Spending Leisure Time in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and one of the world's main oil producers. With the introduction of VAT and a large expat community, Saudi Arabia makes a great place to start a career abroad. Have a bit of spare leisure time while there? Check out our guide below for recommendations!

RIYADH

Riyadh National Museum

National Museum, Riyadh

The National Museum (pictured above) is a nice way to get to know the country you’ve moved to; with exhibitions revolving around history, archaeology, religion and more. The museum also hosts activities and workshops which may be appealing to children.

Date Market

Dates are iconic cultural delicacies of Saudi Arabia. A cup of warm, spiced coffee is always accompanied with locally sourced dates – they are a staple in every house. Not surprisingly, Saudi Arabia is constantly one of the world’s top 3 date producers with 1.1 million tonnes of dates harvested in 2014 from 25 million palm trees. The market features the various types of dates in all shapes and sizes, including fresh dates as well as dried dates.

Al Janadriyah Festival

This is an annual cultural festival dating back to 1985 featuring an exhibit of Saudi culture. Sports such as camel racing as well as arts and crafts, Saudi foods, dance, history and much more are all on offer. The festival takes place in February every year and it’s a great way to get to know the Saudi culture and heritage in action!

JEDDAH

Building facade Al Balad Jeddah

Al Balad

Jeddah’s historic old town - Al Balad – is a stunning area with samples of Ottoman architecture and history. Gates, facades and mosques are a recurring theme, providing a great opportunity to practice your humble photography skills. The market is a shopper’s heaven, featuring herbs and spices, incense and fragrances, scarves and delicious local foods.

Private Beaches 

Jeddah’s prime location by the Red Sea provides a great space for beach activities. Expats may also enjoy renting out a beachside villa for a weekend, where specific private beaches allow more freedom for expats. This is a nice idea for families with children or couples seeking to relax.

Cycling by the Red Sea

Enjoy keeping active? Jeddah’s beautiful Red Sea coast is a great cycling trail to keep fit and ease off the mind. It’s a great spot for daily pre-sunset walks, too. If you’re looking for friends to play sports with, joining the various expat groups and communities online will introduce you to new people who may be interested to join!

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