Inside the mall

Do’s and Don’t of Malls in Saudi

Malls Of Saudi, How to stay safe while shopping? During your stay in Saudi, you will find yourself wondering down malls. For Shopping or you just don’t have anything else to do. Every mall has his own rules. In addition to the Saudi rules that are not easy. To avoid being arrested by the Religious police who exists in most of the malls please follow the following instruction.


1- No Shorts

Malls have their own dressing code. Don’t even try to walk near the mall with a short. Wearing a short, security at the gate will not allow you to enter the mall. As you can see clear signs at the mall entrance states that shorts are not allowed.

Mall Rules

Mall rules sign

2- No exposed flesh at all

Hell no, All kinds of shorts are not allowed, This we know because the area from knee up is censored in Saudi. But why sleeveless shirts are not allowed this is something we don’t know. So for being safe, just cover yourself.

3- Keep the Abaya on

The previous 2 points are for men. For women, nothing more than your face and hands should be exposed. Even in some conservative areas, you are not allowed to show your face and hands. However, there are some malls (Kingdom mall, and Panorama mall for example) Have special floors for women only, Where you can take off your Abaya and have some freedom.

4- Watch your Abaya

Malls are 2 or 3 stories. to go from one Floor to the other you will use Electric stairs (Oscillator) watch for your Abaya as is always stuck in the stair and it might be very dangerous.

5- Cuddling and touching

Inside the mall

Inside the mall

If you go to the mall with your wife. You should treat her as if she has some kind of disease. Never touch her. Never get so close. and never speak loud. All these points can get you in trouble from the mall security. Or even more, problems from the religious police.

6- Go in couples

Thinking about taking your date to the mall? YEAH Right. I can bet that you won’t walk out of it. Just remember one thing. If male and female, are out together and they are not relatives. That’s a crime punished by the law.

7- Don’t go in group of men

Males are considered a threat to the society. Single males are not allowed in Areas where Families (Women) exist. Going in a mall as a group of males. The security will stop you at the gate and claim that the mall is for families only. However if you went in one by one or 2 males at a time. you could make it in and then meet inside. Considering that male groups inside attract attention, keep it under 5 persons.

8- Always have a reason in mind

At any time while you are in the mall. Expect someone to ask you “what are you doing?” Always keep in mind that this person is either a mall security or a Religious police. Just keep a name of a special store in your mind or something that you are doing. Just walking or spending time in the mall is not a valid reason to be inside, and they will escort you out.

9- Keep cash handy

You never know when will you find a good deal. Sale is something you can’t miss in Saudi. If you are in a mall for any reason at any time. Keep cash handy. Or make sure that your Bank card is working. As you might find special discounts in stores which you will regret missing.

10- No women shops

You wish 😀 Women are allowed in all shops. The reason is that they are buying stuff more than men. Males are allowed only in shops that have a male section in it. If you are looking for some certain gift for your wife or mother. You must do it online. Check the sign of the shop before you enter. Some shops say “Families only” This means that you are allowed if you have a woman with you. Other shops have a sign of “Females only” This means that even if you are with your wife, You cant enter that shop.

11- Not even large department stores

Not even Debenhams or some H&M branches won’t let men in. So please make sure because there is always a security guard who will stop you if you just came near the store.

12- Sakkar salah

This goes without saying that during Prayer time all stores will be closed. and if you are in, you will have to leave your stuff and go wait outside for the prayer to end then go back to continue shopping.

Shops closed for prayer in mall

Courtesy of Susie of Arabia

13- Keep your mobile charged

Most malls of Saudi are covered with free wifi service. If you find a bad network or want to download something. Just open your mobile WIFI and search for the available free network.

14- Don’t even think of taking photos

Taking photos in the mall might be dangerous. Malls are full of women and if any woman is pictured by a man. She can report you to the security, and Bam .. You are in trouble. While surfing your mobile make sure that it’s not pointed at anyone.

15- The food court etiquette

Segregation is everywhere. Even in the food court seating area. There is a seating area for families and another one for the singles. Make sure that you are in the singles are before you start eating. To avoid being relocated while you are enjoying your meal. It might be tricky as they both look the same and are in the same area.


This is most of the thing that I’ve noticed. There might be more. Maybe some malls are more caring than others. It’s better to give your own judgment while inside. but be careful.


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