# 83 Fifi Abdou

Fifi Abdou is an Egyptian icon that started her career in the showbiz as a belly dancer; we can consider her as one of the founders of the modern belly dancing out there. Arabs all over the middle east used to travel to Egypt just to watch Fifi Abdou move her belly. Later in Fif’s career, she entered the TV scene and starred in so many TV shows and movies, by playing the same role in every movie and show she is in. Fif’s role in movies is always the typical traditional Egyptian lady who used to live in poor areas and some how she became filthy rich. But this blog is not about Fif’s biography per se, it is about why Saudis like Fifi Abdou. Saudis (mainly females) see in Fif’s character a strong confident woman with a witty humor which makes her very likable, and I believe also that some of Saudi females would love to be like her and have the same characteristics as Fifi Abdou.

# 82 ZARA

zaraZARA aka the Saudi uniform, this clothing company is the love and joy for the majority of Saudis. When Saudis would like to upgrade their wardrobe, they head to one of ZARA’s stores that are located everywhere you go around the kingdom. ZARA’s style is basic and elegant, mainly you will see either black clothes or white clothes; which is perfect for Saudis, as you know as a Saudi “playing it safe” is our motto in life. Another reason why I believe Saudis like to shop from ZARA is the same reason they like to ride Lexus (check my Lexus blog). ZARA is not Gucci nor its a high end designer brand, however if you can pull it off, ZARA can make you look like a million bucks; and thats why this thought is appealing to Saudis . See, the manikins on the window store can be very deceiving, which will get some of us, and make us think that we can look exactly like those manikins. Once anyone tries on a ZARA dress shirt, and you know those shirt are designed in a way to be a little be tight to fit, you will able to see bellybuttons from the gap that was created by your belly and the tight shirt; you get the picture. And yes don’t forget sometimes you will be witnessing man-boobs hanging trying to breath.

# 81 Food Trucks

food truckFew years ago, if you drive around Saudi Arabia you will notice the amount of food trucks parked all over the place. Food trucks became a trend in Saudi when the middle upper class kids started the era of entrepreneur “wanna be”, since operating a food truck will cost a lot of money, it make sense that those young entrepreneur are the ones who can offered it, plus its trendy and cool to drive around and sell over priced burgers. Side note; 50% of food trucks in Saudi Arabia sell burgers and the other 50% sell crepes with Nutella (check my other blog on Nutella)… we like to keep it simple; savory or sweet, period.

The way I see it, food trucks here in Saudi is a bubble that will burst soon if it didn’t already. The reason is because our business model for food trucks are upside down…this statement make me sound like a business connoisseur, so I will keep it.

# 80 Spanish Latte

spanish latte In the summer of 1998, I visited Spain with my family and I observed most, if not all locals start their day with a drink of espresso in the morning; no where I can find anything that has to do with something called Spanish Latte! So I wondered from where did we come up with this drink here in Saudi Arabia? and why Spanish Latte is so popular among Saudis? Every café you go to, the most popular beverage is Spanish Latte. My curiosity made me order one Spanish Latter to give it a shot… when I received my coffee I realized that the barista gave me a large cold cup of full fat milk, so I asked … where is the coffee? The barista said and pointed out, can you see that drop of espresso inside?… swimming in the ocean of milk, that’s your coffee. So I drank my milk and paid 28 SAR and left the place. When you take a look around cafés in Saudi Arabia, the demographic will give you a hint that, yes it will make sense that milk will be the most consumed drink in those places. That’s why Spanish Latte is the go to beverage for our delicate “new baby boomers”.

I am not saying there is no market for Spanish Latte, but I believe it has nothing to do with Spain nor coffee.


montblanc-meisterstuck-classique-ballpoint-pen-250x250If Saudis would like to show that they made it in this world, it will not be through fancy cars nor expensive watches… it will simply be a pen hanging in their Thoub’s pocket or in case of females it will be in their purse, but wait a minute; it will not be any pen… it will be the famous MontBlanc® pen with its white David star logo sticking out. For Saudis MontBlanc® pens are symbol of wealth, it shows you that this person can offered a 2000 Saudi Riyal pen to just sign bunch of paper or bank cheques not less than one million Riyals, normally this is what its used for ; to showcase your signature, not to write with it…the pen will reduce its value and your value if you write with it. Sometimes people will not realize that you are holding a MontBlanc® so the plan is, you need to make up some story to pull out the pen and show it to your target audience, like for instance, you bought the pen when it was on sale in Germany for a good deal, afterwards you can hold your MontBlanc® high and wave it around as if you are in one of Lionel Richie concerts.

# 78 Giving Advices

how-to-give-advice-in-englishIf Saudis are expert in anything it will be on everything. Saudis love to give advices to each other on different topics and subjects, either on how to manage your personal finance to how to boost your sex drive… and they will be no smooth transition from topic to another when giving an advice, the advice will all come together at once; from money to sex all in one sentence.

So you may wonder, if all Saudis like to give advices, who is listening? No one. Because its not about the person who is receiving the advice, its about my image inside my head, it will make me look more intelligent if I keep giving advice to everyone. The phrase “I don’t know” is not in any Saudi’s dictionary, so don’t worry…you will always get an answer or an advice on a topic that you don’t know about.

Usually the source of those advices comes from social media that people share among each other, so you may hear something that you already know, but please don’t tell the person who is giving the advice that you already knew about what he or she is saying, that will open a pandora’s box, and that’s just an advice!

# 77 Dynamite Shrimp

Dynamite-Shrimp-2-2The most ordered appetizer item in all Saudi Arabia’s restaurants… is none other than Dynamite Shrimp. As I mentioned in previous blogs, Saudis love to smother their food with so many sauces and dressing, and Dynamite Shrimp is the perfect example of  tanginess and sweetness mayo-based sauce that coats every piece of shrimp.

Businesses realized the love of Dynamite Shrimp by all Saudis, now if you walk into any place you will find in their menu Dynamite Shrimp as an appetizer option. Even traditional restaurants that offer typical Saudi food such as Kabsa, you will see Dynamite Shrimp in their menu. And please don’t eat the lettuce that comes with it, you are not a rabbit, its only for presentation.

Athletics - Olympics: Day 9If Saudis like to be the first in anything, it will be on visiting a new place. Whether it’s a new restaurant or a new vacation destination, a Saudi would love to claim that he or she is the first Saudi who discovered that place among all Saudis. The reason behind it goes back to genetics, see Saudis’ DNA contains so many genes that strives for uniqueness and social acceptance; and if you don’t believe me, take a blood sample of any Saudi and test it… its all about science. The feeling when a Saudi tell their friends about a new place that they visited last week or during their summer vacation, is a feeling similar to when DJ Tiesto drops the beat and you are high on ecstasy; it’s not like I know how it feels, but they say it’s a feeling that you are on cloud nine.

I am not against the idea of being the first to visit a new place, but don’t come to me and rub it on my face, telling me that I need to go that place and see this and see that, as if I didn’t visit this country, I will be doomed for life.

arabic-coffee-with-saudi-dates-naif-alowaisThe two most common staple things you will find in any Saudi household are; Arabic coffee and a bowl of fresh dates. Arabic coffee and dates goes together like; Tom and Jerry, Batman and Robin, Captain Majed and Yassen, you can’t have one without the other… the reason behind it, is because the Arabic coffee (which has nothing to do with Arabic, the coffee beans are from Africa and last time I checked it doesn’t speak Arabic) has a bitter taste and the dates are sweet with all those natural sugar that it contains. You sip little bit coffee then right away you chase it with dates, by doing so, your taste buds will jump on one of Six Flags’ roller coaster rides to flavor town.

Let me go back to the “Arabic coffee” and why its called Arabic. The coffee beans are from Africa, the cardamom is either from India or America, the Saffron is from Iran (tough luck), and moreover the cups where they drink the coffee from are from China. Then how in the world Saudis call it Arabic coffee!?

# 74 Winter

winterWinter is coming … the words that every Saudi says when winter season is approaching, the reason Saudis notify each other that winter is coming, is because without knowing once you blink … winter will be already over. During winter, Saudis get excited and start leaving their homes to go out in nature like bunch of ants going out to get their food and brining it back to their casts. And usually you will witness Saudis fashion at its best during winter, you will see jackets, sweaters, and coats and traditional clothing with different style and colors.

Winter also plays a big part in the overall mood level, Saudis usually follow the saying “keep calm and carry on” in those times, since most of the year they are intense and frustrated; not sure why? Don’t be surprised when you see Saudi couples holding hands in public and getting romantic, its the magic of cool weather, and if there is also a little drizzly rain … Man, Saudis will turn into love birds in no time.