- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll dominate the underground nightlife in Saudi Arabia, according to a diplomatic cable released by the website WikiLeaks.

“Saudi youth get to enjoy relative social freedom and indulge fleshly pursuits, but only behind closed doors — and only the rich,” says the Nov. 18, 2009, confidential memo from the U.S. consulate in the port city of Jeddah. “[This] freedom to indulge carnal pursuits is possible merely because the religious police keep their distance when parties include the presence or patronage of a Saudi royal and his circle of loyal attendants.”

The cable describes a Halloween party, hosted by a prince from the Al-Thunayan family, where “the scene resembled a nightclub anywhere outside the Kingdom: plentiful alcohol, young couples dancing, a DJ at the turntables, and everyone in costume.”

The memo claims that some of the 150-plus guests were “working girls” and that this was “not uncommon for such parties.”

Though it does not mention drugs at this particular party, it claims that “cocaine and hashish use is common in these social circles and has been seen on other occasions.”

Says the cable: “Behind the facade of Wahabi conservatism in the streets, the underground nightlife for Jeddah’s elite youth is thriving and throbbing. The full range of worldly temptations and vices are available — alcohol, drugs, sex — but strictly behind closed doors.”