Shopping in Saudi Arabia: What You Need to Know
Shopping in Saudi Arabia is an exciting experience, with a wide range of options from traditional souks to modern malls. Discover the best places to shop,
what to buy, and tips to make the most of your shopping experience in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is an incredible mecca of culture and history, and this is reflected in its shopping experiences that travelers can enjoy across the kingdom.
So what makes shopping in Saudi Arabia so special? Think: age-old souqs (traditional marketplaces), perfumes made from ancient scents and luxury shopping experiences.
One thing travelers should make note of prior to going out on a shopping trip is to note the times of daily prayer, when shops typically close for about half an hour.
Additionally, one Saudi Arabian Riyal is equivalent to about USD$0.26, making it easy to buy more while spending less.
Traditional Souqs(Shopping in Saudi Arabia)
A first trip to Saudi Arabia isn’t complete without a visit to one of its magnificent souqs, or traditional markets where vendors haggle with locals and travelers alike.
Jeddah is a city that offers plenty of different souqs to visit, so travelers who find shopping to be their favorite immersion experience can enjoy
visiting plenty of different souqs selling everything from traditional spices to handmade wool rugs, dates or oud, a scent blended into perfume or burned as incense.
Historic Jeddah offers at least seven different souqs, trading in things such as clothing, food, cookware, handicrafts and more. The largest souq in the city,
Souq Almena (also called Souq AlSawarek by locals) extends over 9 square kilometers and sells all types of wares, including affordable second-hand goods.
Perfume has been a part of the Saudi culture for centuries, with traditional scents like rose water and oud, a scent derived from the oil of the agarwood tree,
being two favorites. Oud itself is pricey, since it takes about 300 years for agarwood trees to produce the resin, but it’s become an integral part of Saudi Arabian culture,
often worn or burned as incense during holidays and given as gifts for big celebrations, like weddings.
Today, travelers can bring home a lasting souvenir such as oud, rose water or other types of perfume from traditional souqs or more modern malls or stores.
Travelers can blend their own perfume with Nota Nota, or try on various scents at the Abdul Samad Al Qurashi Fragrance House,
the foremost perfume house dating back to the 1930s, at any of its 500 locations.
Luxury Shopping Experiences
Luxury shopping is also available in many of Saudi Arabia’s large cities, including in Jeddah and Riyadh, along with several local luxury brands.
Newer and notable shopping concepts in Riyadh include Number Nine, Pattern, Personage and Sum+Things.
Besides offering quite a few luxury brand names in large cities like Jeddah or Riyadh, these cities also offer traditional gold markets,
selling a range of jewelry by local artists and global designers. One of the best gold markets is Jeddah’s Oasis Mall.
LinkedIn: Ayla Company