Greetings from Riyadh

Stepping out!

Greetings from Riyadh and another day of sun in KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)! I arrived late last Wednesday and have been acclimatising and orientating myself since then. I thought in this first blog I would reflect on some of the initial things I have noticed about general life in the Kingdom.

So first of all I have to wear the abaya (pictured) when out of our compound. Not being Muslim I don’t have to wear the headscarf. However I am hoping to get a new abaya – one that you put on like a coat rather than mine which I have to put on over my head and is a bit more fiddly  so I am currently trying to find where I can get a new one – I had thought there would be abaya shops everywhere given that everyone wears them but they appear to be rarer than hen’s teeth lol (apart from very expensive designer ones in the fancy malls)! The search continues …

Speaking of the malls there are so many of them all across the city with many more under construction. They have all the brands we recognise – Zara, Mango, TopShop, Debenhams, M&S clothes etc etc plus a lot of American brands – but where the malls differ is that they don’t have any music in the malls or in the shops. Also, most shops don’t have fitting rooms for women – you have to buy and bring it home to try it on and then you only have three days to return = pressure lol!

There is also A LOT of construction everywhere – Riyadh is expanding in every direction – new offices, accommodation and shopping malls are springing up everywhere, which also means there are a lot of construction sites everywhere and they are building a brand new metro system which is due to come on line sometime next year.


Street life



Residential street

 We live in a western-style compound which is designed around a wadi (a pool of water surrounded by plants and vegetation – like a small oasis. The architecture of our compound is Lebanese, but I will do a future post about the compound and compound living.

My wadi

So that’s all for the first instalment – more to follow in the weeks to come! Anne :0)


7 thoughts on “Greetings from Riyadh

  1. Hi Anne,

    Looking good!! Glad to hear you arrived safely and are settling in OK.

    Try for Abaya’s. They have some nice pieces and appear to deliver too!!




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    1. Hello there! It is at the moment it’s a lovely 20 degrees outside, bit cooler in the evenings (maybe even hoodie cool enough!) We were in Abu Dhabi at the weekend and it was warmer there about 25 – so if you;’re thinking of travelling to the Middle East the winter is the time to do it!! :0)


    1. Thank you!! Good to hear from you too. I don’t mind wearing it out and about, in the malls, supermarkets etc, but we are going out for dinner to a restaurant on Wed eve and it definitely feels weird not to think about what I am going to wear because you have to wear it in any public place. Will post of photo of me modelling my new one when I get it!! :0) x


  2. Hi Anne, glad you are there safely! It looks beautifully warm, loving that blue sky – we have storms here at the moment and very heavy rain, daniel has dragged his inflatable boat out of the attic as he seems to think he will be using it to get to school on Monday.
    You look great in your abaya – and it saves having to think of new outfits every day so a win win i think!
    Looking forward to hearing more about your new home and love and hugs from all of us here xx


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