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Life as a Nanny Working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia is a traditional Muslim country where Islamic law is upheld. Saudi Arabian people are family orientated and generally friendly to foreigners.

The country is becoming more westernised and has recently opened cinemas and women now have the legal right to drive.

Things that make Saudi different to the West:

Call to Prayer

In Saudi Arabia, there are five daily prayers. Shops close during each prayer.

The 5 Prayers

  • Fajr – between dawn and sunrise
  • Dhuhr – noon
  • ‘Asr – mid-afternoon
  • Maghrib – sunset
  • ‘Isha – night

Restrictions in Saudi Arabia

The following behaviour is not acceptable in Saudi Arabia and can lead to deportation or arrest:

  • For men, exposing legs by wearing shorts
  • For women, short skirts and revealing clothes
  • Not wearing the abayah black dress when in public
  • Drinking alcohol or being in an intoxicated state
  • Public displays of affection between men and women, even spouses
  • Free mixing with the opposite sex.

Women are required to limit the amount of time spent with men to whom they are not related. The majority of public buildings, including offices, banks, restaurants, public transport, cinemas and universities, have separate entrances for the different sexes.

Sawm(Fasting) Ramadhan

Sawn is the fast of Ramadan, the holy month. During Ramadan, Muslims must fast daily between sunrise and sunset, after sunset Saudis enjoy huge feasts breaking the fast with dates and milk.

Ramadan is the celebration of the month in which the Koran was revealed, and is concluded with the feast of Eid-al-Fitr. This is a national holiday.

Things to do in Riyadh

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Riyadh is very much about extravagance and enjoying the finer things in life, Al Faisaliah Centre, a commercial skyscraper known for its iconic design. The top a ball – 24 metres (79 feet) in diameter – is, in fact, a restaurant with 360-degree views of the city. Called The Globe, it’s made entirely of glass and offers a fine-dining experience in Riyadh,

Shopping at Riyadh Gallery

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Saudi Arabia has an abundance of shopping malls housing most of the stores you would find in European cities. Malls are popular places for socialising and dining. There are many malls in Riyadh, however the most famous one is Riyadh Gallery.

The three-storey shopping mall is huge and here you can find international luxury and high street brands such as Chanel, Next, Marks and Spencers, H & M and Gucci. There is a food court with high-quality dining outlets that you would find in the US and Europe and an artificial lake.

The largest park in the desert country

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Riyadh is generally very hot and dry for 4-5 months of the year. When the weather is cooler during the winter months it is now possible to take part in outdoor activities.

The King Abdullah Malaz Park (KAMP) is a great place to visit. Inside you will find cafeterias, a restaurant, children’s playgrounds, designsport’s terrains and a 12m (39ft) pedestrian pathway.

Riyadh’s royal zoo

The Zoo is spread out over 22 hectares (55 acres) and here you will find more than 1,500 animals from 40 different species. There is also a flamingo park and area of endangered birds. There are also several cafes throughout the park.

Riyadh’s Vox Cinema

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Riyadh’s recently opened Vox Cinema is a great place to have a good weekend in Saudi Arabia.

VOX Cinemas, the MENA region’s largest cinema operator, is honoured to be awarded one of the first licenses to operate cinemas in Saudi Arabia. Its brand-new cinema, which is the first multiplex in Saudi Arabia. It has separate screenings for families and single viewers. Some of the Refreshments available are Popcorn, hotdogs, burgers, nachos, Pizza and Nutella waffles.