La Casa Cubana: Cuban Cigars in Riyadh

My British boss here smokes two Cuban cigars every day. He's been here for 4 and a half years, and his logic is that smoking cigars is the one vice he can enjoy here without getting hassled by the Saudi police. Technically, smoking is "haram," -- forbidden -- in Islam, and the police here do accost Saudis and Muslim ex-pats when they're caught smoking cigars. It's just not common here and cigars are often mistaken for ganja or some other illicit weed. 

La Casa Cubana's foyer and smoking area.

Nestled away off of a busy thoroughfare is La Casa Cubana. I was blown away to discover this hidden gem in an otherwise very dull city. The shop only sells Cuban cigars. It sells all the major brands in a well-stocked, walk-in humidor.

One wall of the humidor.

Most of the cigars were still boxed so I wasn't able to inspect them to find the ring size and length I prefer. Finally, I asked for help and one of the staff pointed me to the Cohiba Maduros.  I picked out six of them and left the humidor to purchase my little collection.

I discover the price of vice in Riyad!

I didn't think I'd be smoking may cigars here, so I left my cutters and accessories back home. I ordered a cutter along with my cigars, and the shop owner gladly rang me up for the equivalent of $380! The cutter alone was over $100. This hobby is going to be an expensive habit, so my plan is only to smoke on special days. And tomorrow, 1 January 2014, happens to be a special day. I'll enjoy my smoke tomorrow. But for now, Happy New Years to everyone at home. Let's all hope that 2014 will be a happy and prosperous day for all of us. Cheers!