The Pet Souq in Riyadh

There’s a  Pet Souq in Riyadh.
Watching Rosella’s winging their way across a blue sky the other day reminded me of it.

Hubster and I went to the Riyadh Pet Souq after much pestering by me.  He wasn’t all that keen to go.  Mr Noor had taken him to the Pet Souq three or so years previously to find a talking parrot to keep him company because I wasn’t here.  (I’m not sure what that says about me).  The parrot was suggested because Hubster wasn’t so keen on the Pakistani taxi fraternity’s first idea for easing his loneliness – get a new wife. 

The talking parrots speak Arabic.

Glenn told me stories of baby gorillas in chains at the Pet Souq and powerful animal pee smell rising from the hot animal crap steaming on the ground outside.  I was expecting the worst.

It wasn’t that bad.  The Pet Souq has been cleaned up.  Hubster was pleasantly surprised with the effort.

The Pet Souq is south along Al Hair road.  My trusty camera had run out of battery so my trusty phone was called to sneak the photo’s.  I’d heard the folks at the pet souq weren’t keen on photography – that turned out to be a load of cods wallop (aka – not true).

The Pet Souq is basically a number of shops housed under one roof mostly selling various birds, fish, cats, rabbits and puppies.  Though many of the animals for sale are of the ‘take home as a pet’ variety I’m fairly certain most of the birds purchased from the Riyadh Pet Souq are destined for the crock pot or the chook house.  Quails, ducks, geese and hens can be found indoors.

Out the back in another area with more birds of various sizes and ages.  Some were so young they were being dropper feed some concoction which we were assured was good for the birds…

…and a couple of long legged baby beauty’s were proudly displayed for us that we think were ostriches.

There are a few stalls set up outside the main building selling trinkets, one guy with a few monkeys whose happiness looked questionable (the monkeys, not the guy) given they were squashed into a cage and on sale to this western couple for 600SAR each (we declined)…

Most fascinating were the number of sizable desert lizards.  Given that our forays into the Saudi desert are usually at a rapid vehicular pace or with extremely large groups of expats making lots of noise this would be the only time I would see, or touch, a desert lizard.  They were piled over each other in wire cages and, from memory, were on sale for 25SAR each, destined to be somebody’s delectable dinner. 

 There is, so I’ve heard, a tearoom type facility not far away where the bedouin blokes get together to show off their Master Chef lizard cooking skills.  I’d like to send Hubster along with a camera and an empty stomach.  He isn’t so keen.

If you’re looking for cheap pets this is where you’ll find them.  If you’re looking for happy animals receiving the highest quality care – well, perhaps the Pet Souq in Riyadh is not the place to go.
Location of Riyadh’s Pet Souq
Riyadh Pet Souq Co-ordinates: 24 35.2’ N; 46 44.6’ E

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Ka Kite,

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