Riyadh the capital is the largest city in Saudi Arabia. It sits atop a large plateau. In Arabic the word “Arriyadh “means “the gardens” and the city does enough justice to the meaning of its name. It was King Saud who initiated the modernization of this beautiful city and today it has blossomed from a relatively narrow and isolated town into a vast and spacious metropolis.
About forty to forty-five years ago the population of Riyadh was a mere 100,000. Today it is close to seven million with around sixty one percent of those being native Saudi nationals. The maximum number of the expatriates living and working in the city are from the Indian sub-continent ( mainly Bangladesh , Pakistan and India ),Indonesia and the Philippines .There is also a substantial amount of workers from other Arab countries like Yemen , Sudan , Lebanon , Egypt and Syria .
Riyadh has many state of the art shopping malls. Some of the best malls in the world are located in this majestic city. It is indeed a shopper’s paradise with all the top brands and products available all across the city.
Riyadh City is a wonderful mixture of old and new. On one hand you get to see a number of old yet well preserved forts and palaces and on the other you see skyscrapers and modern infrastructure with the latest and the most advanced technology.
There is a lot to do and see in this wonderful city. The National Museum is one such place amongst others that needs to be visited. It houses a captivating representation of the rich history of Saudi Arabia from ancient to contemporary times. It is a humungous yet beautifully built structure with plenty of vast open spaces. In fact, the museum is so large that you need to come back a couple of times to thoroughly experience and enjoy everything that it has to offer.
Another place that merits a visit is the Al Faisaliyah centre. You can find a lot of clothing stores here. This well designed structure is surrounded by numerous Restaurants and eateries offering delicious cuisines from almost all parts of the world.
Built around 1865 under the reign of Mohammed ibn Abdullah ibn Rasheed , the Masmak Fortress holds a significant place in the history of Saudi Arabia. Today the fortress is a museum and is in the vicinity of the Clock Tower Square. It deserves a visit for its beauty and its place in the kingdom’s history and perhaps most importantly for its theme that is the heroism and bravery of King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud.
The capital of Saudi Arabia is a great and phenomenal city that ranks very high in history and culture and hence is a must visit for every traveler.