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Book a flight to Gassim and explore Saudi Arabia's more conservative side. Gassim Province is home to Buraydah, its capital city and the city of Onaizah. Located in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula, the city and region thrive on agriculture – dates, lemons and oranges are grown here.
From the bustling markets and cultural attractions of the cities to the rural towns and villages of Gassim, there is plenty to discover. You can fly to Gassim with Qatar Airways and uncover this jewel in Saudi Arabia's crown for yourself.
On your trip to Gassim, you will find many of the region's popular tourist attractions can be found in Buraydah, the capital city. The Museum of Buraydah is filled with artefacts from the area, including King Abdul Aziz's car. Buraydah Water Tower is one of the city's main attractions, with some spectacular views of the city from the top.
The traditional town of Mehtnab in Gassim is well worth visiting. Here you will find Mahlis Market with its beautiful ancient architecture and Qasr Bahilah Mosque.
Another city in the region you must visit is Onaizah, the province's second city. In the heart of the city, the Al-Msowkfaf Market and adjacent museum are the perfect place to watch local handicrafts being made and purchase traditional items as souvenirs of your visit.
During the summer months, families and couples head to King Khalid Park and Gardens in Buraydah to relax and enjoy a picnic. Gulf Park entertainment complex is also a popular spot with its swimming pool and arcade games. Buraydah Handicraft Centre is worth visiting if you are interested in watching the skill of local artisans.
In Onaizah, you will find the largest theme park in Gassim, Dream Land, with rides and entertainment for the whole family. Travel to Gassim during the summer, when temperatures can hit 43 degrees, and stroll around the city's markets for a relaxing way to spend your day.
Travel to Gassim and you'll find that dining in the province has international appeal. It is easy to find everything from Saudi Arabian specialities to Indian, Chinese and Italian food. For authentic Eastern food, King Fahad Street in Buraydah is home to a number of high-quality, traditional restaurants where you can eat for an affordable price.
Some of the finest food in Onaizah can be found along Ash Shabili. Of course, you'll also find the usual fast-food options. But for lunch on-the-go, why not try a Saudi Arabian fast food restaurant for a different take on American burgers and fries.
Shopping in Onaizah revolves around the city's malls. Onaizah Mall, opened in 2009, is the place to find international brands, as well as restaurants and cafés. City Plaza is a good place to source global brands at more affordable prices. For an authentic taste of Saudi Arabian culture, Al-Msowkfaf Market, which dates back to 1394 and was re-built in 1428, boasts traditional design. The market is renowned for its authentic local souvenirs and handicrafts; if you're lucky, you may be able to watch handicrafts being made.
On your trip to Gassim, you must visit the Qassim Dates Market in Buraydah – especially if you're in the city between August and September, during harvest season. Here you can try deliciously sweet fresh dates and also find a range of date confectionery. It's also worth travelling to the city's outskirts to see the world's largest camel market, which opens at 6am every day; it's a spectacular sight. As well as camels, you'll find leather saddles, bridles and accessories such as woollen blankets for sale. Just make sure you get there early, as the market usually closes by 10am.
Travel to Gassim and you will find that this part of Saudi Arabia is known as a conservative area, particularly Buraydah. Women are advised to dress modestly. You should also ensure you dress respectfully when visiting religious sites.
Bear in mind that Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country, and the weekend is considered to be Friday and Saturday. This means attractions and shops will be closed. Many shops also close their doors during prayer times.
Flights to Gassim with Qatar Airways arrive at Prince Naif Regional Airport, around 30km from Buraydah city centre. You must have a passport that is valid for at least six months before flying to Gassim.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Gassim please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Saudi Riyal (SAR)
Voltage: 127 / 220 V 60 Hz
Plugs: Type A / B / F / G
International dialing code: +966