Sunday, July 13, 2014

Planning to Move to Saudi Arabia

I am planning to move to Saudi Arabia, what are the things I need to care for?

Question by Visitor
Hello - I have been reading your posts in preparation of my forthcoming relocation to Riyadh later this month and wondered if you could possibly answer my questions below please:

  1. I wonder if shopping malls, cafes, restaurants etc. are entirely smoke-free or do people tend to flout smoking bans - perhaps in the evening cafes and restaurants turn a blind eye. Perhaps taxi-drivers don't care about not smoking in their cars?
  2. In the extreme summer heat, do men tend to carry umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun?  It is a very common sight in the UAE.
  3. Would it be acceptable to wear running shorts and sleeveless shirts when training, exercising, running outdoors, e.g. in the Diplomatic quarter?
  4. Are there pure vegetarian restaurants other than Indian vegetarian restaurants?

Answer by Steve
  1. You have not mentioned about your Gender so I am answering you assuming that you are a Male. Most of the café and restaurants do not allow smoking under the roof. If you want to smoke, you will either have to go outside of the restaurant or at least in the open area within the premises of the restaurant. Saudi Government has imposed a penalty to the restaurants who allow taking Sheesha under cover of the roof. Taxi drivers do not care about what you do in their taxis. You can easily smoke there.
  2. There is no transportation system in Saudi Arabia so most of the residents have their own cars. I have been living from a long time and I never had to remain under Sun unwillingly for more than few minutes. People do not carry umbrellas and I don’t even find any suitable reason of carrying them.
  3. Male and female are not allowed to exercise in single premises of gym. While exercising in the gym, you can wear any type of dress which provides you comfort. But if you are exercising in a public place e.g. park, you need to cover lower part of your body up to knees and there is no problem in wearing sleeveless shirt.
  4. Vegetarian restaurants are perhaps the most difficult thing to find in Saudi Arabia. People really love meat here in this region of the world. It is very hard to find but still you can locate few vegetarian restaurants with a little effort. But they are very few.

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