Here in Saudi, all this past month, stores have been running Ramadan specials. Today is Eid! Happy Eid or Eid Mubarak if you are celebrating! You will find that all the malls here are packed, just like Christmas shopping time. Malls start opening around 7pm and go until 2 or 3am. We’ve been to a few local malls these past days, and go around 10pm. It is crowded and hard to find parking, even in these Covid times.
Eid hours are now 4pm to 10pm and that’s it.
Why is this one of the best times to shop here in Saudi? Well the discounts are really good. Many things are 50% off, or at discount prices.
Popular gifts to give here.
Money, clothing… One of the most popular Eid gifts! You can’t go wrong here. Usually women, kids, and the entire family will purchase new outfits for Eid.
Scents for the body: Perfume and Cologne.
A very popular choice for gifts. Saudi produces many scents, and many are considered unisex. They feature an initial scent, middle scent and finishing scent. This means that throughout the day, the scent is long lasting and will smell differently in the am than it does in the pm.
A few days ago, my husband and I went to Dharan Mall in Khobar, and purchased two scents from Arabian Oud. I have made two videos below that “unbox” both. Award winning ladies’ scent Madawi, and new men’s scent Sultani. Hope you enjoy seeing the quality of packaging. If you are use to buying a scent, and just pull the bottle out of it’s box, this is different. It is an experience to receive such a gift!
Scents for the house: Oud
What is oud? It is wood with resins inside, and when burned produces an incense. There are many places to get Oud. You can go to a spice store, grocery store, and sometimes people sell oud outside the mosques. A popular store here is Arabian Oud. Typically oud is sold by the gram, and you think it won’t be that much for a handful. But be aware that prices can go quite high, into the thousands. If you are not sure what scent you’ll want, you can buy a mix. The store will burn a few small pieces at your request, to help you make a decision. The oud burner on sale was still over $100, and in itself a beautiful piece of decorative art. (see below) The salesperson told my husband that oud is just as amazing as oil. God gave this region oil, and the east (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, etc) oud.
Bateel is one of the best date stores in KSA! Besides the excellent quality and selection of dates, their wooden gift boxes are keepsakes. They ship worldwide, however it looks like not to all countries like the US. Canada would be closest. It is a beautiful website, even if you don’t plan on getting dates. Check out the link to their website here:
Patchi is one of the best chocolate stores within KSA! They are only within Saudi, so if you live here, or are visiting this is for you.
We recommend three jewelry stores at the mall here in Al Khobar. Hassan Al-Nemer Jewelry, Al Haramain Jewelry, and L’azurde, They are reputable for their gold quality and diamonds as well. Gold is usually sold in 18, 21 and 22 karat. Usually real diamonds are on one side of the store, and glass or cubic zirconia is on the other. Buyer’s tip: You do always negotiate on the price, even if there is a sale!
Now, for good old fashioned jewelry stores within the old district of Al Khobar, you can go to the many stores, located in the King Khaled Street area. They weigh the gold there in front of you, and calculate the price on weight and artistry of design.