Jeddah - Post Report Question and Answers

What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Lots of opportunities. I frequently socialized both with the other western hires as well as local hire teachers at my school, including game nights, birthday parties, going out to eat. I made friends with mutual friends of colleagues as well for parties and events. I joined the rugby club, and met a lot of great people and had a good time. There are other sporting clubs available as well. I met a ton of people diving at La Plage (almost every Friday), and definitely recommend getting SCUBA licensed as there are few cheaper and easier places to do it while working in a large city. The HummingTree community had a lot of great events, and there were always other events going on Meetup or InterNations. The weekly dinners at the Italian consulate and the bi-weekly happy hours at the American consulate were great places to meet people, let your hair down, and have a drink or two in a completely legal atmosphere. Aside from the male teachers and relatively few locals on the rugby club, I believe I met one Saudi socially. I was never quite sure how she was able to participate in many social events, as many consulates and western-style venues have a strict no-Saudis policy to avoid any potential issues with the government. - Oct 2022

The local staff are very welcoming and often ask Americans to join social activities. - Aug 2022

Lots of BBQ and dinners amongst friends at the Western compounds. Western Embassies also often host a variety of events, many open to the public, including a few formal events. - Nov 2020

There is a British International Women's Group that is very active. The British Counsel runs a lot of activities that are open to the public or for those in the know. - Oct 2019

The Red Sea is a stone's throw away, so if you are a diver or want to get a boat, this is the best thing to do. The CLO seems to be organizing a variety of activities and outings. Obviously a Hash is a lost cause in a dry country, but there's a bowling league at Raytheon. Generally I think its a lot of small groups of friends vice clubs and groups. - Mar 2019

Beach clubs are huge. Go there to feel like you're escaping the Saudi vibe. Otherwise it's hanging out at people's homes or by pools. - Jan 2019

Having friends over for cook-outs and game night. - Apr 2016

On the compound there are expats from all over the world, so there is a lot of social life in the compounds. - Nov 2015

Expat parties at the compounds. Going to the beach. - Oct 2015

Beaches and getting together. - Oct 2015

All things revolve around food it seems like. Hosting people for dinner, going out to dinner. - Aug 2015

There are parties at the consulate every 2 weeks. And, you will keep busy at the compound. - Feb 2014

A lot of people don't do much outside of eat out and go to the beach. That stuff is fun, but it gets old. I try to take a trip outside Jeddah one weekend every month or two. There's so much to see and experience. I also am grateful for iTunes so as to watch movies. No theaters in Saudi Arabia. That said, if you're willing to get out and make friends, you will find that every once in a while you can find a group of (usually young) Saudis putting on a play or screening a movie. - Dec 2013

This is a huge part of life, both among Saudis and among expats. If you are male and working on the local economy, you might never meet (or see) the female members of your Saudi coworkers' families, even at company parties. In diplomatic circles, women are much more of a presence. - May 2013

Consulate and Marine parties are the hottest ticket in town. Sadly. - Nov 2010

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