Valentine’s Day buying guide in Saudi Arabia: What she wants, what he wants

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Updated 13 February 2020

Valentine’s Day buying guide in Saudi Arabia: What she wants, what he wants

High-tech toys or teddy bears? Red roses or trainers? Changing attitudes in Saudi Arabia mean gift-giving has never been easier. But with a dazzling range of choices on offer, many Saudis’ preferences may surprise ... 


“Jewelry! Maybe something red, or heart shaped. I know it’s cheesy but if I was given something like that I would just melt.” – Jumana

“A weekend away from the kids. It doesn’t even have to be a trip out of town. Just sending the kids to my parents’ house and being able to spend time alone with my husband at home would be amazing.” – Sarah

“A box full of makeup. It’s so expensive these days, and he is the one who gets to look at it, so we both benefit from it!” – Ferdous

“I just want red roses, but I want a lot of them. A ridiculous number of red roses, like the girls you see on Instagram. It’s not practical, I know, but hey, I can dream!” – Aljohara

“Chocolates and a teddy bear, please! And if possible, I’d like to watch a romantic comedy at home. I hope my future husband enjoys 1990s movies, because that’s what he’s getting!” – Nesreen

“Kitchenware. I love pots, pans, bakeware, even Tupperware! Something I can use in the kitchen. I love my husband, but even he knows that the kitchen is my real first love!” – Dunia


“I don’t really want anything, I would rather spend the day doing something for my wife, since she does so much for me every single day. But I guess a nice dinner is something we could both enjoy.” – Mohammed

“Steak! Medium rare with a baked potato on the side. I’m easy to please.” – Majid

“The best gift I ever got on Valentine’s was an engraved watch from my wife. She had it engraved with our names on the back and the date we got married. Even if no one else can see it when I wear it, I always know it’s there and that makes me so happy.” – Rami

“I’m taking my wife to Disneyland Paris. I collaborated with a work friend of hers to get her leave from work, and her sister to help pack her suitcase. She doesn’t know a thing! It’s a surprise I know she’s going to love.” – Sultan

“This is going to sound crazy, but I want books. I collect antique books, first editions and stuff like that. My mom always complains that they smell weird and clutter up the place, but maybe when I get married my wife will understand.” – Nasser

“I’ll take practical gifts over romantic ones any day. I mean, it would be nice to get a watch or a pen that’s flashy and attention-grabbing, but I would be happier with a toolkit, a new lens for my camera, or even just a gift card. It’s the thought that counts!” – Adam





Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Updated 1 min 5 sec ago

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

  • Curfew to be eased on Sunday, except in Makkah, as domestic travel permitted
  • All curfews in Saudi Arabia to be lifted by June 20

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced the easing of restrictions that has halted much of the activity in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Sunday 31, May, the curfew on all areas of the Kingdom will be eased, except Makkah. Movement in cities and within the regions of the country will again be permitted, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The easing will mean the Kingdom’s 24-hour lockdown is relaxed with a curfew from 3 p.m to 6 a.m until Sunday, after which the hours will change to 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.. Makkah will remain under a full 24-hour lockdown.

On June 21, all curfews in the Kingdom will be lifted and prayers at Makkah’s mosque will be permitted.

Before then, social distancing guidelines must continue to be adhered to and gatherings of more than 50 people will continue to be banned.

Authorities have also allowed the attendance at ministries, government agencies and private sector companies, and the return of their office activities.

Some economic and commercial activities will also be allowed to take place including those at wholesale and retail shops, as well as malls. Cafes will be permitted to operate once more.

However, all job sectors where social distancing rules are harder to achieve such as beauty salons, barbershops, sports and health clubs, recreational centers and cinemas will remain closed.

Umrah pilgrimage and international flights will continue to be suspended until further notice.

The new rules are subject to constant evaluation at the health ministry and can be changed if the situation warrants it.

Earlier, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, the health minister, said: “The phases start gradually until we return to normalcy, with its new concept based on social distancing.” 

He added that the precautionary steps taken by the Kingdom early in the outbreak helped to limit the spread of the virus. 

Now, he said, the ministry has developed a plan for the next phase that relies on two main factors: The capacity of the health care system to cope with critical cases, and the expansion of testing to identify new infections as soon as possible.

Reassuring the Saudi nation on Monday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “The bad conditions will pass, God willing, and we are heading toward the good, God willing.” 

The Kingdom recorded 2,235 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total to 74,795, and the death toll rose by nine to 399. Worldwide the virus has infected more than 5.5 million people and killed nearly 350,000.