (the local population increased dramatically in the past three decades and the rulers are having a hard time keeping the young busy - which is a big concern for those in power as a young and restless population is a difficult to rule). 3.2 In part to reduce costs (expat salaries are significantly higher than those of the locals, especially those of Western expats). 3.3 In part as a matter of national pride (it seems that the de facto ruler has steered the company in that direction). 4. Professional stagnation. Expats are discriminated against moving up the ladder. For technically motivated expats, the environment created by the way the teams are structured, extreme secrecy around data, incapability/unwillingness of the locals to do a day’s honest work, baffling technical ignorance of most middle management and local peers, coupled with a high degree of arrogance/disdain towards expats, you will find few opportunities for technical advancement. 5. There are many more negatives including the dangerous traffic, deterioration of security, severe invasion of privacy, uninviting landscape, hot weather, etc.

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