Bucket List: Best Things to See and Do in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Riyadh is the state capital of Saudi Arabia, and its name means ‘The Gardens’ in the Arabic language. It is the largest city in the entire Arabian Peninsula, located in the midst of the Nefud desert, which covers the eastern side of the Najd plateau. This city’s tourism industry is highly promoted by creating several tourist attractions and holding exciting events here. The digital facility has made air ticket booking much simpler for tourists who want to reach Riyadh from foreign countries in any part of the world.
Few most famous tourist attractions in Riyadh
It is an ancient town located on the northwest side of Riyadh. It is mainly noted for several old buildings made of mud and bricks. It was the capital of the Diriyah Emirate and the home of the royal family of this country earlier. Al-Turaif is the center point of this place that is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its historic importance and rich cultural background. It has a thousand years or even more history when it was just an oasis by the Wadi Hanifa River. The former palace of the royal family now serves as Diriyah Museum to showcase the local history. The ancient Al-Zawihra Mosque is another tourist attraction that is now revived.
Kingdom Centre Tower
It is the tallest skyscraper in Saudi Arabia, with a height of 302.3 meters, holding 99 floors. It was opened in 2002 for commercial and residential purposes, spreading over 100,000 square meters. It houses the huge Al-Mamlaka shopping mall, the Four Seasons Hotel, offices, and several luxury residential apartments. There is a skyway at the top of this tower, 65 meters long and made of steel. There are two elevators to take people to the upper floors of this tower. Five stories hold residential apartments, while thirteen stories have offices of commercial companies.
This historic fort is also called Masmak Palace, built of mud-brick and clay. It is located in Al-Dirah, a locality in the southern part of Riyadh. It was built in 1865 for a Saudi prince and was the property of the Rashidi Emirate. There is a magnificent gate made of coconut timber on the western wall of this palace, which has a unique opening called Al-Khokha at its center through which only one person can pass in or out. A mosque was built to the left of this gate, which consists of a large room with a Mihrab or indication to the direction of Mecca, as well as several shelves on the wall for placing copies of the Quran. There is a conical watchtower on each corner of this mosque.
Al Faisaliyah Centre
This is the fourth tallest tower in Saudi Arabia, built by Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal in 2000 and named after him. It is a commercial tower built over the land of 240000 square meters, designed by the reputed British architectural firm Foster + Partners. This tower of height 267 meters comprises 30 floors housing different offices and an observation deck at the height of 200 meters from the ground. Tourists can view the entire Riyadh from this deck and then proceed to enjoy dinner in the restaurant called ‘The Globe’ at the sphere above this deck. This tower is also nicknamed the Star Dome due to this sphere at its pointed top.
This museum was started in Riyadh in 1999 as a part of the King Abdulaziz Historical Centre. It was designed by the famous Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama, who used the color and form of red sand dunes found in the desert outside Riyadh. There are eight exhibition halls or galleries, each showcasing a distinct section of the history. Three halls are on the ground floor while the rest five are on the first floor.
It is locally called Malaz Zoo, and it also has an Arabic name that means ‘the garden of animals in Riyadh.’ It was opened in 1957 in al-Malaz, a neighborhood of Riyadh. It was built by King Saud bin Abdulaziz to keep the animals that he received as gifts from other countries. Now, this huge zoo built over an area of 55 acres consists of more than 1500 animals of 196 species. There are also some endangered species, like the Arabian desert leopard and Arabian oryx.
Thus, a pleasurable trip to Riyadh can be thoroughly enjoyable for all foreign tourists who want to make wonderful memories of their leisure time.
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