Leisure in Riyadh

museum in Riyadh
Updated 2022-03-03 07:44

Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, has a lot to offer, even though it is difficult to give you a precise list of things you can do in your free time. If you have moved here with your family or you've had the chance of making new friends since your arrival, discover how you can make the most out of your stay in Riyadh.  

Compound living

If you've already looked through the accommodation in Saudi Arabia articles in our guide, you are probably well aware that most expats moving to Riyadh prefer to settle in compounds. These are western-style gated communities that offer expats “an escape” from the everyday restrictions of living in the city. Within the walls of the compounds, you get to enjoy most of the freedoms you would back home. Plus, most compounds in Riyadh come equipped with lots of facilities for recreation including fitness facilities, swimming pools, coffee shops, restaurants, convenient stores and more. Thus, simply spending a relaxing day within your compound socializing with fellow expats can be a good way to unwind.

Desert experiences in Riyadh

Exploiting Riyadh's serene atmosphere and the landscape is a savvy thought. On the off chance that you appreciate the most adventurous activities, don't pass up exploring Riyadh's indigenous habitat. Riyadh's outskirts are a desert territory with mild to hot temperatures. If you don't mind the heat, you're likely to enjoy the exciting hill treks and trips in the desert. Many expats enjoy planning trips on the weekends to admire the breathtaking desert scenery, taking part in outdoor activities, engine biking over sand dunes and star-gazing.

Shopping and gastronomy in Riyadh

Shopping is probably locals and expats' favorite pastime in Saudi Arabia. In fact, the city can boast more than twelve huge shopping malls, which are often very busy. You can quickly turn into a shopaholic in Riyadh with all these megamalls with all types of boutiques, including local and international brands.

Foodies will be delighted to explore more than 1,000 eateries across Riyadh. From ethnic to international cuisine, you can find almost everything. It's also an excellent way to relax and spend some nice moments with your family, friends or colleagues after work.

Sports in Riyadh

Soccer is undoubtedly the most popular game played in Riyadh, with soccer fields dissipated across the city. If you want to play, you can simply ask the players if you can join in. They will never refuse.

Sports played outside a private foundation, for example, a recreation centre or at school, is restricted to men. Ladies are not allowed to take part in any sort of sports activity in broad daylight. Going for a stroll is the maximum allowed.

Bike riding is common among men in the city. You can also find a couple of bike gatherings and clubs that ride together. As of June 1, 2018, women are also allowed to ride a bike. However, the idea isn't yet widespread so you might find it awkward to get started — especially outside the big cities.

Riyadh is also very enthusiastic about horseback riding. In fact, there are many stables in the city's outskirts, which are easy to access.

In general, Saudis take extraordinary pride in the stables and riding, and they also regularly take part in provincial competitions.

Camel dashing

Camels occupy a unique spot in Saudi society and in their way of life. Camel milk and camel meat are viewed as a treat, but that's not all. Camel crowding is also very popular.

Camel dashing is a famous game in Saudi Arabia and takes places every week at the national arena. However, betting is prohibited.

Useful links:

Riyadh Expatriates


Riyadh Wheelers

Riyadh Road Runners

Al Khalediah Arabian Horse Festival

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.