Riyadh Living Costs: A Comprehensive 2024 Guide

By Mohammed Ameen

Updated on:

Riyadh Cost of Living 2024

Riyadh, the heart of Saudi Arabia, serves not only as its political capital but also as a thriving financial hub, mirroring the country’s swift modernization and prosperity. As the city flourishes, grasping the cost of living becomes essential for both expatriates considering relocation and residents managing their finances. This article explores the diverse aspects of living costs in Riyadh for 2024, covering housing, groceries, transportation, and beyond, providing a detailed guide for anyone aiming to call Riyadh their home.

Housing and Utilities

The choice of accommodation in Riyadh varies widely, impacting the overall cost of living significantly. For those looking to rent, a 1-bedroom apartment in the city center averages at $1,250 (SAR 4,700) per month, while the same outside the center drops to $850 (SAR 3,200), reflecting the premium placed on central locations. Larger families or those in need of more space might consider a 3-bedroom apartment, costing an average of $2,000 (SAR 7,500) in the city center and $1,000 (SAR 3,750) in less central areas.

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For individuals considering purchasing property, the price per square meter in the city center stands around $2,000 (SAR 7,500), with more affordable options at $1,300 (SAR 4875) per square meter outside of the center. Utilities, including electricity, cooling, water, and garbage for an 85m2 apartment, average $100 (SAR 375) monthly. Connectivity is also a vital part of daily life, with internet and mobile phone plans costing around $75 (SAR 280) and $35 (SAR 130), respectively.

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Food and Groceries

The culinary scene in Riyadh offers a mix of traditional Saudi cuisine and international flavors, catering to diverse tastes and budgets. Dining out at an inexpensive restaurant costs around $8.00 (SAR 30) for a meal, while a more lavish three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant averages $50 (SAR 190). For those on the go, a combo meal at international fast-food chains like McDonald’s is priced at $8.00 (SAR 30). Beverage options, such as a domestic non-alcoholic beer or a regular cappuccino, are reasonably priced at $1.85 (SAR 7) and $4.50 (SAR 17), respectively.

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Grocery shopping in Riyadh reveals a wide range of prices depending on the product and place of purchase. Staples like milk, bread, and rice cost approximately $1.75 (SAR 6.5), $1.15 (SAR 4.50), and $2.15 (SAR 8) per unit, respectively. Fresh produce and meats also vary, with chicken fillets at $7.80 (SAR 30) per kilogram and beef round at $12.75 (SAR 380) per kilogram, reflecting the preferences and budgets of different households. Essential items like water and non-alcoholic beverages maintain low costs, ensuring basic needs are affordable for all residents.

Transportation

Transportation in Riyadh encompasses a variety of options, from public transport to private vehicles, tailored to different lifestyles and budgets. A one-way ticket on local transport is priced at $1.07 (SAR 4). Taxis offer flexibility for those needing direct routes, with a starting tariff of $2.66 (SAR 10).

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For residents preferring personal vehicles, gasoline prices are notably low at $0.62 (SAR 2.38) per liter, reflecting the country’s status as a major oil producer. Purchasing a new car varies, with a Toyota Yaris 1.3L Y model priced at approximately $17,000 (SAR 63,750), and a Toyota Camary GLE 2024 model at $30,000 (SAR 112,500), offering options for different preferences and budgets.

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Health and Fitness

Healthcare in Riyadh is renowned for its high standards, with a wide range of public and private facilities available. Residents typically benefit from comprehensive healthcare plans, often provided by employers. For those looking to maintain fitness and wellness, Riyadh offers various options. The monthly fee for an adult at a fitness club averages around $100 (SAR 375), catering to those seeking gym access for regular workouts. For outdoor sports enthusiasts, renting a tennis court for an hour during the weekend costs about $50 (SAR 187.5), and for movie-goers, catching an international release in a cinema is priced around $13.5 (SAR 50) per seat.

Education and Childcare

Education and childcare are significant considerations for families living in Riyadh, with options ranging from local schools to international institutions offering diverse curricula. The cost for preschool or kindergarten for a full day can average $375 per month, providing early childhood education in various settings. For families seeking international primary education, the yearly cost for one child can be around $10,000, reflecting the premium on global educational standards and English language instruction.

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Clothing and Personal Items

The retail landscape in Riyadh caters to a wide range of tastes and budgets, from luxury brands to mainstream retailers. A pair of Levis 501 or similar jeans might cost about $55 (SAR 205), while a summer dress from a chain store like Zara or H&M is priced around $60 (SAR 225). For footwear, a pair of mid-range Nike running shoes averages $95 (SAR 355), and leather business shoes for men can cost $195 (SAR 730). These prices indicate a relatively high cost for international brand clothing and shoes, common in major cities globally.

In conclusion, living in Riyadh, the vibrant heart of Saudi Arabia, presents a unique blend of traditional culture and modern convenience, reflected in the cost of living across various categories. From housing and utilities to food, transportation, and lifestyle, the city offers a range of options to suit different budgets and preferences. Residents can manage their expenses with careful planning and budgeting, taking advantage of local markets and services to enjoy a comfortable life in one of the Middle East’s most dynamic cities.