Saudi Arabia: Do Saudis have Hobbies?

I have been frequently asked by expats whether Saudis are known for any hobbies.  This question is usually brought up in the context as an expat who enjoys certain hobbies or crafts but has difficulty finding supplies or a craft group in the Kingdom.

I can only answer this question based on my own experiences and observations so I look forward to others from the Kingdom sharing their views here too.

In regards to Saudi women, I’ve known quite a few who have been interested in art such as painting or pottery.  Dance or music classes (usually among upper classes) seem to be popular too.

In the villages one may find women who make quilts, handbags or traditional dresses.  Yet as I think about it, in my own experience, I did not know any Saudi women who liked to sew, knit, crochet or do scrapbooking, for example.

For the expat women who do like to sew there are shops which sell exquisite fabrics and notions.  In regards to yarn for knitting or crocheting, I never noticed large supplies.  I would suggest that an expat woman who does like to knit or crochet to bring a good supply of yarn with her.  Scrapbooking has become more universal so there would be no difficulty in getting supplies.

For the men, flying remote control airplanes seems to be a popular hobby.  Groups of men would get together and fly their planes in open spaces outside of the city.  I’m not sure about other hobbies since I can’t comment from personal experience.


8 Responses

  1. AB:

    I think you like this. Men’s attempt at Art!! It is kind of a spin on sandcastles. You build it knowing you have to destroy it fairly soon.

  2. Photography and languages (Usually French and/or English). I know several that sew- but that’s probably because I do.

  3. I used to like to do middle eastern dances and was good enough to be accepted. I recently heard that the belly dance is a fertility ritual, and that somewhat cooled my enthusiasim, but finally decided that most dance with couples is the same in a sense.

  4. For those who likes to knit or crochet: Taybah market in Riyadh has a book store called Al-Shark. They have very good supply of different yarns there. Very nice hobby supply store…

  5. Regarding ” Do Saudies have Hobbies ” ?
    Saudi women have been interested in stamps exchanging too .
    For example flowers , christmas , horoscopes set which exchange with me by Leedah Hadel my friend fom Ad Dammam.

    I wanna to thanks for yor Quizess , best way to know KSA.

    Best wishes


  6. I’ve known a few saudi women who paint on glass and they are impressive, they would get together over snacks and do a fab job, I’ve even been reciepient of their gift ( a set of tea cups ) 🙂

  7. Thanks for the post. I knit and crochet – not very well – and have wondered about this. Although I have to say that my interest wanes
    with hot weather.

    With so many restrictions on activities, I would think hobbies are really important.

  8. Finding a hobby in Saudi Arabia is a real struggle.. our options are very limited! especially for women!

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