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Cost of Living in Riyadh

cost of living in riyadh

Riyadh is a place where tradition meets modernity. It is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and thriving economy and has become a magnet for expatriates and locals alike. If you’re considering making this amazing city your home, one crucial aspect to understand is the cost of living. In this guide, we will break down the various expenses you can expect in Riyadh, from housing to transportation and everything in between. This would give you a better idea of the cost of living in Riyadh if you are considering moving here.

cost of living in riyadh

Cost of Living in Riyadh

1. Housing Costs in Riyadh

Finding a place to live is often a top priority when moving to a new city. In Riyadh, you have a range of options, from luxurious villas to decent apartments. Here’s a basic idea of what you can expect to pay for housing:

  • Apartments: Rental prices for one-bedroom apartments in the city center can range from SAR 25,000 to SAR 50,000 per year, while those outside the city center are more affordable, averaging around SAR 15,000 to SAR 30,000 annually. Also, it depends on the area that you choose to live. Like any other city in the world, you can choose to live in the most posh areas or you can select a modest neighborhood if you’re on a budget.
  • Villas: If you’re looking for a larger space, villas are available at a higher price. A three-bedroom villa in the city center can cost between SAR 70,000 to SAR 120,000 per year, while those outside the city center may be somewhat more affordable, ranging from SAR 40,000 to SAR 80,000 per year.

Riyadh’s housing market can be competitive, so it is better to start your search early and be prepared to negotiate the rent with landlords.

2. Utilities and Monthly Bills

Utilities and monthly bills are part and parcel of daily life. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to pay for essential services in Riyadh:

  • Electricity, Heating, Cooling, and Water: Monthly utility bills for a standard 85-square-meter apartment can average around SAR 400 to SAR 600. Keep in mind that utility costs can vary based on your consumption habits. These kinds of things are always subjective.
  • Internet and Mobile Phone: Internet packages typically range from SAR 200 to SAR 400 per month, while mobile phone plans start at SAR 50 per month and can go up based on your data and call preferences.

3. Grocery Shopping in Riyadh

Food is a significant part of any budget. Riyadh offers a wide variety of grocery stores like Panda Supermarket, from local markets to international chains. Here’s an estimate of grocery costs for a typical family per month:

  • Basic Groceries: A monthly grocery bill for a family of four can range from SAR 800 to SAR 1,200. This includes staples like rice, bread, vegetables, and meat. Food is not very expensive in Riyadh and you can enjoy great meals at very nominal prices.
  • Dining Out: If you choose to dine out occasionally, expect to pay around SAR 50 to SAR 100 per person for a meal at a mid-range restaurant. If you are on a budget, then we would advise keeping the dine-outs minimum as this factor can increase or decrease your monthly budget.

4. Transportation Expenses

Riyadh’s transportation system is quite well-developed, making it relatively easy to get around the city. Here are some transportation expenses to consider:

  • Public Transportation: Riyadh’s public buses are affordable, with a single ticket costing SAR 3. If you plan to use public transportation frequently, consider a monthly pass for SAR 180, which is quite affordable.
  • Taxis: Taxis are readily available and can be quite affordable. A typical 10-kilometer ride will cost around SAR 20 to SAR 30 and is very convenient for people from all classes.
  • Car Ownership: If you decide to own a car in Riyadh, you’ll need to budget for fuel, maintenance, and insurance. Fuel prices in Saudi Arabia are among the lowest in the world, with gasoline costing approximately SAR 2 per liter.

5. Education Costs

If you have children, you’ll need to consider education expenses. Riyadh has several international schools offering high-quality education. Tuition fees can vary widely, with costs ranging from SAR 20,000 to SAR 60,000 per year, depending on the school and grade level. Again, it depends totally on you whether you choose the top-tier schools or others that are relatively decent.

6. Healthcare Costs

Saudi Arabia provides healthcare services through both public and private hospitals and clinics. Residents are required to have health insurance, either through their employer or independently. The cost of health insurance can vary, but it’s essential to ensure you have comprehensive coverage to meet your healthcare needs. Medical expenses in Saudi Arabia can be high if you do not have insurance, so make sure you try to get one for yourself.

7. Entertainment and Leisure

Living in Riyadh doesn’t mean all work and no play. The city offers a range of entertainment options, from shopping malls to cultural events and outdoor activities. Especially in recent years, Riyadh has been offering the best of international events, as a part of Vision 2030.  Here is what you can expect to spend on leisure:

  • Cinema Tickets: A ticket to a movie in Riyadh costs around SAR 50.
  • Fitness Clubs: Monthly gym memberships typically range from SAR 200 to SAR 500.
  • Dining Out and Entertainment: Depending on your preferences, dining out and entertainment expenses can vary widely. An evening at a nice restaurant might cost around SAR 150 per person.

8. Saving and Investments

It is very important to consider your long-term financial goals while budgeting for daily expenses while living in Riyadh. The city offers various opportunities for saving and investments, including bank savings accounts, mutual funds, and real estate investments. Make sure to consult with a financial advisor to make informed decisions about your financial future.


Riyadh is a vibrant and diverse city with a cost of living that can be manageable with proper budgeting and financial planning. Your expenses will depend on your lifestyle, family size, and personal preferences. Before relocating to Riyadh, it’s crucial to research and understand the specific costs associated with your situation.

Ultimately, the cost of living in Riyadh can vary widely from person to person, but with careful planning and budgeting, you can enjoy all that this dynamic city has to offer while maintaining financial stability.

Remember that this guide provides a general overview, and it’s essential to conduct thorough research and consult with locals and expatriates living in Riyadh to get a more accurate picture of the cost of living in this exciting city.

The cost of living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is generally lower than in many other major cities in the world. However, it can vary depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.

With the right information and preparation, Riyadh can be a rewarding place to call home.

Check out our other articles

Fun Places in Riyadh

Life In Riyadh Saudi Arabia: What Expatriates Need To Know

Riyadh vs. Jeddah: Which city is better to live in?

Written by Travel Riyadh

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