The Cost of Living in Riyadh

  • Publish date: Tuesday، 24 October 2023
The Cost of Living in Riyadh

For expats, the quality of life in Riyadh is fairly good, as far as creature comforts are concerned. The residents of Riyadh's compounds enjoy plenty of leisure opportunities. Pools, gyms, and various sports grounds are frequently standard features. However, the cost of enjoying such a lifestyle can be a mystery to many.

In this guide, we will provide a straightforward look into what it really costs to live in this desert metropolis.


Rent: Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Riyadh ranges between $693 and $848, while a three-bedroom apartment can cost anywhere from $866 to $1,059. 

On the outskirts, you might pay between $431 and $527 for a one-bedroom apartment and from $659 to $805 for a three-bedroom apartment.


Public Transport: The ticket fare for a trip on board the Riyadh buses is set at SAR 4 ($1.07). Tickets for 30 days are determined at SAR 140 ($37.32).

Taxis: A normal taxi trip starts at SAR 13 ($3.47) and goes up based on distance and the driver's waiting time. The price per kilometer is SAR 2.67 ($0.71).

Cars: Octane-95 costs SAR 2.33 ($0.62) per liter. If you decide to buy a car, keep in mind both its price and the yearly insurance.


Eating Out: A typical fast food meal costs SAR 25 ($6.70). Fancy dining places will, of course, be pricier.

Groceries: Basic items like bread cost around SAR 3.5 ($0.93), while a liter of milk is about SAR 6.5 ($1.73). Cooking at home can save money, but international foods might cost a bit more.

Leisure and Entertainment

Movies: A cinema ticket is around SAR 45 ($12)

Gym: A monthly gym membership is approximately SAR 150 to SAR 500, depending on the facilities. 

Tours and Attractions:  Activities like desert safaris can start from SAR 350 and go up based on the package.


Monthly bills, including electricity, water, and cooling, can cost SAR 350 for an 85m2 apartment. Prices vary depending on the size of your home and usage.


Due to language and cultural barriers, most foreigners choose to send their children to private international schools. 

An international primary school costs between $5,785 and $7,070 per child per year, while preschool or daycare averages between $278.71 and $340.65 per month. 


The average fees of a visit to a general practitioner are estimated at SAR 105 ($27.99), while the consultation fees for a specialist average SAR 190 ($50.65).

In conclusion, most people will find Saudi Arabia to be an affordable country. It is cheaper to live in Riyadh than in the neighboring capitals of Doha, Abu Dhabi, or Manama.

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