Hi all, my name is Junaid and I head the amazing KSA ENTERTAINER team. I have been living in KSA for almost a decade and moved out to the capital Riyadh about two years ago! I’m a family man who enjoys spending time with the kids and my wife, seizing the opportunities here and there to engage us all in a family activity. And Contrary to popular belief, expat life is intensely social here as individuals develop strong, quick bonds with each other. Weekends revolve around compound get-togethers, trips to the desert, golf courses or diving trips, and food! Eating is a lifestyle so it’s only fair to find a restaurant around every corner.
Here I have explored a completely new world of favourite cuisines, as long as your calorie counter is put to snooze! I only started to like eating dates when I moved to KSA. My favourite kinds are the Amber and Sukkri, which are not-to-be-missed, and a top up would be the Arabic coffee, which is literally served bottomless.
How to have the perfect weekend in KSA?
For the thrill seekers
One of my favourite weekend activities is the roaring Harley Club, which parks at the northern ring road in Riyadh. It’s one of the largest in Middle East as it includes a group of Arab and Westerners who ride across the magnificent landscape together and share coffee and camping tales.
On any given long weekend, we do set out for Dorat-ul-uroos in Jeddah. We spend the day riding Jet skis and fishing. As the sun sets, we start the barbeque with a fresh catch or Asian-style marinated beef and birds.
For the Foodies
Along the beautiful Corniche, you will find Habsburg. Enjoy the sea view while savouring on great Japanese sushi platters, Thai cuisines, and signature Italian pastas all in one place. Not only is Habsburg-Rosewood a loyal Entertainer Merchant, but also their idyllic location outside the city makes it the ideal escape after a long day.
Whenever we have guests, we usually go to Sadda that serves a Saudi style dish called Mandi. This dish consists of rice cooked overnight with meat or chicken served on a huge platter. Traditionally it is served on the floor with everyone sitting around the platter eating the rice and meat with their hands. The experience is offered not only in homes here, but also in traditional restaurants. You probably won’t find such an experience anywhere else.
For the Golfers
If you are a golfer and Riyadh bound, you can’t miss Dirab Golf Course. Situated in the south and an hour’s drive, you can have the delight of 3 offers of 18 holes on state-of-the-art golf course which was originally built for Royal guests. You should not be surprised to find women pros alongside amateurs like myself on the range! By the way, the club also offers a horse riding experience if you are up for it.
For that special occasion
When we are in a mood for Italian cuisine, we usually go to Spazio. It’s mystical location at the 77th floor of the Kingdom tower – Riyadh’s iconic skyscraper, gives it a great view over the city. Any special occasions such as birthdays or wedding anniversaries are celebrated at Spazio with a surprise! Go there and find out yourselves…it’s totally worth it!
Never in a million years did I imagine my life would lead me to a living in Saudi Arabia, but I am glad it did. You need to visit KSA, and discover the mystery behind these closed doors. It’s a life you never thought possible! Shukran!