"home sweet home" Top 5 Page for this destination Riyadh by TomorrowsAngel

Riyadh Travel Guide: 526 reviews and 1,049 photos

I arrived in Riyadh on the 11th June 2002. My job is based in Riyadh for most of the year, but I've been lucky and got to spend the last 2 summers in Jeddah.

Riyadh, today’s capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, emerged from the ruins of Hajr Al-Yamama city (ancient city dating back to the time of the Tasm and Judais tribes). The fortresses and castles built by these tribes were said to have existed until the beginning of the fourth Hijra (Islamic) century.
The name Ar-Riyadh (a plural of Rawdah in Arabic means orchard or green garden) hmmm.

Today, Riyadh is one of the fastest growing and most prosperous cities in the world. In less than half a century, its residents increased from 20,000 to approximately four million. (As in the WHOLE population of New Zealand).
Riyadh has an increasing number of high-tech glass, steel and concrete buildings, but ugly apartment buildings built in the 60s and 70s still feature heavily downtown.
Riyadh has all the standard chain hotels, large modern hospitals, plus the biggest airport in the world.
The centre of Riyadh - Al-Bathaa - is the oldest part of the city. Al Bathaa is home to the bus station, post office and batha souk.
Most of Riyadh's places to stay are near the bus station, as are the coffee shops and shwarma stands.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:hussle and bustle of the souks
  • Cons:those young (and not so young) boyracers
  • In a nutshell:disappear down in Baatha or grab a latte at Starbucks - the best of old and new reigns supreme
  • Last visit to Riyadh: Apr 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (14)

Comments (56)

  • Marisola's Profile Photo
    Jun 20, 2008 at 9:42 AM

    What are you doing in Saudi? I loved my time in the Middle East! What a great experience!

  • Aug 13, 2007 at 7:56 AM

    oh olaya steet is a very posh steet .With some beautiful shopping mall around it . I would love to hang out there .Specially the computer market where in u get latest gadgets but be ware of softland & binaries .Both sell china items as made in usa .

  • hjohnso4's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2007 at 11:02 PM

    Great insights and photos! A new job had me back in Riyadh - recent changes/construction are quite something.

  • alywang's Profile Photo
    Mar 29, 2007 at 1:32 AM

    The Kingdom Tower looks so amazing!

  • Dec 29, 2006 at 3:15 AM

    Hey There, Its good you are getting out and about, I work at Al-Kharj and live in Riyadh, if you want some company or can show me more of this amazing place then get in touch!

  • Rubik's Profile Photo
    Oct 16, 2006 at 9:03 AM

    Hi Bec! fabulous pages! hope to visit Riyadh one day

  • ivanab's Profile Photo
    Sep 26, 2006 at 12:54 AM

    nice page for getting a first impression of the city. My boyfriend just went to work there and thanks to you, this city is not such a big mistery anymore...

  • Khalid_eg's Profile Photo
    Jul 26, 2006 at 7:04 AM

    u walk in batha without covering ur hair.. how come :).. and..hehehehe.. why u hide ur face in the photos :), dun worry i won't follow u :)) * kidding* anyway,, nice pages :)

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    May 3, 2006 at 5:26 PM

    Interesting combination...Souks and Saks 5th Avenue--what diverse shopping. THANKS,you make Riyadh look very exciting!!

  • Apr 15, 2006 at 12:58 PM

    hallo, i'm moving to riyadh for two years in september, just starting to do some research on my new home. thanks for the page, grateful for any other tips or advice you have. colum

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