Your new local habits in Saudi Arabia

Hello everyone,

Living in Saudi Arabia is a great way to immerse in a new culture and lifestyle.

Have you embraced local customs since you've lived in Saudi Arabia? If so, which one(s)?

Did local customs change the way you see things, appreciate life or organize your daily routines? As far as the language is concerned, did you learn new expressions or words and do you use them?

What do you like most about the lifestyle in your host country? Are there any local specificities you are still struggling with?

Thanks in advance,


I think I will use Inshallah, Mashalah, and mosukla for the rest of my life. lol

As I am stateside for the summer I really miss have a bidet hose at toliets. I feel like I'm using to much toilet paper. I'm headed back to the sandbox in August.

Hey everyone,

To me Saudi is a very safe place to be in, it is much safer than many places I have been to before. Shopping is great here alongside with restaurants which are diverse and relatively cheap. You can try a different cosine every day and some of them are really good. People are friendly and helpful especially the locals I have never encountered a rejection whenever I needed to ask about something or help was needed.

I think that the only downside of it beside the hot weather :) is the difficulty of meeting new people and making friends away from your work. People (especially expats) are very suspicious and don't get involved easily in social activities. Part of this is due to the nature of the society where men and women are always apart in public places and the other part is the huge number of lies we hear in the west about how savage these countries are and how risky is it to live here, to me 99% of this is nonsense.

GCC countries are very welcoming places, yes it will take some time to adopt but you will love it later on. I picked up some habits here such as getting up very early coz work start at 6:30 am here and sleeping early at night. Also organizing my time especially shopping because all shops are closed here at prayers time (there are 5 prayers a day) so unless you are organized with your time you might face troubles finding shops open.

That's all for now

After more than a decade here its more than natural that I got more than I bargained for.  Apart from using the local language a lot, I also became a great fan of local food.  When I say food, its not just Kabsa / Mandi - several variations of the dish, from various regions along with traditional favorites like Jareesh, Sabeeb, Saleek etc.

I guess I also picked up few bad habits like getting impatient on the roads, honking a lot ........ :dumbom:  :dumbom:

What I like the most is the relaxed or laid back lifestyle here. There is calmness in KSA that I have not felt in any other GCC country. People still stick to the old ways is more personal than professional ..........getting to know people and using their language can go a long way.

For me I guess the life as I know it is here and often I feel like a foreigner when I go to my home country.

Living in KSA since two years, working, eating, sleeping and shopping, did some quad biking along with sons, when they were here, what else can be done don't know.

My family and I have been in KSA for 36 long years. First six were in AlKhobar, next 30 in Riyadh and we have just moved to Jeddah on June 1 this year.

The most beautiful thing about living and working here has been meeting and getting t know so many wonderful families from all corners of the globe. It has been most satisfying.

Next, learning how to manage people, since we come from extremely diverse cultures and traditions, both at work and socially was another challenge and taught us many great lessons in interpersonal management.

The food is awesome and we enjoy the multiple choice cuisine available everywhere immensely.

Both our girls were educated and raised here. The older was 5 years and the younger was only 3 months old when we first came to KSA. This is more home for them than our home country or any other place on earth. We also have two grand kids, one who was born in Riyadh, and they havent still bo swear that there's no better place to live than KSA. I guess Home is where your Heart is?

We knew how to read Arabic when we first came. Learning the vocabulary and the colloquial expressions was all that was needed to be able to get into the groove in the souks and bazaars.

Yes, the climate can be harsh in the summer months of July/Aug, especially in Riyadh but the human body has the magnificent capacity to adapt just as much as the Eskimo's survive in the North Pole. Jeddah weather is certainly much more comfy than Riyadh although we haven't still been exposed to the humidity factor which is common on the coasts.

All  in all, life has been extremely peaceful, satisfying and good in KSA.

The local Saudi peoples are very friendly & helpful people,
need a positive approached to them.

The local traditional & culture is interesting

Iv been in Khobar since the beginning of Ramadan. Being Muslim the fasting didn't affect me because I've been doing it since age 6. I love how they adapt their lives around the religion and prayer is a vital part of the day. I have started wearing niqab since the first week of arriving feeling more confident that way. Western countries lead you to believe Middle East think nothing of the women that they are like slaves in their homes controlled either by parent or spouse.

I have seriously seen the total opposite. Local women are strong and have all the freedom in the world. They express themselves in a halaal manner being shoes ,bags, make up, oh the make up.

I came here being scared to open my mouth to any male, making my husband speak for me. Now I speak for myself in my broken Arabic.

Only problem now is finding work for myself. Qualified TEFL/ESL teacher not realizing that their might not be a demand for it right now.

A little over a month in Al Khobar and I really couldn't be happier.

The rule here strict , and you can't creat relations with others,

Salam Warahmatullah,

KSA for believers and non believers provides equal social activities.

Those bad actors are not respected outside KSA, aren't carrying any privilege here too.
more over Saudi authorities respects, treats and helps equally all aliens here.

we are obedient in EU,US and other part of the world, same is expected here inside KSA.

Yes, they remove the "upper chamber" who involves in drugs and its related crimes.

I personally call it " beauty" of this kingdom.

KSA has adopted to climate changes and global social competition.

Do not harm anyone and don't get harm, enjoy tax free life.

The most important part or life style is the Nature here.

local traditions, customs and religious back ground tells us the real Nature, which is waiting for everyone. 

if people alone or families spent decades and even don't learn  local language, its their failure or misunderstanding or false claim that " we Lived in KSA for decades" !

look when we move to Spain...Spanish is not a barrier

Germany, German language isn't similarly English everywhere


I will simply close the write up with question. Otherwise a volume of books can be written.

why Arabic  has exception for people spending decades here and yet cannot write basic ABC of Arabic ???


Khalid Nadeem

HI Priscilla.

Thanks for your reply.

I love this country and it's people and the culture.  I am a Christian and often go for the service on Fridays to a place which cannot be disclosed.

Will appreciate if you can also call me on *** saudi arabia if you would not mind. You can also add me on whatsapp and imo as well as LINE.

Look  forward to your reply.

Moderated by Priscilla 3 years ago
Reason : Do not post your personal contact details on a public forum for your own security

I have bad experience mate. Racist people.They Rob me more than
3 times in four years.Don,t misguide people.Share your personal experience. Don,t misguide.

Its very hard for now.. saudi arabia is a safe country  given a chance can visit again. Am used to being indoors which hv helped me alot . Am okey as what have acquired there is what am living now. Interms of family life n safty. Yeah its really work for me.. though some sees a different personality which even society can embrace n bring a change.

I learn the language and I adopted the culture so i like my second home now

For me.....
Sleeping time has increaed
Smoking increased
Good family time
work is good
good rest to liver
Join fitness time....gaining weight has begun.

Dear Priscilla,

Thanks for your email. Well, saudi arabia is really a lovely and historical place although I have not yet been traveled a lot but it does worth to visit the places and being a muslim it fascinating me always be around the places what I have read about.

KSA is the only place on this planet known as Earth, where time values and carrying typical name and meaning......"Barakah"
I will be more than happy, if anyone on this chat show can provide equal word in any language,  I know it is driven & pronounced as Barkat in Urdu !!!.

Look at each evenings, how many Hrs. we have to waste !
its wonderful gift here, this is up to each individual how he get use of it or just exploits.
Peace and Peace of mind are in abundance, they must prevail at any cost and anywhere.

I've developed a custom of organizing my day through the prayer times :D
My whole day plan involve driving through the prayer times not to end up in front of a closed shop or gas station :D

  some of my western friends told me , when they started  using   " Inshallah, Mashalah"  they can't rid of the them,,

I recommand  you to use "yalaah" which understood as equivalent to " hurry"!

New topic