As Riyadh has strict environment, but its famous that all foriegn embassies have their own different life.
As a journalist, I was lucky to be invited to so many official receptions to celebrate national events, or to greet some official visitors, but also to attend live music concerts, or to attend King or queen birthday party or independent day celeberation.
These events were so good time to meet new people, and to explore cultures, and to start new friendship.
In most cases, you will need to have invetation letter to be allow to enter the DQ as the security won't allow not invited people to come in. In some other cases, your name should be listed in the invited persons, oh some time just print out the invitation letter from your e mail.
Dress Code: Some time smart suit, some time just casual.
Aside from the restaurants and hotels wherein both families and singles can enjoy, there are no other nightlife activites in Riyadh in Western sense like bar, clubs, discotheque etc.
Though male can enjoy drinks and coffee along Tahlia street where they have numerous coffeeshops and restaurants which are mostly for singles.
This small coffee place is very popular with locals and visitors alike, as it is situated between the Faisaliyah Hotel and the Khozama Hotel.
It's got good espresso, turkish is nice and they have a number of good juices. There's also free WLAN access, which cannot be bad.
The Lebanese owners are very friendly, and prices are quite reasonable
If you do not like it there's quite a few places nearby, in the same side street. The street is closed to private traffic, so it's quite walkable (unlike most other places in Riyadh).
Dress Code: Thobe if you're Saudi, anything goes otherwise.
The more restrictions you face the more fun you have at least.
The fanciest parties I have joined are those in Riyadh
like the 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' with regard to the musical.
Anglo-american societies like to arrange Balls claiming appropriate dress codes; the music played, however, is not Ballroom-music.
I noticed that only English-language music is played on parties arranged by so called 'Westerners'. No arabic music or others. -----------------------------------------
A very excellent and Riyadh's best DJ is Lebanese. He mixes English, arabic and other internat. music (span., italian ...) in a very competent manner suitable to the temporary mood of a party. I had a lot of fun on his parties. -----------------------------------------
There is real Highlife on Philippino parties but in a childish innocent way. They dance a lot interrupted only by their games (like on kid's birthdays).
Dress Code: Balls: formal (long dresses for Ladies)----------------------
Philippino: Jeans and and any T-Shirt or Top
On the other hand, Riyadh's present population of 4 mio people keeps on growing and growing.
I have never ever seen storks who bring the babies.
Dress Code: females post Menarche:
black Abaya and minimum veil around the neck or in the bag
long trousers and minimum shoulder covering shirt
Shopping and sipping coffee are pretty much the only activities you can do in Riyadh at night. The shopping malls are indeed big and nice to be in, though the prices aren't as low as one may imagine (you typically save on VAT).
The most popular mall by far is Faisaliyah, but Extra (for electronics), Kingdom tower (with its women-only floor) and Sahara are worth a visit, as is the computer souq in the southern backstreets of Olaya.
Dress Code: No miniskirt
Riyadh looks beautiful at night lights, to spend a night, you can go to a "western"style coffee shop like starbucks, or you can go to a "traditional" style of coffee places where you can order shishah with mint tea
'Western' nightlife is a private affiar in this Islamic heartland. Parties, from DJ-ed events to Barbeques, are by invitation only and finding out about weekend happenings depends on what sort of friends and contacts you have. That said, the Rugby Club is the place to make them. You'll meet expat riate workers from a dozen countries, working for different companies. If you are not a sporting type you can join as a social member. The team travels throughout the country and the Gulf to seasonal games and tournaments, and plays touch games in Riyadh.
There is always a good bash after a home or away game...
Drop me an e-mail if you are headed to the Magic Kingdom.
In a normal city in the civilised world you'd see neon ligfhts and think,ooh I'll go over there and you'd probably a bar,or nightclub..........In Riyadh all you'd find is an internet cafe or a carpet shop !!!!
Theres is No nightlife......
Although some of these photos would tell another story.....
Although there is not much to do here in the night, but there are quite a few restaurants in suburbs of Riyadh and the places I have been to are usually only for guys.
So you can enjoy a cool desert night with friend or colleagues in one of the many Shisha Places on the outskirts of Riyadh. The largest and best-known is As-Shallal. It is an exotic complex of indoor venues for
socializing with tea, Middle Eastern snacks and the traditional Shisha waper pipe.
Nightlife, you're looking in the wrong country!
Dress Code: You must dress conservatively. All women, including foreigners, must we an abaya while out in public. Guys must wear longs and tops with sleeves. Singlets and shorts are not worn in public. While they say you can wear shorts so long as they go to your knees, doing so will draw unecessary attention to yourself and could possibly get you into some trouble should someone take offence.
THERE IS NO NIGHTLIFE WAS WE KNOW IT IN THE WEST. ALCOHOL IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED IN THE KINGDOM. THERE ARE MANY GOOD HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS WITH THE PROVISO THAT SINGLE MEN AND WOMEN CANNOT BE IN THE AREA. MOST ARE SEGREGATED INTO AN AREA FOR MALES AND A FAMILY SECTION FOR FAMILIES ONLY, BUT EVEN HERE FAMILY GROUPS TEND TO PREFER SITTING BEHIND SCREENS OR SEPERATE ENCLOSURES. MOST SAUDIS PREFER TO SHOP IN THE EVENING WITH A VISIT TO THE RESTAURANT AS LATE AS 11.30PM SAY.
A UNIQUE QUALITY ABOUT NIGHTLIFE SUCH AS IT IS IS THAT THE CITY RESTAURANTS AND SHOPPING AREAS ARE LIT UP WITH MANY LIGHTS. THERE IS NO VISIBLE CRIME AND THE STREETS ARE SAFE AND YOU WILL SEE SAUDI FAMILIES PICKNICKING IN THE MOST UNUSUAL PLACES AT NIGHT.
Dress Code: STRICTLY CONSERVATIVE. WOMEN MUST BE COVERED SO AS NOT TO EXPOSE ARMS OR LEGS AND THE RELIGIOUS POLICE INSIST THAT THEY WEAR A HEAD SCARF TO COVER THEIR HAIR, PARTICULARLY IN THE MARKET AREAS WHERE THE LOCALS SHOP.THE COUNTRY IS AFTER ALL STRICTLY FUNDAMENTAL MUSLIM. PHOTOGRAPHY IS PROHIBITED UNLESS A SPECIAL PERMIT IS OBTAINED.
Arabian cities such as Riyadh are wonderful in the morning. You hear the call to prayer, and there is a perfect chill in the air before the heat of the day really kicks in.