Food of love: A guide to Valentine’s dining in Saudi Arabia

Arab News discovers some of the best romantic restaurants in Riyadh and Jeddah for Valentine's Day. (Supplied/Huda Bashatah)
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Updated 12 February 2020

Food of love: A guide to Valentine’s dining in Saudi Arabia

  • Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days for restaurant owners
  • Arab News finds out the best dining options in Riyadh and Jeddah

RIYADH: As the old saying goes, “the way to someone's heart is through their stomach,” and there is nothing better than enjoying a good meal with a loved one on a special occasion.

Although Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days for restaurant owners, it is not directly advertised in some regions of Saudi Arabia as in the past it was illegal because it was not part of traditional Saudi culture and people said that it was un-Islamic.

Previously, restaurants were also not allowed to accommodate requests of a romantic nature such as engagement proposals and wedding anniversaries with cakes and flowers, but that is changing. Many in the Kingdom now find such celebrations increasingly appealing.

Here are some of the best romantic restaurants in Riyadh and Jeddah:

Okku $$$$
Okku, the multi-award-winning Japanese restaurant and one of the best fine-dining locations in Riyadh, has a spectacular interior and provides the perfect ambiance for a romantic evening. This year it is offering a Valentine’s set menu, including elegant desserts. Okku can accommodate customers with a special seating area for two. The restaurant can also arrange for customers to bring their flowers and gifts prior to the evening to surprise loved ones.

The Globe $$$$
One of the top high-end restaurants in the center of the capital, The Globe is located at the highest point in the Al-Faisaliah Tower overlooking the beautiful Riyadh skyline. The quiet, quaint restaurant is known for its variety of food, drinks and soft music to enjoy.

Lusin $$$
With two restaurants, in Riyadh and Jeddah, the Armenian restaurant features Armenian and Arab flavors in many of its signature dishes, serving home-style meals with a lavish twist. The atmosphere is warm with soft lighting and Armenian background music providing couples with a cozy atmosphere to enjoy meals.

Agave Restaurant & Café $$$
A nice atmosphere for couples to enjoy an evening with live music and open-air seating and a stunning view of Jeddah’s coast at sunset. Agave is famous for its hospitality and celebrations, and the staff can accommodate customers with special events and surprises that turn into a fiesta. 

Shrimp Zone $$
If you are not looking for a conventional white tablecloth dinner in Jeddah, getting your hands dirty here is not an option — it’s a necessity. Though not your typical romantic joint, it’s a fun and intimate way to have a good meal with different types of seafood options, and without exceeding your budget.

MoU signed to facilitate investment in Saudi Arabia

Updated 21 February 2020

MoU signed to facilitate investment in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and the Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to step up cooperation, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.

Under the MoU, the two authorities will establish a joint working group to boost cooperation in several areas including facilitation provided to investors, conducting economic studies of the market, building partnerships with commercial and industrial bodies and local companies, launching businesses, promoting the ease of doing business, providing logistic support, participating in local and international exhibitions, forums and special visits and exchanging knowledge and information.

All this will predominantly be in aid of attracting local and foreign investors. 

“SAGIA believes in the importance of such cooperation that can unify and multiply the efforts in a way that sets the world’s attention on the Kingdom’s cultural and heritage treasures and investment opportunities,” said SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar.

“This is done through close cooperation with DGDA to highlight these opportunities and market them internationally and locally. This MoU is a step in the right direction to achieve the objectives and directives of both bodies.”

Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of the DGDA, said: “Cooperating with SAGIA is one of the most important international investment motors to attract local and international investments to the Kingdom. This comes at a time where developing the Kingdom’s investment infrastructure is found within the objectives of its Vision 2030.

“At DGDA, we aim at attracting the best technologies and regional and international investments to the Kingdom. This will contribute to the improvement of the local economy and promote our objectives seeking to turn Diriyah into the Kingdom’s gem and an international economic tourist destination,” he added.