Paul In Saudi - A couple of questions for you

I was hoping that you could give me a heads up on a couple of things. I work for a company that does employment and education verifications and I just got one today for a person that is from Saudi Arabia.

Can you fill me in on a few thing? When I call a business what are the odds that there will be an english speaker on the other end? What are the odds that anyone in the office will speak english? I ask because I don’t know any arabic and I doubt that my interests would be served by speaking in hebrew.
What is the time difference between, say, Riyadh and New York? Am I going to have to set my alarm for 3:00am (Central Standard) to get someone on the phone? Lastly, how long are the phone numbers? For example here is one of the numbers I need to call - 966504999703 how does that break down into country code and area code and phone number?

Thanks for any input you can give me.

Another question. Are companies going to have an HR department like they do in the US?

Here’s a site with time zone information. They have real-time time zone maps, so you won’t have to do the math or remember when or if someplace goes on Daylight Saving Time.

Good Morning Adam,

Well you might as well call them, things will work out or they won’t.

English is the second language in the Kingdom. All Saudis take it in high school, all expatriates speak it. An expat, probably a Filipino will work at the office you call and so you should have no real problems.

We are in the Moscow time zone. Seven hours ahead of New York this time of year (We do not use Daylight Savings Time.) Remember please we use a Thursday-Friday weekend and that the work day often ends about 14.30. Do not count on anyone important being in until nine or ten.

I have noticed in the past few years that all nations have adopted the seven-didget phone number. (Yes, even little Panama).

966 country code
50 area code for a mobile phone if it does not work; try 050 we are transitioning.
499 exchange
9703 number

Anything else.

  1. Adam, did you get this? I hope I helped. I am ready to help you however I can.

  2. Why can’t I send a PM? I getting a message saying I am not allowed.

  3. Hi Opal!

Can’t answer the 1, but I’m not allowed to PM anybody either. I usually end up emailing.

Yes, Paul I got it. Thanks for your input. I am holding out on calling for a little bit since there is another issue that needs to be delt with first.

If the work day ends at 14:30, what time do they start, 07:00? Or do they just have really short days?

Also, do companies have an HR department?

Yep, we go to work at 07.30 and there is a bit of a rush hour, I stay to 15.00, which is also a bit later than normal.

My company has an HR Department. Most also have a Government Affairs Department that handles visas and stuff.

Let me know if I can help in any way.