Being an OFW in Saudi Arabia can be quite an adventure, but it can also be challenging. You’re far away from your loved ones, and it can be difficult to stay connected with them. But thanks to technology, there are now apps that can make your life as an OFW much easier!
In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the must-have apps for OFWs in Saudi Arabia that will help you stay connected, manage your finances, and make the most of your time in the Kingdom. Whether you’re a new OFW or a veteran, you’ll find something here that will make your life easier. So, let’s dive in!
- Apps for Expat Life
- Communication Apps
- Financial Apps
- Entertainment Apps
- Navigation apps
- Shopping Apps
- Social Media Apps
- OFW Apps
- Where to check a list of blocked apps in KSA
- Video: 10 MOBILE APPLICATION NA DAPAT MAYROON KAYO HABANG NASA SAUDI ARABIA
- Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. What are the must-have apps for OFWs in Saudi Arabia?
- 2. Are there any apps that are blocked in Saudi Arabia?
- 3. Are social media apps accessible in Saudi Arabia?
- 4. How can I stay connected with my family and friends back home while in Saudi Arabia?
- 5. What are some apps that can help me manage my finances while in Saudi Arabia?
- 6. Are there any apps that can help me navigate and explore Saudi Arabia?
- 7. How can I access the government-sanctioned apps for OFWs?
- 8. Are the government-sanctioned apps for OFWs secure?
- Final Thoughts
Apps for Expat Life
Apps have become an integral part of our daily lives and they play an important role in modern society, especially for OFWs. They allow us to stay connected with loved ones, manage our finances, navigate unfamiliar places, and access entertainment. For OFWs, these apps are even more crucial as they provide a lifeline to their families and home countries. They can make video calls, send messages, and even transfer money back home easily.
These apps also help OFWs to stay informed about the latest news, events, and job opportunities in their host countries. They also provide a platform for OFWs to stay connected with other OFWs and build a community, which can be a great source of support and encouragement. Overall, apps play a significant role in making the lives of OFWs easier and more manageable, allowing them to focus on their work and personal lives, despite the distance from home.
In Saudi Arabia, certain communication apps are blocked or restricted by the government, due to their perceived threat to national security or cultural values. Some examples of apps that are not allowed in Saudi Arabia include:
- VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services such as WhatsApp, Skype, Viber and Zoom. These services are blocked in Saudi Arabia because they allow users to make voice and video calls over the internet, bypassing traditional telephone networks and services. This is seen as a threat to the revenue of state-owned telecom companies and the government’s ability to monitor and regulate communication.
It’s important to note that these restrictions are subject to change and it’s better to check the updated list of blocked apps by the Saudi government. Also, It’s important to be aware of local laws and regulations when using these apps, as they may be subject to change, and failure to comply could result in legal penalties.
Hence, Saudi-based OFWs can only use some communication apps that the government does not block. These apps include:
- Tawakkalna: This is a contact-tracing app that is mandatory for all residents and citizens in Saudi Arabia to download. The app uses Bluetooth to detect close proximity with other users and is used to help track the spread of COVID-19.
- STC: This is the Saudi Telecommunications Company’s app which allows the users to make and receive calls and messages, and also to manage their account and bills.
- Saudi Post: This app allows users to track their mail and parcels, and also schedule pickups and deliveries.
- SABB: This is the Saudi British Bank’s app that allows users to manage their bank account, make transfers, and pay bills.
- Seera: This app is a travel and tourism app that helps users plan and book their trips, and also provides information about different destinations in Saudi Arabia.
- Careem: This is a ride-hailing app that operates in Saudi Arabia, similar to Uber.
- Expedia: this is a travel booking website which is also available as an app, it allows users to book flights, hotels, and car rentals.
It’s important to note that these apps are not blocked by the government at the time as of this writing but it’s always better to check the updated list of blocked apps by the Saudi government – more about this later on. Also, it’s important to be aware of local laws and regulations when using these apps, as they may be subject to change, and failure to comply could result in legal penalties.
Financial apps are essential for OFWs in Saudi Arabia as they provide a convenient and secure way to manage their money. These apps allow OFWs to easily check their account balances, transfer funds, pay bills, and even apply for loans. Some of the most popular financial apps in Saudi Arabia include SADAD, Riyad Bank, STC Pay, and Al Rajhi Bank.
- SADAD is an electronic bill payment system that allows users to pay their bills, such as electricity and water, as well as government fees and fines, through their mobile phones or computers.
- Riyad Bank is a mobile banking app that allows users to access their bank account, check their balances, transfer money, and pay bills. Additionally, it provides services such as credit cards, personal loans, and credit facilities.
- STC Pay is a digital wallet and mobile payment app that allows users to make payments, transfer money, and manage their accounts from their mobile phones.
- Al Rajhi Bank is one of the largest Islamic banks in the world and it offers a range of financial services, including personal banking, corporate banking, and investment banking. The app provides access to all of these services, as well as the ability to check account balances, transfer money, and pay bills.
Overall, these financial apps provide OFWs in Saudi Arabia with a convenient and secure way to manage their finances, which is essential for their well-being and peace of mind.
Entertainment apps are a great way for OFWs in Saudi Arabia to relax and unwind after a long day of work. These apps provide a wide variety of options for streaming movies, TV shows, music, and more. Some of the most popular entertainment apps in Saudi Arabia include Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, and Iflix.
- Netflix is a streaming service that offers a wide variety of movies, TV shows, and documentaries. It’s a great way to catch up on the latest shows and movies and to discover new content.
- YouTube is a video-sharing platform that allows users to watch and share videos. It’s a great way to access a wide variety of content, including music videos, vlogs, and more.
- Spotify is a music streaming service that offers a wide variety of songs, albums, and playlists. It’s a great way to discover new music and to create your own playlists.
- Iflix is a streaming service that offers a wide variety of movies, TV shows, and live sports from around the world. It’s a great way to watch content from your home country and to discover new content from other parts of the world.
These are essential for OFWs in Saudi Arabia, as they help them navigate unfamiliar places and find their way around the city. Several popular navigation apps are available in Saudi Arabia, such as Google Maps, Waze, Careem, and Uber.
- Google Maps is a widely used navigation app that offers detailed maps of cities and locations, as well as real-time traffic updates and the ability to search for nearby businesses and points of interest. It also has a feature for walking, biking, and public transportation directions.
- Waze is another popular navigation app that offers real-time traffic updates, route suggestions, and the ability to report traffic incidents. It also allows users to find the cheapest gas prices in the area and offers the ability to save frequently visited locations.
- Careem is a local navigation app that is popular in Saudi Arabia. It offers a ride-hailing service that allows users to book a ride with a driver and a delivery service for food and other items.
- Uber is also available in Saudi Arabia and offers a similar service to Careem. It allows users to book a ride with a driver, and also has a service for food delivery.
Shopping apps in Saudi Arabia have made it easier for OFWs to purchase items they need and want without having to physically go to the store. These apps offer a wide range of products and services that can be ordered from the comfort of your own home. Some of the most popular shopping apps in Saudi Arabia include Souq, Jarir Bookstore, Carrefour KSA, and Noon.
- Souq is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in Saudi Arabia. It offers a wide range of products such as electronics, fashion, home appliances, and more. It also offers a marketplace where users can buy and sell used items.
- Jarir Bookstore is an app that specializes in books, office supplies, and technology products. It also offers a wide range of products such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
- Carrefour KSA is an app that offers a wide range of products such as groceries, home appliances, and fashion items. It also offers a delivery service for groceries and household items.
- Noon is another popular e-commerce platform in Saudi Arabia. It offers a wide range of products such as electronics, fashion, home appliances, and more. It also offers a marketplace where users can buy and sell used items.
All of these apps have a user-friendly interface and offer fast and reliable delivery services, making it easy for OFWs to purchase items they need without having to leave their home or workplace. They also offer a wide range of payment options, including cash on delivery and online payment, making it easy for OFWs to purchase items without having to worry about carrying cash.
Social Media Apps
Social media apps are an essential part of modern life, and they are particularly popular among OFWs in Saudi Arabia. They provide a platform for OFWs to stay connected with their loved ones back home, and also allow them to stay informed about the latest news and events happening in their host country. Some of the most popular social media apps in Saudi Arabia include Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.
- Instagram is a popular photo and video sharing app that allows users to share their daily lives and experiences with their friends and family. It also has a feature called Instagram Stories that allows users to share short videos and photos that disappear after 24 hours.
- Facebook is another popular social media app that allows users to connect with friends and family, join groups, and share news and updates. It also has a feature called Facebook Messenger, which allows users to send instant messages to their friends and family.
- Twitter is a micro-blogging site that allows users to share short text-based updates and follow other users. It is particularly popular among people who want to stay informed about the latest news and events happening in Saudi Arabia and around the world.
- TikTok is a short-form video-sharing app that allows users to create and share 15-second videos. It’s popular among OFWs who want to share their daily lives and experiences in Saudi Arabia, as well as to discover new trends and funny videos.
The Philippine government has recognized the importance of technology in the lives of OFWs and has developed several government-sanctioned apps to assist them. These apps provide OFWs with a range of services such as financial assistance, emergency assistance, and communication with their families. Below is an outline and brief description of some of the Philippine government-sanctioned apps for OFWs:
- Abizo OFW – This app is designed to provide OFWs with information on job opportunities, legal assistance, and emergency assistance. It also allows OFWs to report any issues or concerns they may have to the relevant government agencies.
- OFW Watch – This app is developed by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and provides OFWs with a range of services such as financial assistance, emergency assistance, and information on the latest news and events.
- OWWA Mobile App – This app allows OFWs to access a range of services provided by the OWWA, such as information on job opportunities, legal assistance, and emergency assistance. It also provides OFWs with access to OWWA’s various programs and services.
- OFBank Mobile Banking – This app allows OFWs to access banking services such as money transfer, bill payment, and account management. It is a partnership of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
- UnliPinas ~ SMS Philippines! – This app allows OFWs to send unlimited SMS messages to any network in the Philippines. This is an easy and affordable way for OFWs to stay in touch with their families and loved ones.
Where to check a list of blocked apps in KSA
To check the list of blocked apps by the Saudi government, you can check the following sources:
- The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC): The CITC is the regulatory body responsible for the telecommunications and information technology sector in Saudi Arabia. They provide a list of blocked websites and apps on their website.
- The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA): SAMA is the central bank of Saudi Arabia and also has a list of prohibited websites and apps on their website.
- Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture and Information: The ministry of culture and information also provides a list of prohibited websites and apps on their website.
- Saudi Arabia’s Cybercrime Law: Saudi Arabia’s cybercrime law also mentions the prohibition of certain websites and apps that are deemed harmful to national security or public morals.
- Saudi Arabia’s National Cyber Security Authority: Saudi Arabia’s National Cyber Security Authority also provides a list of prohibited websites and apps on their website.
It’s important to note that the list of blocked apps by the Saudi government is subject to change and it’s always better to check the updated list regularly. Also, it’s important to be aware of local laws and regulations when using these apps, as they may be subject to change, and failure to comply could result in legal penalties.
Video: 10 MOBILE APPLICATION NA DAPAT MAYROON KAYO HABANG NASA SAUDI ARABIA
In addition to our list mentioned above, here’s a video resource from a Saudi-based OFW regarding the must-have apps for expats (in general), when in Saudi Arabia. We hope that you find it useful and informative. If you have additional suggestions, feel free to comment below!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the must-have apps for OFWs in Saudi Arabia?
Some of the must-have apps for OFWs in Saudi Arabia include apps for communication, financial management, navigation, and entertainment. Examples include WhatsApp, Zoom, TransferWise, Google Maps, and Spotify.
2. Are there any apps that are blocked in Saudi Arabia?
Yes, some apps like WhatsApp’s calling feature, Skype, Viber, Line, Snapchat, Telegram, Periscope, Facebook’s Messenger app, and Google hangouts are blocked in Saudi Arabia. However, the list of blocked apps can change and evolve over time, so it’s important to check for updates.
Yes, social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok are accessible in Saudi Arabia. However, some features of these platforms may be blocked or restricted, and users should be aware of the potential risks and limitations of using them in the country.
4. How can I stay connected with my family and friends back home while in Saudi Arabia?
While in Saudi Arabia, OFWs can stay connected with their family and friends back home through various means such as calling, messaging, and video conferencing. However, it is important to note that Saudi Arabia has strict laws and regulations regarding the use of internet and communication services.
It is also important to note that OFWs should be aware of the laws and regulations regarding the use of communication services while in Saudi Arabia. They should be mindful of what they share or post online, as it may be considered a violation of the country’s laws, and they could face serious consequences. It is best to stick to using these apps for personal communication and avoid using them for any illegal activities or sharing any controversial or sensitive content.
5. What are some apps that can help me manage my finances while in Saudi Arabia?
There are several apps that can help you manage your finances while in Saudi Arabia, such as TransferWise, PayPal, and XE Currency. These apps allow you to transfer money, exchange currencies, and track your expenses.
Yes, several apps can help you navigate and explore Saudi Arabia, such as Google Maps and Citymapper. These apps provide detailed maps, directions, and information about public transportation and popular tourist destinations.
7. How can I access the government-sanctioned apps for OFWs?
The government-sanctioned apps for OFWs can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. They are free to download and use. Some apps require a one-time registration process to access the services. Once you have downloaded the app, you can log in using your personal information and start using the services provided by the app.
8. Are the government-sanctioned apps for OFWs secure?
Yes, the government-sanctioned apps for OFWs are designed to be secure. They use encryption and other security measures to protect users’ personal information. Additionally, the apps are regularly updated to fix any security vulnerabilities. It’s important for OFWs to use strong passwords and to not share their personal information with anyone.
In conclusion, having the right apps on your phone can make a huge difference in making your life as an OFW in Saudi Arabia much easier. From staying connected with your loved ones to finding job opportunities and managing your finances, these apps can help you navigate and make the most of your time in the kingdom.
Whether you’re a new OFW or a veteran, it’s worth taking the time to explore the different apps that are available to you and find out which ones will be the most useful for your needs. Remember, technology is here to help us and make our lives easier, so don’t hesitate to use it to your advantage!