King Saudi University in Riyadh has maybe one of the biggest libraries in Saudi Arabia, a seven floor building of the size of a big mall, each floor specialize in one general topic with arabic books on your right side, and other languages on the left side, and they change in size depends on the topic itself.
they even have a special closed room for what they call "Forbidden Books" intersting..maybe someday I will see them
al-Faisalia Tower is considered one of highest two buildings in Saudi Arabia.
It has a mall, hotel and luxurious restuarants. You can enjoy watching Kenyan Dance at Brazilian restuarants.
It's located in the center of Riyadh, where you can have access to hopspitals, shoppings and other transportation.
al-Mamlaka Tower (the Kingdom) is also one of highest building in Saudi. It's around 10-minute drive from al-Faisalia Tower.
It also has a fancy 3-floor mall and restuarants.
It's also located in the middle of Riyadh city. You can have easy access to all other accommodation and facilities.
Another place west of Riyadh features an outcrop of rocks with ancient petroglyphs. The artwork provides images of animals once common but long since extinct in the region. Near the petroglyphs are some excellent sand dunes. This is off the highway an hour or so west of Riyadh. We camped in the area, away from the dunes. Exact driving instructions will require help from another expat once you arrive in the city. Actually to get to the petroglyphs a 4x4 isn't exactly necessary, although I'd convoy with one. The entrance is an unpaved but flat road grazed on either side by camels. And for those 4x4 SUVs planning to ply the dunes, don't do it alone! Even 4x4 vehicles can get stuck.
Right, what to do there?
The answer is: very little. Yes, the city does offer excellent shops and nice food, but it's not worth the trip unless (like me) you have business to do in there. However, it does offer some little gems like the citadel (see my other tip) and a unique glimpse of how life in the most conservative country in the world may be. Enjoy!
The restaurant is very cool , a blend of chinese art with a modern touch . There is a big "gong " in front of the restaurant and it has many cool chinese lantern .
Offers chinese and japanese food ...
A set of dinner of SR 20 for rice/noodle + 2 dishes + corn soup + drink + a slice of cake
Should sit on the upper level .
You may can't believe this desert region can host the largest dairy farm in the world.
Well, Al Karj area, about an hour drive south Riyadh, host the largest dairy industry in the Kingdom where more than 70% of dairy products produced daily.
Al Safi Farm is the largest integrated dairy farm in the world. (Guinness Book of World Records 1998). You can plan a visit to the farm, you need to contact the company and they sure will welcome your visit to see where 35% of the local dairy market come from.
The farm is located in the Al Sahba Valley some 100 kilometers south-east of Riyadh, not far from Al Kharj.
3,500 hectares (35 square kilometers).
Over 32,000 head of Holstein Friesian cattle.
600,000 liters of milk processed daily.
14 fully automated milking parlors.
Another large dairy products producers Al Marai also welcomes visitors to its farm in Al Kharj area and as I heard from the company's officials, they organize daily trips for school students.
Look at: www.almarai.com
or call: +966 1 4700005
In the numerous trips to the Petroglyphs or Canyonland areas, one passes grazing camels. These animals can be quite large, and in colors ranging from white to black. They are intelligent animals that are usually quite friendly, but not particularly interested in the visitor. Camels don't bread naturally and need the help of their caretakers to do so.
Anyone visiting Riyadh should try and time it so they can attend the Janadriyah Cultural Festival. In 2003 it was held in February.
It pays to ring first though - it is divided into men-only, women-only and family days.
On the women-only days they have activities such as henna-etching and arabic make-up displays which aren't there on the other days.
This year, I went on family day. I managed to take heaps of pics - including ones of women in hijab.
They have lots of working displays of things like carpet-weaving, potterymaking, woodcarving.
There are Arabian dancers and singers, the armed forces all have displays - and are all happy to be photographed.
You can buy heaps of jewellery, perfume, shesha, halwa, wooden and ceramic stuff etc.
There is a copy of the old Medinna with people actually using the shops - it has a real old-city feel to it, even though it's a replica.
The main door of the Masmak fortress (which you can see in the pic) still bears the head of a spear inside, dating back from the 1902 siege when king Abdul Aziz reconquered the kingdom. At that point, the legend goes, one of Abdul Aziz's soldiers heaved the spear so strongly in order to force the door open that the head is still inside.
You can still see the head of the spear in the central part of the smaller door which is built inside the main door.
Located 80 miles west of the center of Riyadh, you'll find the magnificent Hidden Valley (as called by expatriates). It is composed of cliffs, huge rock formations and a vast interesting sand dunes that formed an enclave.
Most expats who lived in Riyadh for a long time have visited this place several times, it does not cease to amaze people coming here. Go up the top of the cliffs which may take 15 minutes to climb, the view is just marvelous. It's just a pity that most people who come to this place leaves uneraseable (is that a word?) grafitti on the faces of the huge boulders of rock with spray paints and pentel pens.
Souq Azal or carpet market is one of the oldest markets in Riyadh, but carpet is not the only thing you will see there.
you will find some original authntic crafts and Copper such as coffee tools and kitchenware.
this souq also sells Original "Oud" or traditional perfumes.
you will love it there, the people, the old way of selling, the poets..etc..etc..etc
This gate lies just outside the citadel, and is the product of a very sophisticated restoration of the gates that used to stand all around the old town before 1950, when someone decided to tear the walls down.
The gate is not too enjoyable since it lies behind a busy street, but is worth a hop to get a feeling of arab architecture.
Winner of the Empire Skyscraper award for 2002, this 302-metre tall building truly has changed the profile and image of the whole capital of Saudi Arabia.
Its shape is visible from pretty much any corner of the city. It makes for an alluring sight especially at night, when the 100-metre-tall hole at the top (which earned the building the "bottle opener" nickname) is lit with different colours.
The building hosts a hotel, a design award winning shopping mall with a floor that is reserved for ladies, some apartments, offices, a fancy restaurant on the 77th floor, right below the hole, and a corridor that crosses over the hole.
I was mesmerised by its sheer grandeur ...its architecture ..the lights ..and shaped liked an elongated pyramid which reaches for the sky .
There is a mall at the bottom of the tower and I heard you can watch some African or Brasilian dance in the restaurant too ...wow