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Best areas to buy and invest in property in Riyadh

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property investment Riyadh

Yes, the analysis of Riyadh's property market is included in our pack

The question of 'the best neighborhood to buy a property in Riyadh' does not have a one-size-fits-all answer.

Some of you are buying to live there, while others want to make the best investment possible. Individual preferences and circumstances matter.

That’s why the article below is covering every intent.

At SandsOfWealth, when we write a blog post or when we update our our property pack for Saudi Arabia, we want to bring solutions and cover different aims in a clear and organized way.

Enjoy the read, and please remember that we are not financial or investment experts. This article is for informational purposes only.

To improve the readability and user-friendliness of this article, we will categorize neighborhoods in Riyadh into various groups, including budget-friendly options, emerging hotspots, and areas with high rental demand, among others. Consequently, some neighborhoods may appear in multiple categories and be mentioned several times throughout the article.

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buying property in Riyadh

How is the real estate market in Riyadh?

The real estate market in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, is quite fascinating and presents unique strengths that make it an attractive location for a wide array of buyers, including a growing interest from foreign investors.

Understanding these nuances is key to appreciating why the city is becoming a hot spot for real estate.

Firstly, let's delve into the strengths of Riyadh.

The city is not just an economic powerhouse but also a cultural and political hub. Its uniqueness lies in its blend of modern development and rich cultural heritage.

Unlike many other global cities, Riyadh offers a living experience that closely intertwines contemporary urban lifestyles with traditional Arabian elements. This blend is rare and attracts people who appreciate both modernity and cultural richness.

Now, why do people want to buy in Riyadh?

The city's strong economy, fueled by its position in the global oil market, provides stability and growth potential, which is a significant draw.

Additionally, Riyadh is undergoing massive urban development projects, like the King Abdullah Financial District, which are not only transforming the city’s skyline but also its infrastructure and public amenities. Such developments enhance the quality of life and boost property values.

The buyers in Riyadh’s real estate market are diverse. They range from local families looking to settle in a city with a promising future, to business professionals attracted by the burgeoning economic opportunities.

Foreigners, especially, are showing increased interest. This is partly due to the Saudi government's recent reforms, like the introduction of the Saudi Green Card, which allows expatriates long-term residency. These reforms make it easier for foreigners to invest in real estate, seeing Riyadh as a lucrative opportunity.

Speaking of the market's dynamism, one data point that stands out is the significant year-on-year increase in residential real estate prices. This trend reflects the high demand and the city's ongoing development.

A unique aspect of Riyadh’s properties is the integration of smart city technologies. Many new developments are incorporating advanced technology for sustainability, security, and convenience.

This is quite specific to Riyadh, as it aligns with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 plan, aiming to diversify the economy and reduce oil dependency. These smart homes and buildings are a big plus, offering a living experience that’s both luxurious and future-proof.

Looking to the future, there are several reasons why properties in Riyadh are expected to gain value.

The city is at the heart of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, which includes significant investment in non-oil industries, tourism, and entertainment sectors.

Projects like NEOM, a planned cross-border city in the Tabuk Province of northwestern Saudi Arabia, though not directly in Riyadh, signal the country’s broader vision that positively impacts the capital city.

Additionally, the increasing globalization of Riyadh's economy means more multinational companies and expatriates are moving in, increasing demand for high-quality residential and commercial properties.

Top neighborhoods in Riyadh to consider for living

Areas in Riyadh that are budget-friendly

If you're looking to buy property in Riyadh on a budget, there are a few neighborhoods you might want to consider.

Here is a summary table. Below, we will give more details.

Neighborhood Property Types Average Price per Sqm Residents Pros Cons Potential for Value Increase
Al Izdihar Apartments, Small Villas Lower than central areas Middle-income families, Working professionals Cost-effective, Good connectivity Lacks high-end facilities Gradual increase expected
Al Malaz Older and Newer Apartments Reasonable Diverse, Young professionals to older residents Central location, Traditional-modern blend Can be crowded, Some areas feel dated Potential increase due to location
Al Narjis Villas, Townhouses Competitive Young families, Professionals Affordable, Spacious Less developed, Lacks advanced facilities Significant increase likely

Al Izdihar

Al Izdihar is known for its cost-effective housing options, making it a favorite among budget-conscious buyers.

The properties here are primarily apartments and small villas, catering well to small families or individual buyers. The average price per square meter in Al Izdihar is relatively lower than in more central areas of Riyadh, making it a smart choice for those on a tight budget.

It's a neighborhood mainly inhabited by middle-income families and working professionals, known for its decent amenities and good connectivity to other parts of the city.

However, it's worth noting that Al Izdihar may lack the charm and high-end facilities of more upscale neighborhoods. Despite this, with Riyadh's expansion and development, property values in Al Izdihar could see a gradual increase over the years, potentially making it a wise long-term investment.

Al Malaz

Al Malaz, another budget-friendly area, stands out for its blend of traditional and modern lifestyles.

This neighborhood offers a range of property types, from older, more affordable apartments to newly constructed units. The prices per square meter here are quite reasonable, especially when considering the neighborhood's central location in Riyadh.

Al Malaz is home to a diverse population, from young professionals to older, long-term residents, giving it a unique community feel. It has strong transport links and is close to various amenities, which adds to its appeal.

However, some parts of Al Malaz might feel a bit dated, and the hustle and bustle could be overwhelming for those seeking a quieter lifestyle.

With ongoing urban developments in Riyadh, Al Malaz could see an appreciation in property values, especially as it offers a convenient location with a touch of traditional Saudi culture.

Al Narjis

Lastly, Al Narjis is an up-and-coming neighborhood that's attracting attention for its affordability.

The area mainly offers villas and townhouses, suitable for families looking for spacious yet budget-friendly options. The average price per square meter in Al Narjis is competitive, especially considering the size and style of properties available.

The residents here are typically young families and professionals looking for a balance between affordability and a comfortable lifestyle.

While Al Narjis currently lacks some of the advanced facilities found in more developed areas, its potential for growth is significant. With Riyadh's continuous expansion, Al Narjis is poised to develop rapidly, which could lead to a substantial increase in property values in the near future.

However, for now, it remains a more subdued and less developed part of the city, ideal for those looking for quieter, more affordable living spaces.

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invest real estate in Riyadh

Areas in Riyadh that are popular and upscale

When looking to buy property in Riyadh, three neighborhoods stand out as upscale and popular choices. These neighborhoods each have their unique character and draw different types of residents.

Neighborhood Average Price/Sqm Resident Profile Strengths Weaknesses
Al Olaya & Sulaymaniyah SAR 10,000 - 12,000 Affluent professionals, expats Central location, amenities Crowded, high cost of living
Al Nakheel SAR 9,000 Wealthy families, professionals Serenity, community feel Less central
Diplomatic Quarter SAR 11,000 Diplomats, expats, officials Security, multicultural Isolated, limited commerce

Al Olaya & Sulaymaniyah

These neighborhoods are the heart of Riyadh's commercial and business activities.

They're expensive because they house high-end shops, offices, and luxurious residential properties. You'll find a mix of modern high-rises and elegant villas in Al Olaya & Sulaymaniyah.

The average price per square meter in Al Olaya & Sulaymaniyah is around SAR 10,000 to 12,000. Residents are typically affluent, including business professionals and expats. The area's strengths are its central location, vibrant lifestyle, and access to amenities.

However, it can get crowded, and the cost of living is high. Expect these neighborhoods to remain in-demand due to their status and development.

Al Nakheel

Known for its lush greenery and spacious villas, Al Nakheel is a high-end residential area.

It's pricey, with the average price per sqm around SAR 9,000 in Al Nakheel. The area attracts wealthy families and professionals seeking a tranquil, suburban lifestyle. You'll find excellent schools and recreational facilities here.

The neighborhood's strengths are its serene environment and sense of community, but it lacks the hustle and bustle of more central areas.

Al Nakheel is expected to maintain its popularity due to its unique blend of luxury and tranquility.

Diplomatic Quarter

This is where you'll find many embassies and international organizations.

It's an exclusive area, with strict security and well-maintained surroundings. Property prices in Diplomatic Quarter hover around SAR 11,000 per sqm. The residents are mostly diplomats, expatriates, and high-ranking officials.

The area boasts international schools, lush parks, and a multicultural atmosphere. The downside is its relative isolation and limited commercial activities.

However, its prestige and security are likely to keep it popular.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Riyadh

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Saudi Arabia. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market Riyadh

Areas in Riyadh that emerge as new hotspots

Let's explore these emerging neighborhoods in Riyadh that, according to our local partners and our customers, are getting quite a bit of buzz lately.

Neighborhood Average Price/Sqm Resident Profile Strengths Weaknesses
Al Malqa SAR 8,000 Young professionals, families Modernity, growth potential Developing identity
Al Yasmin SAR 7,500 Upper-middle-class families, young couples Contemporary, community feel Still under development
KAFD SAR 8,500 Professionals, investors Modern infrastructure Transitioning from commercial to residential

Al Malqa

Once a quiet residential area, Al Malqa is rapidly evolving into a vibrant neighborhood.

It's becoming popular due to its newer housing developments and proximity to major highways. Initially, it was more affordable in Al Malqa, but prices are rising, currently around SAR 8,000 per sqm.

The area attracts young professionals and families looking for modern living at a slightly lower cost than the most upscale areas. Al Malqa's strengths are its modernity and potential for growth.

However, it's still developing its identity and lacks the historical charm of older districts. Prices are expected to continue rising as the area develops further.

Al Yasmin

This neighborhood is gaining attention for its spacious, modern homes and growing amenities.

It started as a modest residential area but is now seeing an influx of cafes, shops, and lifestyle centers. The average price per sqm in Al Yasmin is about SAR 7,500, making it more affordable than the most upscale neighborhoods.

It appeals to middle to upper-middle-class families and young couples. The strengths of Al Yasmin include its contemporary feel and community vibe.

The downside is that it's still under development and may lack some facilities found in more established areas. Prices are likely to increase as it gains more popularity.

King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD)

Originally planned as a financial hub, KAFD is slowly transforming into a mixed-use area with residential properties.

Its evolution from a purely commercial zone to a living space is attracting a diverse crowd. Currently, prices are relatively lower than in premium neighborhoods in King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), around SAR 8,500 per sqm.

It draws a mix of young professionals, investors, and those interested in modern urban living. KAFD's strengths are its state-of-the-art infrastructure and potential for growth. However, it's still finding its footing as a residential area.

Prices are expected to rise as it becomes more established and recognized as a residential neighborhood.

Make a profitable investment in Riyadh

Better information leads to better decisions. Save time and money. Download our guide.

buying property in Riyadh

Top neighborhoods in Riyadh to invest in property

Areas in Riyadh with a strong rental demand

If you're considering buying real estate in Riyadh for renting it out, these neighborhoods with high demand for rentals should be considered.

Neighborhood Property Type Average Rental Income (Yearly) Rental Yield Tips and Weaknesses
Al Olaya Modern Apartments/Villas SAR 60,000 5-7% Focus near business centers; high competition
Al Malaz Modest Apartments/Small Houses SAR 35,000 6-8% Near parks/main streets; aging infrastructure
Diplomatic Quarter Luxurious Villas/Upscale Apartments >SAR 100,000 4-6% Close to embassies; high initial investment

Al Olaya

Al Olaya is a prime area for those looking to invest in rental properties, mainly because it's a business hub, attracting professionals and expats.

Tenants in Al Olaya are usually looking for modern apartments or high-end villas, prioritizing proximity to offices and commercial centers.

Rental income for a two-bedroom apartment in Al Olaya can average around SAR 60,000 per year, offering a rental yield of approximately 5-7%. To maximize rental income, focus on properties near key business centers and ensure modern amenities.

However, the high competition and occasional market saturation are potential drawbacks.

Al Malaz

Popular among young professionals and small families, Al Malaz is known for its vibrant lifestyle and accessibility to amenities like parks and sports facilities.

Rental demand in Al Malaz is high for modest apartments and small houses.

Expect to earn about SAR 35,000 annually for a two-bedroom apartment in Al Malaz, with yields around 6-8%. Opt for properties near parks or main streets to attract tenants.

However, be aware of the aging infrastructure in some parts of this neighborhood.

Diplomatic Quarter

This area attracts diplomats, high-ranking officials, and expatriates, who prefer luxurious villas or upscale apartments.

The rental income for a three-bedroom villa in Diplomatic Quarter can be upwards of SAR 100,000 per year, and yields can range from 4-6%.

Properties close to embassies or international schools are particularly in demand.

While the rental income is high, the initial investment is substantial, and the market can be volatile based on international relations.

Don't lose money on your property in Riyadh

100% of people who have lost money in Saudi Arabia have spent less than 1 hour researching the market. We have reviewed everything there is to know. Grab our guide now.

invest real estate in Riyadh

Areas in Riyadh where property prices might increase in the future

In these areas in in Riyadh you can still find properties at a reasonable price, with room for appreciation as the neighborhoods develop.

Neighborhood Property Type Average Price (Per Night) Tips and Challenges
Al Sulaimaniyah Modern Apartments SAR 500 Near restaurants/cafes; seasonal demand
Al Nakheel Spacious Apartments/Villas SAR 600 Near shopping centers; holiday-focused demand
Diriyah Traditional Dwellings/Boutique Hotels SAR 700 Blend of traditional/modern; cultural authenticity

Al Sulaimaniyah

Known for its cosmopolitan vibe, Al Sulaimaniyah is popular for short-term rentals among tourists and business travelers.

Guests here prefer modern apartments with amenities like WiFi and gyms. The average price for one night in a well-furnished apartment in Al Sulaimaniyah is around SAR 500.

Properties near popular restaurants and cafes in Al Sulaimaniyah tend to fetch higher rents and have lower vacancy rates.

The challenge in Al Sulaimaniyah is the fluctuating demand based on seasons and events.

Al Nakheel

This area attracts families and travelers looking for a quiet stay.

They usually seek spacious apartments or villas with family-friendly amenities. The average nightly rate in Al Nakheel is around SAR 600.

Investing in properties near shopping centers and family attractions can yield better rental income.

However, the demand might be more seasonal, focused on holidays and school vacation periods.


Rich in cultural heritage, Diriyah appeals to tourists interested in history and culture.

Guests often look for traditional dwellings or boutique hotels. The average nightly rate for a unique property in Diriyah can be around SAR 700.

Properties that offer a blend of traditional and modern amenities in Diriyah are particularly popular.

The challenge here is maintaining the balance between preserving cultural authenticity and providing modern comfort.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Riyadh

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Saudi Arabia. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market Riyadh