Rules Of A Riyadhi Gentleman

By Johara Al Mogbel and Jou Pabalate

A matter of manly manners in maneuvering life in the city.

Automotive Maintenance

Modern knights need a steady steed. Consider your car as your air-conditioned chariot.

  • Wash your car at least twice a month, in and out.
  • Check your coolant especially during this season. You do not want you or your car to overheat in the middle of King Fahad Road.
  • Check your tires constantly. Underinflated or cracked tires in this weather spells KABOOM.
  • Sun shades are a must in the summer, unless you want your interiors and your bum crisp. Abu Riyalin stores have them for SR 10 – 25.
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Road rage is unattractive. True gentlemen do not transform into the hulk when dealing with errant drivers. When confronted with continued pigheadedness, one is advised to get in one’s car and drive away. When driving, tread lightly on the gas pedal. A gentleman must always take heed of killing other passengers for the sake of saving three minutes, as murdering someone while speeding is quite unseemly. Automotive Yoga is not a thing. Never have your foot raised on your chair or your toes cooled by the AC. Definitely not with your windows open too.

Cell Phone Etiquette

Errands and E-Services

A Riyadhi man knows his responsibilities and maneuvers his way around errands efficiently.

Utilities – Electric, telecom and other bills can be registered under your bank account. Don’t be a caveman, do your transactions online and it will help you settle your accountabilities easily.

Governmental Concerns – Check your traffic violations, file for your national ID and passport, settle other family requirements through It’s not hard, you don’t need a wasta and you’re just being lazy.

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Foodie Etiquette

  • Pre-Dining Choose a restaurant in advance, make a reservation when possible.
  • Ordering Ask your company what they would like to have, unless there’s a pre-set menu. Know your waiter’s name.
  • After Meal Thank your waiter for good service and don’t forget to tip.



A well-kept beard is the best accessory a gentleman could ever grow. For those encumbered with out of control facial hair, it is recommended to look into laser hair removal treatment for the lines of your beard, as it will make grooming much easier and will vastly improve your visage.

Perfume is important for a gentleman’s overall disposition. A gentleman must always use bokhoor on his thobe and shmaagh for a clean understated smell that will linger throughout the day.

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Charity is an important pillar in Islam, and ‘having your palm open’ towards your family, friends and loved ones as well is the best use for your money. Be Hatem, not Scrooge.


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Home Improvement

A true gentleman knows how to handle a hammer. The essential Homeowner’s Toolbox: utility knife, screwdriver, nail and screw set, pliers, wrench, electrical power drill. Should home improvement feel absolutely tasking, have a plumber, carpenter and the like on speed dial.


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Internet Trolls

Never be an Internet troll. Or a real troll. At all. If you need an explanation for why a human being must avoid being a troll, then it is too late. We can no longer help you.


Or the tasteful way of greeting other human beings and avoid awkward encounters in Riyadh.

New Acquaintances:
Alsalamo Alaikum, handshake
Cheek kissing, Seniors – forehead
Cheek kissing – Groom, father of the groom
If you haven’t seen them in more than five days.

Basic Cheat Sheet to Kissing per region
Najdi: Right, Left, Left
North: Right, Right, Right
Hijazi: Right, Left, Right or Right, Right, Left

When in doubt, take cue from the person you’re greeting. Don’t abruptly shift to the other cheek or pull back. And if it needs to be stated: it’s cheek to cheek, you’re kissing the air. Your lips must not land on the other person’s face. EVER.

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Leisurely Pursuits

Gentlemanly Pursuits

  • Joining a club of your passion, volunteerism, playing sports, meaningful activities.
  • Reading, learning something new, playing a musical instrument, gaming.
  • Work – yes for some of us, if work is fun for you then bless you.
  • Being a sports enthusiast (football, basketball, etc.)
  • Watching TV shows day in and day out.

Doesn’t Count

  • Smoking Shisha every night and wondering where your time went.
  • Driving around the city and being a creep.
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A true gentleman never forgets his family. He visits them on a regular basis, and helps out around his parents’ house, and concedes when his mother kisses his cheek in public. He is also patient when escorting his grandparents to various places and appreciates their role in his existence. Most importantly, a gentleman is not ashamed of his mother’s name, as that is preposterous and makes no sense.

Office Ethics

A true gentleman is polite and courteous to his co-workers. A true gentleman must always keep his workspace clean and tidy. One’s workspace represents the work ethic of a person. Also, an office is usually shared with other people, and one must be careful not to offend others with a horribly kept desk.


Gentlemen respect the laws and the culture of country he is visiting. A true gentleman does not embarrass his nation by behaving unbecomingly.
A true gentleman keeps his appendages to himself, and should the flight prove to be unbearable for his delicate calves, seek permission from the passenger to place his presumably socked feet in their general vicinity. Should the passenger be a woman, however, don’t even think of it.

Working Out

A gentleman goes to the gym for the purpose of working out, not to take selfies or photos of their uncovered abs, chests and appendages for Snapchat. Bodybuilding must be approached with caution. One must not be too proud to not bother asking a professional trainer before engaging in weightlifting activities. Should one not have the time to go to the gym, a Riyadhi gentleman finds a way to stay active, even if it’s just in the comfort of his home.

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