Shopping in Saudi Arabia provides scope for getting acquainted with the traditional art and crafts as well as the modern styles of the country. Shopping hours extend from 9 am to 1 pm and 4:30 pm to 8 pm from Saturday to Thursday.
However, shopping hours are not fixed in all the cities and vary with the part of the country. During Ramadan, shopping hours in the second half of the day extend from 8 pm till 1 am. Held every year in the month of July, the Riyadh Festival for Shopping and Leisure is a major shopping event in the country.
During this period, tourists can go shopping for garments, accessories, electronic goods and others from Riyadh at economical prices. Popular goods are available at discounted prices, and there are numerous sales in all the shopping malls of the city.
With numerous shopping malls and other high-tech stores, Saudi Arabia offers tourists an opportunity to purchase a range of goods, from junk jewellery to Bedouin ornaments that come in beautiful designs and motifs. Major shopping destinations in the country are Riyadh, Jeddah and Taif. Jeddah City has the maximum number of shopping malls in the country, one of which includes the Red Sea Mall.
Some of the major malls in the country include Abraj Al Bait Mall (Mecca), Al Faisaliah (Riyadh), Al Mamlaka (Riyadh), Aziz Mall (Jeddah) and Le Mall (Jeddah). Other major malls in the country include the Mall of Arabia (Jeddah), Mall of Dhahran (Dhahran), Riyadh Sahara Mall (Riyadh) and Salaam Mall (Riyadh).
These malls are home to displays of goods from all around the world, including the latest fashions from Rome, Paris, London and New York. Gucci, Chanel and Armani brands are available in the malls. Also available in these malls are cosmetics, perfumes, lingerie, fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, herbs, cherry tomatoes, Italian silver trays and ceramics.
Gold souks in the country are also popular with tourists, which abound with Saudi gold that is rated amongst the best in the world for its value, design and cost. Jewellery, including gold, silver, diamonds and many more can be purchased from these spots. Traditional goods like antiques, jewellery, incense burners, brassware and bronze daggers can also be purchased from the souks.
Traditional souks include Afgan Souk (Jeddah), Bedouin Market (Nairiyah), Dagger Souk (Najran), Gold Souk (Jeddah) and Old Souk (Jizan). Qaisariyah Souk (Al-Hofuf), Souk al-Alami (Jeddah), Souk al-Harim (Najran), Souk al-Thumairi (Riyadh) and Taif Souk (Taif) are some other souks. The 24-hour supermarket chains operating in the country include Al Othaim, Carrefour, Euromarche, Geant, Jazira, Panda, Tamimi and Watania.
Shops in the country also sell imported perfumes, clothes, cosmetics, cameras, apart from gold, silver, diamond and white gold ornaments. In the country, tourists can also purchase woven carpets, handicrafts and precious and rare stones. Brass-bonded chests are the most common souvenirs of the Eastern Province. Bargaining is an accepted custom in the country, and is applicable even for goods such as cameras and electrical equipment.
There is no VAT in the country and hence, goods and services purchased in the country are not imposed with any consumption tax. Cameras and typewriters are levied with duty in the country. Duty free shopping zones are located at the international airports in the country, King Fahd International Airport, King Abdulaziz International Airport, King Khalid International Airport and Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport.
Located in the departure terminal of the airports, this area has international brand names such as Channel, Christian Dior and Bulgari, to name a few. In this area, travellers can also find shops selling cigarettes & tobacco, watches, jewellery, confectionery, toys, Arabic perfumes, local foods, electronics, gifts and souvenirs.