When I was away for college in Switzerland, many had so much to ask about Saudi Arabia (Jeddah where am from), the lifestyle in general, women’s rights, dress codes and more. Here are some facts for those seeking knowledge about Saudi Arabia and what it’s like..
- Women actually do work!
It all started back in 2012, when Saudi Arabia began enforcing a law that allows only females to work in lingerie stores. By the end of 2012, women were granted the right to sell in retail shops. And the shift started from there.
Stores open from 9am to12pm and then open again from 2pm till about 11pm but they do close for a prayer break (to pray!) in between working hours! Those who are shopping at the mall would hear the prayer and they would then wait at a coffee shop or inside their cars for shops to reopen!
Almost everyone in Jeddah heads to the beach on a Friday or a Thursday (our weekend). We do have chalets and awesome beaches where everyone gets to enjoy the sun and tan!
… And no we aren’t “princesses” neither because we are “extremely rich” as some might think, its cause we cannot drive period, its illegal for women to drive (don’t ask why, its just the law, we’re used to it)!
Although it’s obligated by law to wear an Abaya when heading out, however it’s not only in black! other colors like beige, brown or grey are the trend, but you can customize the Abaya however way you like!
In fact, according to an article in ArabNews, there are only about 6,000 family businesses across the entire kingdom.
Whenever i said i was from Saudi Arabia i’d get the “Oh yea i heard Dubai was stunning”. Dubai is located in United Arab Emirates not in Saudi Arabia!
Many assume that all men have four wives here in Saudi Arabia, this is totally not true. I’ve known ONE person who’s father is married to one other woman, but never came across someone who is married to four! the majority of the married population are married to only one person. although i am not saying this doesn’t happen, it does but they would be those who are living in rural areas, the “Amish” of the kingdom so to speak.
The “Do you have your own condo?” question isn’t a question that exists here, a man who’s 30 years old and haven’t gotten married yet would still be living with his parents until he does. Same goes for women. it is considered disrespectful to have your own apartment or house and live alone if single. (Some exceptions do exist.