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

It's a great post for little kids; our boys were incredibly happy there because they had so much freedom to run around on the compound and there were so many things to do. It was a lot harder for their mom (see above, mental health). If you're a family who likes to go out and DO things... prepare to spend a lot of money doing them, or be bored. If you're a family who likes to spend a lot of time together at home - this is the place for you. - Oct 2019

I'm not sure its a good place for anyone, honestly. My kids seem to like it, but the fact that my son panics a bit if my wife forgets her abaya or wants to drive is not a good sign to me. Obviously, Saudi Arabia is harder on women than men. It's generally a family-oriented culture, which is good (lots of play spaces, for example), but there's also an unspoken assumption that a man would never take care of his family in the absence of a woman; so the play spaces are all in the 'family' sections and not the 'men' sections of restaurants and public spaces. It makes it hard to give my wife a break. I cannot fathom what a single person would do here if they were looking to date, but it seems like you would all be fishing in the same small pond. It might be a good place if you are getting over a bad break up and have sworn off the dating scene for a while. - Mar 2019

Great for families. - Jan 2019

Better for families and single males. Single females have a more difficult time. - Apr 2016

Now it is good for families with elementary school kids, with PreK kids it may be difficult since it's so expensive to find a nanny and the international schools are unaffordable. For teenagers it's hard as dating is illegal and there are no movie theatres. - Nov 2015

This is a great post for families with elementary-school kids now. I am not sure about the future when we move to the new consulate/compound. Families with preschoolers may find it difficult and expensive to have a nanny, and there will not be pre-school when we move from the compound. unless you want to pay a lot of money at the American School there will be no options for the pre-schoolers. For teen-agers it is difficult for lots of reasons. Alcohol is prohibited, so they have parties with fake alcohol, which is worse, because you don't know what is being consumed. Dating outside the compound is prohibited, and there are no movie theaters, or anything else, so some teenagers have problems with drugs. This is also n a good place for singles. - Oct 2015

It may be good for families, but not for couples or singles --- especially women. - Oct 2015

Good for couples and families, but bad for singles, especially for female singles. Dating is restricted and mingling is rare. - Aug 2015

For families - yes. Singles and couples do not like it here. Actually, couples who live at the Sierra compound ask for change of housing because of too many kids. - Feb 2014

Jeddah is good for families and couples. Single males probably do okay. I really couldn't in good conscience recommend it for single females though. Saudi society simply does not view women the same way the West does, and Saudi customs really do stifle single females. Unable to drive, they are dependent on the almost nonexistent public transportation (taxis, which, at least for U.S. diplomats, are off-limits). Even going out in public without a male could subject females to harassment from religious police or even "secular" authorities, since it's considered illegal for ladies to be in public without a male "guardian." These "laws" aren't always enforced in Jeddah, but it's extremely annoying for single females that the possibility even exists that they could be confronted for simply going out alone. - Dec 2013

It is not great for singles because of social restrictions on mixing of the sexes. But you can find your niche among single expats. And if you are into Saudi men, you will have no shortage of good-looking suitors. (But be sure you know what you're getting into before you start a relationship . . . and then rethink it extremely thoroughly . . . and then, just to be safe, give yourself some distance). Great for couples—you can earn enough to travel frequently, and there are some unique and awesome places to see in the region. I think it’s pretty good for families, but I might be in the minority with that opinion. Many people complain about the country. For us, the compound is what makes this place awesome—my kids are safe to roam free and have scores of friends their age (from all over the world). The compound has playgrounds, pools, a recreation center, a grocery store, tennis courts, and plenty of free activities as well as paid classes for kids. I have lots of friends from all over the world—although, ironically, I don’t personally know any Saudis. That’s partly because compounds are a big social bubble that I haven’t tried to escape and partly because Saudi society is very difficult to break into. - May 2013

Good is a strong word. Saudi is one of the most restrictive countries on earth - I wouldn't use the word "good" for any family situation here, single or otherwise. - Nov 2010

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