Important Notice

It is not my intention to denigrate Saudi Arabia or its people. It’s like everywhere else, there is good and there is bad. I would rather focus on the unusual and the humourous. Offence is not intended.

“The country is not perfect. The media cannot be trusted, mistreatment of religious minorities is common and there are some that live in fear.” You can decide for yourself whether that statement is about Saudi Arabia, the UK, or any country for that matter.

To quote the Joker, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

That is all I will say about either subject.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

RF #1: Granada

If you've just arrived in Riyadh this is a great shopping mall to come to for a soft landing, especially if you live in one of the many compounds to the north or east of the city as you won't have to deal with city centre traffic to get there. If you're going by taxi, make sure you arrange to be picked up as it can be difficult to get a drive-by cab once you are there. If not, exit the mall from one of the 2 gates near the hypermarket as your chances of hailing a cab will be much higher there.
Granada has a Carrefour hypermarket for all your basic needs, from food to underwear to a screwdriver. To address your audiovisual and electrical needs, there is Extra (by the way, Carrefour also has a range of electrical appliances and so it may be worth shopping around for the best product at the best price.)
At Axiom Telecom, you can purchase a local SIM card for prepaid services or subscribe to a mobile phone package.
If you need to get an abaya there are two places in the mall to get one from (depending on your budget). There is a high-end boutique called Beddon Essm, or Carrefour for cheaper alternatives.
If you’re male (or you’re picky about what you wear under your abaya) there are the UK high street brands, namely Topshop, Topman, Next, Oasis, River Island, and also Debenhams for all your clothing needs.
To address any hunger pangs the food court is located on the second level. Here you can find the usual fast food joints like McDonalds and Burger King. If you’d prefer restaurant dining, there are two restaurants located near the food court, Steakhouse for steaks and Zee Noodle for Chinese cuisine. If you are feeling a little more adventurous try the pizza and manaeash at Saj. You can’t miss them as they have a large dome-shaped heat plate right in their shop front.

Best time to visit: Thursday morning. You'll have the entire mall to yourself. When I first arrived my experience of Thursday morning at Granada left me wondering whether something terrible had happened and no one had told me. It was like 28 Days Later, with less zombies.


Hosam said...

i was going to suggest you misspelled the name
because in arabic it's something like Ghernata
but i looked online and actually it's called Granada...but that is in spanish!!!

good idea really for RF posts.
good luck!

hosam said...

Mo said...

Thursday morning, the city is pretty much a sleep. And not like people were partying the night before!

So what's up Hosam?

popopsma said...

Thanks for this post, am going to join hubby in Riyadh mid of this month and the way you described things makes Riyadh seem pretty normal and livable!

Anonymous said...

well popopsma, around 5million people live's pretty livable :)


poppy said...

I just happened upon you and really related to your Riyadh experiences. Some caused me some much needed laughter.I have actually lived here in Riyadh for almost 20 years. My life is pretty unusual as a British ex pat leading a rather solitary existence. I've become one of those British ex pats who would rather live here than in UK. I recognise all of the down points here but find them easier to live with than those in UK.

Chris said...

Thursday morning is indeed also my favourite time to visit Granada, or any other mall for that matter. Just don't go before 10am, otherwise half the shops won't have opened yet.
Also don't go if you have kids at the British School and want to avoid an impromptu Parent-Teacher session. Each time I go I spot almost the entire staff there.

Zee Noodle is good, and much better than SteakHouse in my opinion. The do more than Chinese: you can get Sushi and Thai food on the menu as well, so it's a bit of an Oriental mish-mash, but yummy.

Anonymous said...

"with less zombies"!!
Come on, we are not that bad!

Chookietoo said...

I have a query for all those living in Riyadh.
I will be living there from Feb 2008 and so far have not discovered how single women go shopping.I will be living in a compound and yes I have an abaya with scarf.
How do I get out to shop if single women are not allowed out without husband son or brother??????
replies appreciated.

Anonymous said...

To Chookietoo - living in a compound you will just join one of the many bus trips to malls in the town.

Anonymous said...

"How do I get out to shop if single women are not allowed out without husband son or brother??????
replies appreciated."
usually all housings projects do provide a bus to and from Granada.
go in the bus, no one will ask you if you are alone or not, just be sure to cover your hair and wear abayah.
good luck
i love Granada, mornings are nice there.

Saudi Majix said...

i would stay away from malls...

i hate them here in Riyadh...

i just shop when i go back to khobar or bahrain...

much batter and more fun..

here it's hunted with people i don't really like.

Anonymous said...

women, saudi and non saudi, go out by themselves all the time, without male chaperons, riyadh is more metropolitan now, just hail a taxi.

Anonymous said...

I know this a very old post so I hope you catch my question...

Are the restaurants open for breakfast in Grenada? What about lunch?

I miss having breakfast out and would love to have lunch earlier than 4-5pm which is when some restaurants seem to open here.

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