A monthly past-time for expat ladies here in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is to attend one of the Coffee Mornings hosted by one of the many western compounds. These mornings are a great way to meet other expats, have coffee, and shop. I’ve long wanted to attend, but have been scheduled to work or am away traveling every time I’ve been invited before. Until this month. I even got asked to work that day but said “Hells No” because I’d really been looking forward to going. Generally these events are by invite only, although I think really any expat woman can go. As with going to any compound you will need to submit a copy of your Igama or passport to get on the security list and you will need to bring ID with you to get into the compound.
We booked a driver to take us to the compound. Once we passed thru security we boarded a shuttle bus filled with other expat ladies to take us to the recreation area. Outside there were some food vendors selling kababs and such. Inside where rows of tables with outside vendors as well as expats selling everything from crafts, abayas, books, souvenirs, artwork, lotions and candles, pottery, and other knick knacks. There were also a bunch of food stalls including Starbucks, Dairy Queen, and vendors selling fresh vegetables and bread. It was fun to browse the stalls and chat with the other women that attended.
I ended up buying some beautiful pottery from Saudi Arts and Crafts. The pottery is handmade by local artisans and has decorative gold coloured Arabic writing on it. I also bought a unique mosque tea light holder which makes a great souvenir of my time in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arts and Crafts has a permanent store on Ishbilia Compound and for the upcoming month of Ramadan they will be showcasing their pottery at the Sheraton Hotel. Along with the pottery they carry unique jewelry, books, bags, and artwork. Perfect for gifts. If you want to find out about coffee mornings follow them on Facebook to find out about upcoming events!