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Riyadh



Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

I think it's fine for families and couples; it could be difficult for single women since they can't drive and it's sometimes difficult and inadvisable to go places on your own. Being part of a couple, I think a woman has much more of a chance to interact with locals, too. - Oct 13, 2017
It's great for families with kids. Saudis love kids and they are catered to in a lot of places, including restaurants. Basic parks in DQ and the malls have play areas. - Jan 19, 2017
I would say so, but women have to be prepared to cover up outside of the DQ. There can be issues about unrelated women and men attending social functions outside of the DQ. There were a few restaurants who would reserve a private room for diplomats of both sexes. The luxury Faisaliyah Hotel, owned by relatives of the late King Faisal who hate the religious police, hosted events for foreigners of both sexes while I was there and Western women were allowed to walk around uncovered inside the hotel. Same comment for the Marriott Hotel. I do recall one incident at a major international hotel in Riyadh where a Saudi citizen raised a very loud fuss when he witnessed a Western female, who happened to be a senior official of the U.S. Embassy, entering a private room for a private luncheon with representatives of U.S. companies in Saudi Arabia, to which she had been invited by said executives. It was very ugly and the Ambassador had to call the hotel to protest. - May 20, 2016
Singles yes. - Nov 9, 2015
Maybe for families with small kids, when a trip to the park and swimming pool is enough. There is not much to do here , no sports events ( women cannot participate), no movies, no theaters, no concerts, no museum, no night clubs. Singles cannot mingle with locals of the opposite sex outside the Diplomatic Quarter and compounds. - Oct 27, 2015
It seems that families prefer this posting. Single men have an easier time meeting women because there is more freedom of movement for men here. Single women - if you are looking to date, don't come here. Single women have it the worst - can't drive, very difficult to meet men, the religious police will harass you if you go out without covering your hair. - Oct 15, 2015
This is best for families. It is very lonely for many singles with normal dating being illegal. Unmarried couples cannot eat at restaurants without fear of arrest. Families have lots of time to spend together or with others with kids. - Jan 23, 2015
Families with kids do better because the schools are good. As usual, tougher for single women than single men. Couples do ok if both work. - Sep 28, 2014
I think it's fine for families and couples; it would be quite difficult for single women here since they can't drive and it's sometimes difficult and unadvisable to go places on your own. Being part of a couple, I think a woman has much more of a chance to interact with locals, too. - Mar 26, 2014
I could see where this would be a difficult environment to bring your family. But that said - there are lots of school activities, lots of playgrounds, and the malls are filled with play centers for children. Singles could find it difficult, however there are things to do - just go out and find them. Couples have each other so life can be easier for them. - Dec 4, 2013
It is not a good post for families as there is not much to do and your children will not be happy here. For singles, maybe, but again you will be bored. Couples, yes. A couple without children is probably the best choice of people to come here. - Oct 9, 2013
Fine for all, but it would be least fun for an accompanying female spouse without small kids, because there is nothing to do all day. - Mar 17, 2013
This is a good post for families that like to spend time with each other or with other families. This is a tough post for singles, as singles are not allowed to 'mix' in public. - Apr 7, 2011
This is a great city for couples or for families with younger children. - Jul 27, 2010
It's not a good city for anybody. - Mar 29, 2010
No. Not for anyone. - Jan 18, 2010
I think if you can arrange to work at the embassy with your spouse, it can be good. The money's an obvious incentive. Dating someone of the opposite gender is very hard unless you date someone at your (or another) embassy. Unless you both have diplomatic ID, you're likely to be harassed if you try to go out to do anything in Riyadh proper -- especially if one or both of you are not white. Good luck dating someone at the US military installation 45 minutes away. The motor pool won't drive you there for personal visits, and the people stationed there usually must travel with a buddy. There's very little to do in Riyadh except sit in houses and socialize. Bahrain is good for weekend trips, but those get pricey if you try to go frequently. - Dec 29, 2009
Terrible. The Saudi system is predicated upon absurd relgious extremism and there is little opportunity to date. If Saudi men see any women, many of them are very aggressive and assume that the women are prostitutes. Taking a women out at night, if she is not your wife, sister, etc., is very risky for the women. Diplomats cannot be arrested, but others will be. - Oct 21, 2008
Limiting for families and singles, good for couples. - Aug 6, 2008