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Leisure, Entertainment and Sports

Saudi Arabia - Leisure, Entertainment and Sports

There are no public entertainment facilities such as cinemas or theatres in Saudi Arabia, since these are regarded as incompatible with Islam. Within expatriate compounds, however, a wide variety of leisure and social activities have developed, and there are opportunities to play sports, join various clubs and societies and mix socially with other expats.

Expats can also enjoy trips into the desert or the Abha mountains, diving in the Gulf or Red Sea, or visiting the historic ruins at Madain Saleh. Shopping is a very popular pastime, with world-class brands being available at reasonable prices in the large shopping malls. Gold, watches and electronics in particular can be bought more cheaply than in Europe and the US. Eating out is another favourite pastime, and many restaurants have special family sections. As well as local restaurants, most fast food chains can be found in Saudi Arabia, including McDonalds, Burger King, KFC and Pizza Hut.

The main national festival is the annual Jenadriyah Heritage and Cultural Festival, which includes camel races and traditional music and dancing and runs for two weeks each year.

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