Monday, 23 March 2015

Saudis are treated as “Cash Machines” abroad

What is the first thing that comes in your mind when I say “gold supercar”, surely the word in your mind is Arab. Why? This is due to the fact that Arabs around the world are notoriously famous for showing their wealth through their expensive supercars, amongst other things. Whether it is the young Arab students in the UK with their Lamborghinis and Ferraris or the people in Saudi Arabia, which is basically a supercar heaven. Their exuberant display of wealth and flashy lifestyle has lead people to believe that all Arabs are extremely rich and this has become a disadvantage for Arab community.

Although some Arabs complain that the “cash machine” image is the root cause of most of them having financial troubles, but it is Saudis themselves who have created their image. Saudi people tend to be dressed in the best and most flashy clothing possible, spend as extravagantly as they can and give out huge tips wherever they go, even though ironically some of them are not able to repay these debts as they cannot sustain the lifestyle that they have created for themselves. When Saudi people are thought of, due to the high amount of oil in the area, it is presumed that every Saudi has his oil field.

As told by Saudi business woman Nura Al-Rifa’I, Saudis travelling abroad also like to blow off cash to be noticed, they seek importance and thus do not carefully budget their travels even though they cannot afford to not do so. Saudi tourists lack planning and spend little to no time budgeting and comparing prices, this is also due to the fact that they fail to compare the exchange rates and more often than not have the wrong impression of prices. Saudi tourists abroad are also often quoted higher exaggerated prices because of their cashed up image and so end up overpaying for things that are originally less costly. These include luxury brands like Gucci, Versace, LV, Chanel, Massimo Dutti and so on and everybody knows these brands aren’t cheap.

Saudis such as Dr.Al-Qahtani have sought a solution to this problematic image of the Saudi people by following in the footsteps of the Prophet (PBUH) and have a tighter grip on their expenses. Some Saudis also believe that children from a young age should be taught that where ever they go they will the country and instead of being ambassadors for the country’s wealth, they should aim to be ambassadors of Arab customs, values, tradition and culture so that their cash machine image may finally be improved. Although the Saudis do have an image they would like to not be associated with, it is common knowledge that the media especially western media glorifies and highlights such a lifestyle which is the main reason that young people are drawn towards this lifestyle to begin with. The root of such problems must be addressed so that a more permanent solution can be found rather than a temporary one.

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