The Dating ‘game’ in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

In the wise words of Kelis, one’s milkshake can often lure boys to your yard but for love-seekers in the Saudi Arabia – finding love is a little more challenging than that. Sometimes laban may do the trick…IF it’s flavoured…but that’s only on days like Eid, a lunar eclipse or other significant occasions. For the most part, it’s much like the animal Kingdom when it comes to landing a love-interest in this part of the world; gotta catch your prey before you’re preyed on! (By the religious police that is).


Find ‘game’

Regardless of what time of day it is, the streets of Jeddah are guaranteed to be scattered with hormonal teens (and unhappily married men) ready to stalk the first female specie who (mistakenly) lays eyes on them. Their persistence coupled with their insane skills behind the wheel ensure they literally chase you till you surrender to the irresistible temptation that they truly are. At this stage it is typical for the prey to respond in one of several possible ways.

She may either give her hunter:

a) A stare back: This can mean she is interested but likes to be pursued or her mother is in the car and she’s a little unsure who you’re really hitting on.

b) A smile back: Must be your lucky day! But this is no cause for celebration as you may not be the only one on the road she’s offering it to.

c) Her BB pin (or more like habeebi pin): in that case….Score!

d) The finger: Kind of self-explanatory.

….Aand he strikes!!!


Your first date

Soon after the two have exchanged smiles/ numbers or inappropriate hand gestures, the next stop is usually the closest mall. It’s a date ladies, whether you like it or not. At this stage it considered standard for the hunter to take things slow. He’s not one to devour his game instantaneously but rather to experience the thrill of the forbidden foreplay. Call him wild and kinky but this usually entails him wanting to remain a minimum of ten paces behind you at all times while you pretend to window-shop. Don’t question him. He’s only trying to get to know the rear-half of his (potential) better-half better. Also, the fact that he may well do so with his pinky tightly-gripped on to his male companion’s says nothing about his interest level in you. That grip is completely platonic. (For now, of course.)

Dude 1: ‘I need to bee!’ Dude 2: ‘Me too!’

Most male and female species in this part of the world are born with the blueprints to local malls etched in their minds so when it comes to navigating their habitat…it’s a piece of cake! She wants to know how committed he is. He is only seeing her as more of a forbidden fruit now that she’s made him perform 17 tawafs of the mall so soon enough they dare to get within a meter distance of each other and….exchange names.


“Baby, take me where I’ve never been before.”

The lovers are now at a point where they’re finding it extremely difficult to contain the lust.

The guy insists. The girl doesn’t want to let him down…so she surrenders. Yes, you guessed it: they hit the ‘families’ section of his favourite restaurant.

Here, a typical hunter may eye other game but only when his is busy re-re-re-re-touching up her face in the toilet. Also, it is commonplace for a hunter to get territorial and chose not to bring his male comrades with him to this joyous occasion. It’s survival of the fittest ladies and gentlemen and there’s nothing riskier than a hunter bringing in competition! Most couples lurk around this stage for a while because the privacy is heavenly. What happens within the compartments stays within the compartments. But soon enough the novelty wears off…and this is when they decide to give up closed spaces for something more public…


Smoke screen

The hunter now begins to put on a façade. He’s already eyeing other game but isn’t quite sure when to dispose of his current one. She is after all, his ticket to venues where new, forbidden meat is only inches away. His prey senses this but also continues to play on because she too has a status to maintain. I mean what could be worse than not being considered anyone’s game?!

While the two figure things out, they do what most couples in this part of the world do….. sit at a café, smile at each other, make occasional small-talk and blow sheesha smoke at each other while mentally devising their respective exit strategies.



Minus the bloodshed, the game usually ends when he says it does. His hunger has been satisfied and now he yearns for some new meat; something fresh, something new,  something forbidden…and sure enough he soon finds it elsewhere. The prey at this stage is heartbroken….or at least pretends to be. She throws a fit, cries and goes into depression but deep down she’s happy to be let loose. Free to be devoured again and she does so in true female fashion; by luring in the best friend.

In his defence; it’s probably hard telling them apart.


Hiba Ali breathes sarcasm (& occasionally fire). Tickle her funny bone & she may spare you. 

You can read more of her work over at or her earlier article for BigPen, here.



Categories: A Shot at Love


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3 Comments on “The Dating ‘game’ in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”

  1. March 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    i want a man above 45 to 65 year this is my address send me a mail or add me at yaoo massenger

  2. March 25, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    i want a honest to be with

  3. February 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    Or the dating game in the subcontinent at large? Or just Pakistan? Jesus. Good to know there are equal amounts of lame at large in the world.

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