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What is forbidden in Saudi Arabia when dining out?

The hospital had a Social Club in which hospital employees and their dependents were eligible for membership. It published a bulletin on a regular basis that included a calendar of classes, trips and other events available to members. There was a small monthly fee and offered discounts on a variety of local events and items. Tennis was very popular. From my fourth floor apartment window, I could see ladies practicing at the tennis court. There were championship competitions. Players went to different cities to compete for these events.

Recreation facilities were also available in most of the local hotels. Swimming pools, sauna, ping-pong, and bowling facilities were accessible to members. Membership cost varied according to the hotel and the facilities available.

Alcohol was forbidden so no bars in Saudi Arabia. Restaurants were quite expensive, but the variety, quality and cuisine were excellent. Dining out was a popular pastime. Lots of restaurants to choose from. Some restricted women from dining or segregated women from men.

Desert trips and picnic were organized in small groups occasionally. From time to time, theater and choral groups put on local productions. I enjoyed the Spring Concert presented by The Riyadh Choral Society with Cantabile and The Riyadh Ensemble.

What is forbidden in Saudi Arabia when dining out?

Scuba diving was very popular for all ages. Lessons as well as rental equipments were readily available. Some expatriates made extra money teaching students.

Weekend visits to most of the major cities in Saudi Arabia were organized through the social club. Jeddah and Dhahran were the two most popular. Traveling from one major points by car (women not allowed to drive and had to be with married couples) was an excellent way to see the countryside and experience Saudi Arabia up close. Travel out of Riyadh, however, needed prior approval from the Hospital. A travel letter was easily obtained from the Personnel Department and had to be approved by the supervisor.