If you are new to Saudi Arabia and have an option to settle down in anyone of these two cities namely Riyadh and Jeddah, I think you have landed the correct page. Both cities are beautiful in their own ways, but they are largely different from each other. Especially, if you talk about the culture of both cities, it is largely different from each other. Here are the 10 basic differences which can be found between the two cities;[irp]
Food: Both the cities have some of the finest eateries, however in Riyadh, they are mostly located on the well-known Tahlia Street and in Jeddah they are spread out across the city.
Housing Areas: In Jeddah, you can find a variety of residential compounds, apartments, and villas; however, in Jeddah apartments are the most commonly found residences.
Infrastructure: Riyadh has the utmost metropolitan infrastructure from around the Kingdom. The infrastructure network has been based heavily on the western highways, motorways and road networks. Riyadh is also getting an internal metro very soon. Jeddah, on the other hand, had been initially ignored, the road network is pretty basic and they have only a few through highways.
Shopping: One of the commonalities between the two major cities of the Kingdom is that both these cities have larger than life malls and other souks where you can go and shop till you drop.
Activities: Riyadh, although a more developed city has fewer activities, one has to really research on something new to do on the weekend. Jeddah, on the other hand, has the red sea to their side which provides many water related activities and festivals which will keep you occupied.
Education and Job Opportunities: Riyadh has the world famous Princess Nourah University and other numerous opportunities for education and employment for the youth. In Jeddah there is the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology which is another university of similar standards, providing equal opportunities for education and employment.
People: The people of Riyadh are generally a bit more conservative in comparison to the rest of the country, however, they possess great traditions, and you can truly feel the Saudi-ness in the city. Jeddah, on the other hand, is lesser conservative in comparison. A lot of foreigners and expat communities can be found in the city and the Saudi ness found in the rest of the country is least evident in this city. Jeddah is the most culturally diverse city in the Kingdom. Generally, the Saudi or Arab region crowd inside the Kingdom will be found in the city of Riyadh and the expatriates, foreigners or any visitors to the kingdom will be found in Jeddah city.
Weather: Riyadh city experiences all the weathers in the year. During the winter months you can actually wear winter wear and dress up according to the weather, however during the summer months, the desert heat can be almost lethal. Jeddah, on the other hand, is a coastal land and they pretty much experience similar or same weather all year round. The same types of clothes can be used all year round. Humidity does increase and it can become extremely sticky during the hotter months.[irp]
Awesomeness: Both the cities of Riyadh and Jeddah are two of the most awesome cities in the Kingdom. Both are holding unique values and specifics which truly make them awesome in their own different ways. Both cities provide exactly what you are looking for.
Source: Destination Jeddah