Cookies on the DFA website

We use cookies to give the best experience on our site while also complying with Data Protection requirements. Continue without changing your settings, and you'll receive cookies, or change your cookie settings at any time.

Skip to main content

Ireland-Saudi Arabia Relations

The Embassy plays an important role in the strong partnership between the Irish and Saudi Arabian Governments and peoples.

Ireland and Saudi Arabia have enjoyed excellent relations over many years.

Living and working in Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a welcoming and hospitable country with many unique traditions. Islam pervades all aspects of life in Saudi Arabia and is the official religion of the country. While the private practice of religion is allowed, the public display of non-Islamic religious articles such as crosses and Bibles is not permitted. Irish nationals in the Kingdom who maintain a respect for local customs can expect a rewarding and enriching experience.

Sponsorship system

Nearly all Irish citizens working in Saudi Arabia are guest workers, under the sponsorship of their employer. It is the sponsor who obtains work and residence permits for the employee and any of their family members, and must give permission before the employee is allowed to leave the country. To change employers in Saudi Arabia may require the permission of the previous employer, which is discretionary. Any dispute with a sponsor is adjudicated according to Saudi law. In such disputes the Embassy can provide a list of local lawyers and request fair treatment according to Saudi law, but it cannot interfere with the legal process.