We Found Love In A Hopeless Place

Saudi-Arabia…such a hopeless place to ever even dream of finding a life partner, a soul mate, or the love of your life..The country that strictly forbids mixing and all interaction between the sexes. How could anyone meet a member of the opposite sex here, let alone go out on a date, or fall in love?

Surprisingly there are countless love stories to be told that started in Magic Kingdom. So many of my friends found love here it’s actually quite amazing! Ironic perhaps, that out of all the places in the world, these couples met in the strict Saudi Kingdom. As a tribute to all these lovely couples I’ve compiled a list of short love stories from Saudi-Arabia. You can read our love story here: How I met my Saudi Prince.love hopeless place

Couples that found love in the hopeless desert Kingdom:

A Finnish man met a stunning Yemeni girl randomly one evening at a cafe..It was love at first sight. They are now happily married residing in Jeddah and have one adorable baby girl.

An Australian nurse met a U.S Marine at an embassy function. She thought he was cute, but not her type. He fell head over heals for her. They were friends first but soon fell deeply in love..They had a dream wedding a few years after when they moved to the U.S. They now have a beautiful newborn daughter.

A Finnish nurse met her Palestinian husband at a desert camp. They were inseparable from that day onward. They are now happily married residing in Riyadh.

A Finnish nurse met an all American guy at a compound party. They worked at the same hospital and started dating. Soon they left the Kingdom together to make a new home and life in U.S.A. The are now happily married and have a sweet little baby girl.

Another Finnish nurse met an American soldier at an embassy party. They started dating and soon decided to leave the Kingdom to the U.S. This adorable couple had their fairy-tale wedding in the Caribbean.

A Finnish party girl and a Lebanese guy had a crush on each other. They often saw one another at parties where he DJ’d. The beautiful couple fell deeply in love and share the same passion of travelling the world. They got married and had three weddings, traveled around the world and are now back working in the desert Kingdom.

An Irish nurse met a Lebanese engineer at a golf club. They shared the same hobby and soon realized they had a lot more in common too. The couple had an elaborate wedding in Beirut where they now reside.

A Finnish nurse met an American guy at the Hash Harriers outings. They shared the same interest in sport, photography and nature. Soon they fell in love and set out to Finland for their wedding. The stunning couple reside in Riyadh where they both work.

A Lebanese nurse had given up on ever finding a soul mate, she had worked in KSA for many years before she was invited to the Hash group gatherings. She met a lovely American guy there and got hooked on both the desert and the man. They had an amazing wedding in Lebanon and returned to continue work in Saudi-Arabia.

A Swedish nurse met a fellow Swede at a compound gathering. They became good friends and soon realized they had grown to love each other. The couple moved to Sweden where they got engaged soon after.

A Lebanese male nurse had a crush on a colleague, a Finnish nurse for a long time until he had the courage to ask her out on a date. They fell instantly in love and moved in together. They soon got married and then had a cute little boy.

Two Canadian nurses arrived to work in Saudi Kingdom at the same time. They met at the hospital orientation program. The couple started dating, but found life as an unmarried couple very difficult in Saudi and decided to return back to their home country together.

A Malaysian nurse met an American army official at a compound party. They started dating and later went to her home country for marriage. They now have two kids and continue working in the Kingdom.

found love in magic kingdom


There are many other stories out there..These are just the tip of the iceberg. So what is the secret behind all these love stories from perhaps the most un-romantic, strict country in the world? I guess it might have something to do with the fact that many of the expats coming here are like-minded and share the same interests. They already were open-minded enough to make the move to Saudi, so many of them are open to inter-cultural relationships. Expatriates can actually have a lively night life in Saudi-Arabia and many of these couples met a party or other expat gathering.

I’ve also noticed a phenomenon that is quite common; a lot of the women coming here are in bad relationships back home and moving to Saudi for a temporary work placement often leads to them seeing things in new perspectives. They realize they were just dragging along in an already doomed relationship. Moving to Saudi is a sort of an unconscious way to break off from that relationship.

I will leave you with a Valentine’s day card my 2yr old daughter made at Kindergarten..I’m so proud of my little artist! Ok maybe the teachers helped her a bit :)


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  • Solid DFebruary 14, 2013 - 2:53 pm

    too bad the progressive saudis are pushed out of lots of the gatherings, many gatherings happen where saudis are not allowed to enter, or they are just not invited, leaving them feeling discriminated against in their own country.ReplyCancel

    • LaylaFebruary 16, 2013 - 9:46 am

      Solid D-I agree with you, it is indeed a pity and creates barriers between expats and locals.ReplyCancel

  • Susie of ArabiaFebruary 14, 2013 - 3:05 pm

    Loved all your examples! One of my best friends here is a British teacher. She met a Jordanian chef this past New Years Eve at the British Consul’s bash and they are already engaged and making wedding plans!ReplyCancel

    • LaylaFebruary 16, 2013 - 9:46 am

      Love is in the air here!ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousFebruary 14, 2013 - 2:40 pm

    Wonderful idea to post these love stories with a happy ending online :) It is great to read.

    I also met my Saudi husband while working in KSA – we married and relocated to Europe after a few years.

    I guess it is more common than one thinks :)

    Happy Valentines :)!ReplyCancel

    • LaylaFebruary 16, 2013 - 9:45 am

      Oh really! That’s great to hear! Where are you from and how did you meet him here?ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousFebruary 14, 2013 - 4:52 pm

    Alhamdulillah! For you and all of those who have overcome the difficulties and embraced the challenges. Allah knows best. <3 <3 <3ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousFebruary 14, 2013 - 5:48 pm

    What is a Hash group gathering?ReplyCancel

  • FarooqFebruary 14, 2013 - 8:07 pm

    Does it count that I met my wife online in a yahoo chat room while she was in Singapore and I was working in Khobar?ReplyCancel

    • LaylaFebruary 16, 2013 - 10:03 am

      yes Farooq it does :)ReplyCancel

  • ღUmmعℓαwiღFebruary 15, 2013 - 1:04 pm

    Awwwww cute stories <3 i hope everyone has love & happiness in their marriages!! well as u know, i met both my Saudi husbands while they were studying in Canada... first case was love at first sight, the 2nd was for love at first sight for *him only* becuz i thought he was another Saudi playboy who rented fancy sports cars just to pick up girls -- i was wrong in the end *_*ReplyCancel

    • LaylaFebruary 16, 2013 - 10:03 am

      Well I’m glad you were wrong about #2 :)ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousFebruary 15, 2013 - 2:51 pm

    Loved this lovely story! There is never too much love in this world. If I was looking for a husband I’d be almost tempted to try the expat life in Saudi-Arabia after reading these examples :)

  • AnonymousFebruary 17, 2013 - 5:30 am

    Wonderful love stories…Too bad not one of them a Saudi girl or a Saudi boy meeting each other and falling in love. :(

    • LaylaFebruary 21, 2013 - 11:24 am

      Surely there are stories like that too, I do know some from the hospital where doctors that had met at work got married.ReplyCancel

  • salwa abdulrahmanFebruary 20, 2013 - 9:18 am

    awwww……hw sweet….i wish saudi arabia wud give a li’l more freedom 4 the girls…especially regarding driving n all….
    by the way, layla- i just luuuuuuuuuurve your blog…..i’m totally hooked 2 it nowadays….
    great going…!!!!!ReplyCancel

    • LaylaFebruary 21, 2013 - 11:23 am

      thank you Salwa!ReplyCancel

    • pushpdeepMarch 5, 2014 - 9:16 pm

      its trueReplyCancel

  • AnonymousFebruary 21, 2013 - 10:58 am

    Do you have any stories about Muslim couples. Its easy to meet people if you are not muslim and not practicing. What about practicing sisters and brothers new to the country or residents who find love. Is it easy too? I can not relate to your post becuase its about non muslims….ReplyCancel

    • LaylaFebruary 21, 2013 - 11:22 am

      Why would you think none of them were Muslims?ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousMarch 3, 2013 - 2:09 am

    Hi! I’m a Filipina nurse and met my American husband here in Riyadh Oct.2011,we got married in my country May 2012… :)ReplyCancel

  • JamilahMarch 14, 2013 - 9:26 am

    I am a Filipina and met my Saudi husband here in my workplace. Love is magic!!!ReplyCancel

    • roseDecember 8, 2013 - 10:40 pm

      I need help,, is it true that if a Saudi man asks the government for the request of marriage to an expat there is a negative result?they will put him in jail, remove his right to go out of the kingdom and be a nomad without a family name,iqama and will be removed as a Saudi citizen?ReplyCancel

      • LaylaDecember 11, 2013 - 1:58 pm

        First time I ever heard of such a thing, sounds like some sort propaganda to me. No base whatsoever.ReplyCancel

    • dianeSeptember 22, 2014 - 7:29 pm

      Hi. I’m a filipina married to a Saudi but currently staying in the Philippines because we got married here without his permission. Need help regarding marriage permission. ThanksReplyCancel

    • HadaJuly 16, 2015 - 12:09 pm

      @layla: i think its difficult for expat to marry a single saudi man. We know that their culture suggest to an arranged marriage by the saudi family, how did you both do it? Im very curious..ReplyCancel

  • hashSeptember 7, 2013 - 3:10 pm

    am Saudi girl i wanna american boyfriend how can i meet one ?ReplyCancel

  • Ramon MohamedFebruary 16, 2014 - 3:57 pm

    We didn’t meet in the kingdom but we got married there. I’m an expat and my wife is Saudi.. And the rest is history :)

    • LaylaFebruary 17, 2014 - 1:18 pm

      Hi Ramon, that brings the question, where DID you meet :)ReplyCancel

  • jessie jayneMarch 31, 2014 - 2:10 pm

    i love reading all the stories here… i met my husband too here in ksa.. he is a saudi man and i am a filipina working here as a nurse…ReplyCancel

  • SnowOctober 16, 2014 - 12:50 am

    Hi I am a UK nurse preparing to go to KSA. Interesting blog!
    It is nice to know that there is a hope meeting a decent man.ReplyCancel

  • snowOctober 17, 2014 - 1:18 am

    I am a UK nurse applying for a job as an anaesthetic nurse. Does anyone know whether the nursing role and responsibilities are similar to UK?ReplyCancel

    • LaylaOctober 17, 2014 - 2:44 pm

      Hi there snow,
      The roles and duties are pretty much the same but here in Saudi I found that compared to Finland, the nurses have very little decision making responsibilities. All orders must go through the doctor. In Finland nurses can administer certain drugs without having to ask dr permission first, for example. So the overall feeling is for me as a western nurse, that nurses are not trusted or viewed as highly as professionals as back home. But this is normal for the Asian nurse for example, and the workplaces are mixed with many different nationalities all used ot different kinds of nursing styles..
      You can read more about that in the post “Saudi Hospitals, Bureaucracy and BullyingReplyCancel

      • snowOctober 18, 2014 - 4:06 pm

        Thanks a lot Layla,
        I will check that page.
        I did my nursing in Bulgaria but working now for 10 years in UK and I am British citizen.
        We did have a lot of freedom making decisions and giving some drugs back home. I haven’t been in a Ward in UK but only theatres where everything is applied and prescribed by anaesthetist. I have only given drugs in emergency under direct supervision. Putting peripheral canula in BG was only nursing task but in UK is doctor’s responsibility.
        I am researching now where is better as a expat community and if I am offered a job to know in advance whether to accept. It is good to know more of how the work is organized.ReplyCancel

  • Dee MangalinoNovember 12, 2014 - 10:33 am

    I’m not aware that there are a number of Finnish Healthcare workers in Saudi. What I know is that most female western expats came from the US and the UK.ReplyCancel

    • LaylaNovember 12, 2014 - 12:20 pm

      There are actually surprisingly many but they normally all work in the two or three specific government hospitals here like National Guard and KFSH.ReplyCancel

  • Nisar MughalSeptember 4, 2015 - 10:28 am

    I need a temporary marriage here in Saudi ArabiaReplyCancel

    • Laura of ArabiaSeptember 7, 2015 - 3:16 pm

      What is temporary marriage in reality? it’s prostitution. and if you have a wife abroad it’s also cheating and infidelity.ReplyCancel

    • Khalid ShakirJuly 5, 2018 - 1:40 pm

      wow, interesting love stories, i love keep reading all and more… but my bad luck it is 3rd year now here in Riyadh no friend no love… i wish i have a girl friend here …..(!)ReplyCancel

  • Jesseca IsagaApril 29, 2016 - 6:19 pm

    How those people date each other while they are in the kingdom? Isn’t that allowed?ReplyCancel

  • Kathy BurkeApril 7, 2021 - 2:30 am

    Hi! This is late to this storyline, but I am an Aussie and my husband was with British Aerospace in Dhahran. I worked at KFMMC as Head Nurse of the ICU. We met at a Scuba Dive Club on a Brit compound in 1994 and actually had a Shariah Marriage in Dammam in 1995, to be safe, and discovered it is valid worldwide.
    We are still together and living in Australia now.ReplyCancel

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