People had scared me so much about Saudi Arabia before I came here. Mostly about how it’s really conservative, but once I came here I found out that it’s not really true! Here are ten different stereotypes about Saudi Arabia that are simply myths.
- Women have to cover their heads
That’s one of the biggest stereotypes of Saudi Arabia, that women have to completely cover themselves when they go out. But that’s not true! You’re bound to do that in Makkah and Madinah, of course, but not other places like Jeddah. You can go without a scarf to malls, cafes, restaurants, or anywhere you want to!
- Women can’t go anywhere without men
It’s generally known that women are supposed to go out with a “mehram” and they can’t go out alone. Once again, not true at all. Women can go out alone where ever they want to.
- It’s a desert
It’s NOT a desert! It’s actually more modernized than Pakistan. When you fly over Saudi Arabia, all you see are yellow lights lighting up the whole country. They have tall buildings, epic malls and what not! Definitely not a desert.
- People ride camels
Similarly, people don’t ride camels. They have the best cars, and the most expensive ones too. You’ll see jeeps everywhere, and Ferraris, and audis… and wish you had them too.
- All Saudis have oil money
Saudis are rich, but that’s only for the Sheikhs. Not everyone here has Oil money, some people are living on average wages too, and some below average.
- Taxis are expensive so petrol might be too
Petrol in Saudi Arabia is cheaper than water. A bottle of water currently costs 2 riyals, and a liter of petrol only costs you 0.77 riyals!
Taxis are just expensive because many people make a living out of it.
- Schooling is strictly separate
There are several schools in Saudia which are co-education, which include British and American international schools too.
- Girls can only wear black abayas
Eh! Again, not true. Girls wear very fancy abayas out on events, and those of different colors too, like purple, pink, etc.
- People only speak Arabic
Noooo! Many Pakistanis and Phillipinos work here at malls and shops too, so Urdu and English is quite widely spoken
- Females are really oppressed
Females are actually more respected here than men. If a female accuses a man of harassment, for no reason whatsoever, people would rather listen to the female than the male.
But that’s not it, women, in general, are treated with much respect here.