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Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia, and the Kingdom’s largest and most populous city. The city spans an area of 1,798 square kilometers, and boasts a population of more than six and a half million people.
Riyadh is located on a plateau up to 600 meters above sea level in the eastern part of the Najd Plateau. It is 389 km away from Dammam, 869 km from Medina, 880 km from Mecca, 1048 km from Ar Rass, 1310 km from Tabuk, 1245 km from Jazan, 641 km from Hail, 338 km from Buraydah, and 1051 km from Abha.
The climate of the city of Riyadh is characterized by hot, dry weather in the summer with a great variation in temperature during the winter months
Rain falls irregularly, but when it does it is usually limited to between November and May.
Riyadh plays hosts to the central government bodies, the Royal Court headquarters, and the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. In addition, all ministries and government agencies, most of the major local and international banks and corporations and a large number of governmental and private health institutions are based within the city.
There are many public and private universities and colleges in Riyadh, the most prominent of which are: King Saud University, Imam Mohammad Bin Saud Islamic University, Saudi Electronic University, Arab Open University, Prince Sultan University, Riyadh Elm University, Faculties of the Arab East and Princess Noura University
The capital city of Riyadh offers a number of museums belonging to official bodies, private entities and groups. The Saudi National Museum is located in King Abdulaziz Historical Center. The total area of its two-storey building is 28,000 square meters
Riyadh also hosts the Island Falcon Museum of Aviation, the Museum of Currencies, and the Archaeological Museum at King Saud University, the Heritage Museum of Arts and Crafts, and the Peninsula Museum
Riyadh hosts the annual Janadria Cultural Heritage Festival which was launched in 1985 and attracts large numbers of visitors from both inside and outside the Kingdom. The capital is also famous for the Festival of Dates and the Spring Festival of Riyadh
The historic city of Ad’Diriyah, located on the north-west fringes of the city, served as the capital of the first Saudi state and was the original home of the Saudi Royal Family. The city is a very popular tourist destination and it features a variety of fascinating places to discover. These include the Turaif district (the place of government and the ruling family), which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and includes a number of magnificent buildings, the Salwa Palace, the house of money and other huge mud constructions. Other places of interest include the Guest House and the At-Turaif Bath House, courtyards, a mosque and much more.
Riyadh has many significant and famous landmarks such as Al Faisaliah Tower, The Kingdom Tower, King Abdullah Financial Center, Riyadh Zoo, King Khalid International Airport, Wadi Hanifah, and Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque.
Riyadh also features many archaeological sites such as the gates of the city of Riyadh (Al-Thumairi’s Gate or Bab Al-Thumairi, Bab al-Suwailim, Bab Dakhna or Dechnh’s Gate, Bab al-Mazhab, Bab al-Shemesy). There are four historical palaces: Qasr al-Muammark, Qasr al-Murabba, Qasr al-shemesy, Palace of Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman.
Riyadh is a shoppers paradise, and is home to a number of lavish shopping malls located around the city including Al Nakheel Mall, The Kingdom Centre Tower, Riyadh Gallery Mall, Granada Center, Panorama Mall, Centria, Al Hamra Mall, and Hayyat Mall to name but a few.
The amount of leisure based activities in Riyadh has expanded rapidly over recent years. Some of our recommendations for a fun day in the city include:
Universal Bowling Centre
Strike Bowling Alley
SAKAB Equestrian Club of Riyadh
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