Pros and Cons of Living in Riyadh

William Russell Expat Health Insurance

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 24, 2021

Summary: Pros and Cons of Living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Expats, Retirees and Digital Nomads talk about the pros and cons of living in Riyadh

What are the pros and cons of living in Riyadh?

Live in Riyadh? Answer this Question

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Riyadh responded:

"Other than dining out, there are no sources for entertainment. Leisure time is mostly spent in malls. Men have a cess to sporting events like soccer, but women do not. The emphasis on family gatherings and religious observances makes getting to know people and make friends difficult. But if you can and do make friends then they are most accepting and friendly," explained one expat living in Riyadh.

allianz care expat health insurance

For expats in Saudi Arabia, choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our partner, Allianz Care. Their plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz Care's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.

Get a Quote

What do expats in Riyadh appreciate most about the local culture?

Live in Riyadh? Answer this Question

"The differences between the NZ culture and the Saudi culture could hardly be more extreme. I liked the ability to see around the country and learn more about how women live and learn," explained one expat living in Riyadh.

"Absolutely nothing. Saudi Arabia is the worst place I've ever been. Business Week annual survey says it's the 3rd worst place in the world to live (for expats)," said another expat in Riyadh.

"Probably that it's so totally opposite what I knew and was used to, so I learn something new everyday. I know I've grown a lot since being here, in many ways," added another person living in Riyadh.

"Living expenses are fairly low here and varieties are available, shopping is real fun," explained one expat living in Riyadh.

What do expats find most challenging?

Live in Riyadh? Answer this Question

"Not being able to drive and having to rely on a husband or pay for taxis the whole time. This has the result of completely removing any sponteneity from your day," said another expat in Riyadh.

"It's difficult to get around since women can't drive. If this were a western city, I'd have explored it from top to bottom! But here, you're taking cabs everywhere so only really go from point A to point B and don't know what's in between. Another issue is that men and women can't 'mix' so opportunities to socialize are fairly limited (mostly to expensive embassy events or if you are fortunate enough to live in a 'western' compound--but single women usually must live in a company compound, which often isn't western so the freedom we're used to isn't allowed)," added another person living in Riyadh.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Allianz Care Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote


 

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaGuide to Living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia Forum Saudi Arabia Forum
Join our Saudi Arabia forum to meet other people living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia Forum Contribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Riyadh.

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaHealthcare in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Expats and global nomads in Riyadh share their experiences with health insurance, healthcare in Saudi Arabia, local hospitals and specialists, quality of medical care and more.

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaMoving to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Expats offer advice about everything you need to know before moving to Riyadh: what to bring (and what to leave behind), how to find housing and more.

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaPros and Cons of Living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats and digital nomads have to say about the pros and cons of living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Real Estate RiyadhRentals in Riyadh

Rental listings in Riyadh. Plus, advice about renting and buying real estate in Riyadh

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaExpats Talk about Living in Riyadh

Expats share their experiences living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and offer advice about meeting people, schools and more.

Expat Healthcare & Health Insurance Expat Report: Healthcare in Riyadh

An expat in Riyadh recommends returning to the US or Europe for medical treatment should the need arise. She found that medical care, even at the top hospital in Riyadh, was substandard.

Expat Report: Culture Shock in Riyadh

A woman from New Zealand accepted a job in a hospital in Riyadh. Although the hospital and job was English-speaking, she enrolled in Arabic classes at a university. She found the culture and treatment of women extremely challenge at times, but knew what she was getting into when she accepted the job.

Moving-to-Saudi-ArabiaMoving to Saudi Arabia

Expats who want to move to the Saudi Arabia should fully explore what it means to move and live there. Read a lot of comments from people who live in Saudi Arabia, and have for a number of years.

Allianz Care Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaGuide to Living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia Forum Saudi Arabia Forum
Join our Saudi Arabia forum to meet other people living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

ContributeContribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Riyadh.

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaHealthcare in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Expats and global nomads in Riyadh share their experiences with health insurance, healthcare in Saudi Arabia, local hospitals and specialists, quality of medical care and more.

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaMoving to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Expats offer advice about everything you need to know before moving to Riyadh: what to bring (and what to leave behind), how to find housing and more.

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaPros and Cons of Living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats and digital nomads have to say about the pros and cons of living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Real Estate RiyadhRentals in Riyadh

Rental listings in Riyadh. Plus, advice about renting and buying real estate in Riyadh

Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaExpats Talk about Living in Riyadh

Expats share their experiences living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and offer advice about meeting people, schools and more.

Expat Healthcare & Health Insurance Expat Report: Healthcare in Riyadh

An expat in Riyadh recommends returning to the US or Europe for medical treatment should the need arise. She found that medical care, even at the top hospital in Riyadh, was substandard.

Expat Report: Culture Shock in Riyadh

A woman from New Zealand accepted a job in a hospital in Riyadh. Although the hospital and job was English-speaking, she enrolled in Arabic classes at a university. She found the culture and treatment of women extremely challenge at times, but knew what she was getting into when she accepted the job.

Copyright 1997-2021 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal