Holidays to Riyadh

Saudi Arabia’s momentous capital, Riyadh shimmers with progress and modernity amid the kingdom’s ancient landscapes. The seat of Saudi’s rulers, it rises out of the barren desert plateau of the country’s interior, its humble origins as a sleepy oasis town now a distant murmur amongst the din of transformation and Saudi’s ambitious vision for the future.

Despite its modern innovation, remnants of Riyadh’s resplendent past still litter the capital’s skyscraper-shaded streets, with the glimmer of steel giving way to the earthen foundations of a nostalgic old town, where the Arabia of a bygone era is more than a mere vision conjured by romantics. Indeed, centuries-old Saudi traditions still remain strong throughout Riyadh, with bustling souks sending spice-laden aromas wafting through the streets and drawing in locals who barter for rich textiles, traditional handicrafts and lustrous jewels. In stark contrast to Riyadh’s charming souks, you’ll also find luxury shopping malls agleam with marble plus chic art galleries brimming with contemporary pieces. So too you’ll discover an increasingly cosmopolitan culture driven by Saudi Arabia’s youthful population, with the Riyadh locals flocking to the city’s increasing number of cafés to mingle over cardamom-tinted cups of Arabic coffee.

Outside the city you will find the soul of modern Saudi Arabia. Less than twenty kilometres west lies UNESCO-protected Diriyah, where the Al Saud dynasty was forged and which served as the capital of the Emirate of Diriyah under the rule of the first Saudi dynasty between 1727 and 1818. For further historical immersion, consider visiting the Riyadh-based Al Masmak Fortress, an imposing clay and mudbrick rampart dating to the 19th century which played an integral role in the Unification of Saudi Arabia.

An essential part of any holiday to Saudi Arabia, be sure to visit Riyadh for a glimpse into the Saudi Arabia of the past, present and future.




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