Best cities to live in Saudi Arabia

Choosing the perfect city for living in is never easy. There are many factors that you must consider before you make up your mind. Questions that might trouble you are: what are the prospects of finding a job, commute time, is it suitable for raising children, what is the cost of living, etc. It’s even more difficult if there are a lot of cities, which is the case with Saudi Arabia. All these options might overwhelm you, but don’t worry – if you focus and research thoroughly, you’ll find the city that is right for you. We’ll point out several of the best cities to live in Saudi Arabia, which may suit your needs. This way, you will have an easier time searching for a city that is right for you and your family. Our packers and movers in Saudi Arabia will do their best to perform relocation professionally.

Riyadh is one of the best cities to live in Saudi Arabia

When searching for the best city to live in Saudi Arabia, it’s hard not to notice Riyadh. That is the biggest city and the capital of Saudi Arabia, with a population of more than 6.500.000. Riyadh is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world and the commercial capital of the whole country. You would not believe that this was a small town back in 1940. It grew dramatically and developed into an urban metropolis. Due to its developing economy and rising demand for the labor force, there is an abundance of well-paid jobs to be found. This caused foreigners to flock to Riyadh in search of work. The number of expats in Saudi Arabia has reached 13,49 million in 2021. They mostly live in expat communities, the largest of which is in Riyadh. Therefore, you won’t be wrong if you choose our movers Riyadh to perform your relocation.

square in Riyadh one of the best cities to live in Saudi Arabia
Riyadh is the city with the most foreign workers in Saudi Arabia.

Perks of living in Riyadh

What makes expats choose Riyadh are the job opportunities, good wages, and the lack of income taxes. Apart from that, life in expat accommodation in Riyadh is comfortable with many luxuries and privileges that are otherwise forbidden. Safety in the city is top-notch, and the healthcare of Saudi Arabia ranks better than that in Canada, for example. 9 of Riyadh’s public hospitals are among the best in the world in 2022. However, most foreign workers still have to pay for private health care. Public schools are mostly religious, so the children of expats usually attend international schools. Be aware though, the tuitions are quite pricey, so make sure your employment contract covers education for your kids. As for free time, most of the fun activities take place within the living compounds, which include pools, gyms, restaurants, etc. Outdoor lovers can visit one of Saudi’s gorgeous beaches or national parks.

Consider moving to Jeddah, the economic hub of Saudi Arabia

Another great city you should keep an eye on is Jeddah. That is the second biggest city in the whole country with a population of more than 3.900.000. Unlike Riyadh, Jeddah is the port city on the Red Sea. It is believed that this city was founded as a fishing settlement as early as 520 BC. Today, Jeddah is the biggest and busiest port on the west coast of KSA. In addition, Jeddah is perhaps the most relaxed and urban city in Saudi Arabia. It is not only the commercial center but also the cultural center of the country. Many expats live here, and it is also very interesting for tourists. All of that led to its becoming recognized as the most diverse city in Saudi Arabia and one of the best cities to live in Saudi Arabia.

If this great city intrigues you, you should consider hiring relocation services in Saudi Arabia. Our trained professionals will help you relocate to your dream home in Jeddah in no time. According to the UN population projections, Jeddah’s population reached 4, 7 million in 2022. Jeddah is a sort of gateway to Mecca and Medina, which is visited by a large number of tourists annually. This tourist season ended with a figure of 6 million tourists. It’s no wonder Jeddah is so culturally diverse and less conservative than the rest of the Saudi cities. The cultural shock is something you must count on, but life in expatriate complexes is no different from what you are used to. Still, outside of them, you must obey the strict laws and customs of the Saudis.

cloudy night sky in Jeddah
Jeddah is the biggest port and commercial hub, and one of the best cities to live in Saudi Arabia.


Mecca is the capital of the Mecca Province in the Hejaz area of Saudi Arabia. It’s one of the two holy cities and spiritual places in the KSA. Muslims consider this city as the location of the first revelation of the Quran and as the birthplace of the prophet Muhammad. Once a year, believers from all over the world visit Mecca during the Hajj. It has a population of 2,12 million people, but you will notice about three times more people during the pilgrimage. It is only 86,8 km away from Jeddah, which means you can visit that city without too much effort. However, Mecca is the sacred ground and as such is forbidden for non-Muslims. This city is conservative, but the people here are very kind to everyone.

However, today Mecca is a modern and cosmopolitan city, with many facilities for pilgrims. In the middle of the city is located the Abraj Al-Bait complex of seven towers and hotels overlooking the Great Mosque of Mecca. Every Muslim visits this holy place at least once in his life. During the quiet part of the year, Mecca resembles any other city in KSA. People from all over the world come to live in Mecca, and our warehouse solutions SA make the process of relocation much easier for them.

aerial shot of the Mecca one of the best cities to live in Saudi Arabia
Mecca Royal Clock Tower is the 3rd tallest building in the world, 601 m high.


Medina is one of the best cities to live in Saudi Arabia for people who like the Arabian culture. It’s the second holiest city in Islam, a place where the prophet Mohammad was buried. His remains rest in the mosque he built during his lifetime. It is known as the Prophet’s Mosque, a holy place that pilgrims visit during the Hajj. According to some data, 1,55 million people live here and most of them are conservative. Unlike Mecca, foreigners can live in Medina, but they can’t approach the Prophet’s Mosque. It is also very close to Jeddah, which is great considering that Jeddah is the major commercial and trade center.

The city is very beautiful and it has a lot of shopping malls, coffee shops, restaurants, and other touristic attractions. If you admire Saudi Arabian culture and history, you’ll have a great time exploring Medina. As one of the biggest Saudis cities offers plenty of job opportunities for teachers, tourism and hospitality worker, retailers, etc. If a job opportunity arises and you need to pack in a hurry for your KSA move, browse our moving services. We can surely provide you with the services that suit you.

aerial shot of the Medina  with the setting sun
Medina is, along with Mecca, a sacred city in KSA.

Dammam is a safe and fun city to live in

For those of you who dream of living near the gorgeous beach, Dammam would be the right choice for you. It’s the 5th most populous city in the Kingdom, and one of the commercial hubs of the country. It is also a modern touristic center and main port on the Arabian Gulf. Dammam is the main administrative center of the area, which also includes the cities of Al Khobar and Dhahran. As such, it offers many business opportunities, both for locals and expats. What is especially wonderful about Dammam are its alluring beaches and scenic landscapes. You have surely heard of the famous Half Moon Beach, which is only 53 km away from Dammam. It is also referred to as the main cultural and sports center of the Eastern Province.

As far as the costs of living, Dammam is somewhat cheaper than Jeddah, while is 11% cheaper than Riyadh. reports that the cost of living in Dammam is 2% lower than the national average. This especially applies to housing, where you have to pay $691 for renting family accommodation. While in Riyadh, the rent is approx $893, however, salaries are also a little higher in Riyadh. Another big difference between these two is the cab ride prices. 5 mile-long taxi ride in Riyadh costs $10,2, while in Dammam you’ll pay more than twice as much. Dammam doesn’t have very good public transport, so you have to use a taxi if you don’t own a car. There is no other choice than to pay $23,9 for a 5-mile taxi ride. If this drawback isn’t a dealbreaker for you, our packing services in Dammam will help you with your move.

small fishing boat near the coast
Dammam is the biggest port in the Persian Gulf.

Yanbu – is a bit smaller but still one of the best cities to live in Saudi Arabia

For those who prefer a small-town lifestyle, we recommend Yanbu. This small coastal town has a population of 351,000. Since it is located near Mecca and Medina, the inhabitants are pious and traditional. And life in Yanbu is more conservative than in Riyadh and Jeddah, for example. But since it is also an important industrial center, many diverse expat groups live here. And there is also the primary oil industry so many of them work in one of the 3 refineries. There are two expat compounds, however, the city is growing rapidly, so expansion is inevitable and ongoing. The city has all the necessary infrastructure, a port, an airport, and a highway go through the city. In just 3 hours by highway, you will reach Jeddah.

Yanbu has all the preconditions for the development of tourism, transportation, climate, and not to mention its gorgeous beaches. It’s a great spot for all lovers of diving, fishing, and other water activities. Besides, it’s considered the sea gateway to Medina, but it also attracts tourists with a variety of its charm. There are many historical buildings, islands, lakes, and more than 100 parks. All this is also important for the life of ordinary people. It may be difficult for foreigners until they get used to the local customs. Especially for women, who are not allowed to drive a car or a bicycle. And they must adhere to a certain dress code, as well as in all other cities of KSA. If this doesn’t bother you, Yanbu can be a great place to call your home. With the assistance of our movers in Yanbu, your relocation can go smoothly.

a couple diving and shaping heart with their hands
What makes Yanbu one of the best cities to live in Saudi Arabia is its beaches and warm climate.

Prepare well for moving to Saudi Arabia

If you are interested in moving to Saudi Arabia, you need to make sure you get prepared. Even If you want to move from one city to another, you need to do a lot of planning and preparation to do this properly. Another important thing you need to think about is the budget. Be sure you calculate moving expenses. This way, you will know how much money you need to make sure your relocation goes smoothly. Make arrangements for relocation off-season if possible. Inform yourself about the climate and weather conditions in Saudi Arabia. Avoid moving during the hot summer months, since the temperature hovers around 43°C. Plan your move within the period from February to November, if you can.

Make sure you organize and start preparing as soon as possible. Also, you can write down a moving checklist to make your relocation to any city much easier.

  • Apply for visa, work, and residence permissions. It makes the process much easier if you have a sponsorship letter from your employer.
  • Although is true that many job opportunities await in KSA, still don’t go before you find a job. In recent years, the authorities prioritize the local workforce. So foreigners should negotiate jobs and conditions before traveling.
  • Start collecting necessary documents on time, especially medical records if you have any health issues. Prepare and verify your diplomas and certificates. Don’t forget, Saudis authorities must validate those.
  • Arrange everything regarding your new home, browse, rent, or buy, and hire reputable international movers SA, to help you relocate your belongings.
  • You’ll have to open a new bank account in KSA and transfer your money before you move. Inform well about your options and restrictions.
  • Private health insurance is a must-have since public healthcare doesn’t apply to expats.

Be sure you pack properly before you move to one of the best cities to live in Saudi Arabia

When you decide to relocate, you need to make sure you have a lot of time to pack your belongings. That is the most time-consuming part of the whole relocation. If you do not prepare properly, problems may occur during the move. Your possessions can get damaged or lost if you don’t crate and secure them right. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but with some help and proper moving supplies, it’s possible to pack your household in one week. Ask your friends and family members to help you out. Gather necessary moving supplies, such as bins, boxes, packing tape, etc. Though you could reuse your suitcases, and bags, for that purpose. Still, to avoid all the fuss and stress which involves packing, hire professional packers.

towers in Jeddah with the blue sky and couple of clouds  behind it
Those who love warm weather and hot summers will enjoy Saudi Arabia.

Choose the right city for living among diverse Saudi cities

Saudi Arabia has many great cities you can move to. Depending on your needs and affinities you can opt for a smaller city with an easier pace of life such as Yanbu. If you are driven by religious reasons, maybe Mecca and Medina are the right choices for you. Or you can head right to Riyad or Jeddah in the heart of the action. You can easily spend a lot of time searching if you don’t set your priorities. Eventually, you can end up overwhelmed with all the options and information. Our article is here to help you avoid such a scenario, and find the best cities to live in Saudi Arabia. But keep in mind that Saudi Arabia is a rapidly developing country, and things change very fast. Cities expand, and adapt to foreign residents, providing them with conditions they are used to in their homelands.

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