The cost of living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, varies depending on a person’s lifestyle and spending habits. On average, the city is known to be more expensive than other cities in the region.
Housing, especially for expatriates and those who prefer to live in upscale neighborhoods, can be expensive. Food is relatively cheap, and it is possible to eat out at a local restaurant for a reasonable price. Transportation costs, such as fuel and car maintenance, can also be high, but the city has a well-developed public transportation system that can be a more affordable option for some.
The cost of utilities, such as electricity and water, is relatively low compared to other major cities around the world. Overall, the cost of living in Riyadh is higher than in some other cities in the region, but it is still lower than in many other major cities around the world.
Riyadh’s cost of living vs other cities in the Middle East
Compared to other cities in the Middle East, Riyadh is considered to be one of the more expensive cities. For example, it is generally more expensive than cities in Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco, but it is less expensive than cities such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Housing, transportation, and other basic expenses such as utilities are typically higher in Riyadh compared to other cities in the region.
Cost of living in Riyadh
- Housing: The cost of housing in Riyadh varies widely, depending on the location, size, and type of accommodation. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can range from SAR 3,000 to SAR 6,000 (approximately USD 800 to USD 1600) per month, while rent for a three-bedroom apartment can range from SAR 5,000 to SAR 10,000 (approximately USD 1300 to USD 2600) per month.
- Transportation: The cost of transportation in Riyadh can also vary, depending on the type of vehicle and frequency of use. The average cost of a monthly public transportation pass is SAR 100 (approximately USD 27), while the average cost of a liter of gasoline is SAR 2.5 (approximately USD 0.66).
- Food: The cost of food in Riyadh varies depending on the type of food and the location of the restaurant or market. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant can cost around SAR 20 (approximately USD 5), while a meal at a more upscale restaurant can cost around SAR 100 (approximately USD 27). The average cost of a basic food basket for a family of four is approximately SAR 2,000 (approximately USD 533) per month.
- Personal expenses: The cost of personal expenses in Riyadh can vary widely, depending on individual habits and preferences. The average cost of a monthly gym membership is SAR 200 (approximately USD 53), while the average cost of a movie ticket is SAR 60 (approximately USD 16).
These costs are approximate and can vary depending on the individual circumstances and preferences of each person. It is always advisable to conduct research and compare the costs of different options before making a decision on the cost of living in Riyadh.
How to save money in Riyadh
While it’s relatively expensive to live in Riyadh, there are several ways to minimize expenses.
- Use public transportation: Using the city’s well-developed public transportation system, such as buses and trains, can be a cost-effective alternative to owning a car.
- Cook at home: Eating out in restaurants can be expensive, so cooking at home can be a way to save money on food.
- Shop for sales and deals: Look for sales and deals at supermarkets and other stores to save money on household items and groceries.
In Riyadh, there are several districts where you can find cheap bargains. Some of the more budget-friendly areas in the city include:
- Al Batha: This neighborhood is located in the heart of the city and is known for its traditional markets and street vendors, where you can find a variety of goods at affordable prices.
- Al Olaya: This is a bustling commercial district that is home to several shopping malls, where you can find a range of products at competitive prices.
- Al Quwaiiyah: This neighborhood is located on the outskirts of the city and is known for its street markets and local shops, where you can find a variety of goods at reasonable prices.
- Al Nasim: This area is located in the eastern part of the city and is known for its street vendors and local markets, where you can find a variety of goods at affordable prices.
- Be mindful of utility usage: Be mindful of electricity and water usage to reduce utility bills. It’s a good idea to compare the prices and services offered by different utility providers to find the best deals.
- Be mindful of energy usage: Turn off lights and electronics when not in use, and use energy-efficient appliances to reduce electricity bills.
- Use natural light: Open windows and use natural light during the day to reduce the need for artificial lighting.
- Adjust the temperature: Set the air conditioning to a higher temperature in the summer and a lower temperature in the winter to reduce energy consumption.
- Install insulation: Insulate your home to reduce energy consumption and lower heating and cooling costs.
- Use water-saving devices: Install low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucets to reduce water usage and lower water bills.
- Fix leaks: Repair any leaks in your plumbing system to prevent water waste.
- Manage water usage: Take shorter showers and limit the use of running water when washing dishes or brushing your teeth to reduce water consumption.
- Use local markets: Visit local markets for fresh produce and household goods, as prices are typically lower than in supermarkets.
- Look for affordable housing options: Consider living in a less upscale neighborhood or sharing an apartment to reduce housing costs.
- Avoid expensive entertainment: Instead of going to expensive clubs or bars, look for alternative forms of entertainment, such as visiting parks or museums.
- Use coupons and discount codes: Look for coupons and discount codes online to save money on purchases.
It’s important to find a balance between saving money and enjoying life in Riyadh. By being mindful of expenses and finding cost-effective alternatives, it is possible to save money while still enjoying all that the city has to offer.