Weather in Saudi Arabia

Life in Saudi Arabia is not what you might think. I have had people ask me all kinds of questions and it just shows the misconceptions that we all have about life in Saudi. Life in Saudi is like life any where, there are good things as well as bad things.

One thing everyone can agree on, it is unbelievably hot year round. When I first moved there with my four oldest children it was mid October.  We had just left behind temperatures of 50 degrees. Fall was in full swing, leaves were falling and we were all waiting for snow. When we entered Riyadh all we saw from the air was a vast dessert. We entered the airport, went through customs and then walked outside. All I remember was a blast of hot air. It was hard to comprehend at first since 24 hours before we had been bundling up. My kids had on turtle neck shirts and coats.

Riyadh at that time was 95 degrees, not the peak heat you find in summer but still very hot. My sons, then ages 6 and 5 threw their coats off and put on short sleeves.    They attended Arabic school and although they did not speak any Arabic the message was pretty clear,they needed to dress warmly, it was now cold! Teachers at the school were alarmed that my children were wearing short sleeves. Other kids walking home from school were wearing long sleeves and jackets! A month later boys were wearing long wool coats and ear muffs. My sons were still wearing short sleeves. In the grocery store my toddler was wearing a little undershirt. She was hot and fussy even with these light garments. Ladies stopped me and stared looking very alarmed at something. One lady then told me bared?? (cold?) I finally understood as she touched my daughters leg and frowned. Yes for them it was cold. After living for months in temperatures of 115, this was cold!

Years later a new lady moved in next door. She had moved to Saudi from the Netherlands. I remember watching her kids on the play ground and  wondering how they could be wearing shorts in such cold temperatures. I sat watching them play shaking my head thinking she was crazy! She took her kids to the pool and let them go outside in short sleeves. It was the beginning of the school year and around the same temperature when I had moved to the Kingdom! I smiled and laughed to myself as I remembered my sons sweating in their turtle necks. Yes, everything truly is relative!

12 thoughts on “Weather in Saudi Arabia

      1. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t pick up the language. My son has a friend that speaks Arabic. He’s taught my son some. My son finds it easy but then again he’s a brainiac! 🙂

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  1. What a beauty this memoir is!! I truely understand what you mean.. Having grown up there for a good chunk of my life,I understand how perceptions to hot & cold change.. 😂😂😂😂


  2. This post amused me and enlightened me at the same time, Lyn. It reminds me of the expression from Amazing Grace: “I was blind and now, I see.”
    Our warehouse on hot days of 90,degrees outside is 105 in the top racks on 2nd floor. Fans blow hot air at us, Lyn. Temperature is all relative, as you mentioned. Kids are resilient, too. I am proud of your adaption to cultural changes and your children learning Arabic. You are amazing! oxo

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  3. 115 is hot! I have been to Phoenix Arizona when it was close to that and the air would feel hot as I breathed it. People simply going from one air conditioned space to the next.

    The children from the Netherlands reminds me of when I lived on the Oregon Coast and watched children playing on the beach and dancing about in the waves…while I had on a coat, hood, and gloves. “Those Oregon kids are raised tough!” I used to say often to anyone who walked the beach with me.

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