Just when the news about value added taxes made waves for the people living in the Middle East last year, I on the other hand started contemplating good comebacks for dealing with friends and family living anywhere but Saudi Arabia because “hey, there goes another reason to volunteer for imprisonment”
Over this period of genuine concern by my loved ones I emerged as an indifferent prick and managed to list 7 good reasons to live (or visit) in Saudi Arabia.
Bordered by the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf Saudi Arabia has some of the most stunning public and private beaches. Sure they do not have ‘BYOB’ full moon parties and women don’t get to flaunt their toned abs in public but if you figure out a way to access a private beach you can bask in the sun without looking like Harry Potter.
Hint: get up close with royalty *winks*
2. Sheesha Lounges
No thank you! Not much of a sheesha person and would rather prefer staying away? Good for you but would you be able to resist the ambience of the sheesha lounges this country has? You won’t be able to find that vibe in an Al Baik you know.
*Speak of the devil*. Al Baik is a homegrown fast food chain that is only to be found in the Saudi Arabia and has given tough competition to some of the international fried chicken chains including KFC. Wait what? Only after having their nuggets with their signature garlic sauce you would agree that the hype is real.
The strict dress code in Saudi Arabia is somehow synonymous to a nightmare for a few but shopping for abayas will definitely help change your mind. Adorning yourself with an abaya is a skill I tell you and once you get the hang of it you will love your low maintenance life.
5. Extravagant Lifestyle
No one, I repeat no one spends like the Saudis. Besides dealing with your inferiority complex, walking past a jewel encrusted Mercedes or a palace the size of a village is undeniably fun. On a serious note, the cost of quality living is comparatively low. You too can drive a luxury car (including women this year onwards..yayyy), and enjoy the picture perfect family life in well planned residential compounds. Already started imagining it? Didn’t you?
6. Free water
So you’ve seen free water dispensers in public places a gazillion times before but how about a vending machine that gives water for free. Jeddah airport has refrigerators that has free water for everyone. Alright may not sound as cool as a vending machine but if you
- hate being ripped for being a tourist
- believe in basic human rights and the right to clean bottled water
- or you are just cheap and airport security threw away your water bottle
then you will definitely love the airport management for the gesture.
Yes everything with a P sounds funny and you can have a good laugh every time pepsi sounds more like your bay-basi and you are more Bakistani than you will ever be.
See it ain’t that bad 😉
Contributed by Anza Humayun who has been living in Saudi Arabia for the past 19 years.
Composed by Iman Saad