The sleek lines of the desert define Riyadh’s aesthetic; it is a city the colour of sand, diamonds and gold, all of which can also be found in abundance. You can actually take a guided diamond hunt in the desert, complete with a professional to guide your search for precious stones. The desert is the key venue for recreation in Riyadh (for the obvious reason that it’s there and the ocean and Alps aren’t), the others being souks and museums. A camel ride or four-wheel drive into the local Bedouin desert communities is a must, with barbecue dinners, traditional dance performances and shopping for handmade crafts. If the desert sings your song, try an overnight camping adventure and sleep under the stars. Back in civilization, hit the historic Dira, Falcon and Gold souks; if you can’t find frankincense and myrrh, you’re sure to find high-end pearls. Shopping is the number one pastime for locals, so the Kingdom Centre Mall, with its “women’s only” level, is often packed. To beat the crowds and the afternoon heat, spend a few hours on ice at the Salaam Mall skating rink.
P.O. Box 231000
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tel. +966 (1) 211-5000
Fax +966 (1) 211-5001
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