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Riyadh: a city of modern skylines

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  • Adults (12+ years)
    Child (2-11 years)
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    Each infant should be accompanied by one adult. When an infant fare is booked, the infant will be seated on the parent’s lap.

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    Each infant should be accompanied by one adult. When an infant fare is booked, the infant will be seated on the parent’s lap.

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Book a flight to Riyadh with Qatar Airways

Book a flight to Riyadh with Qatar Airways

Book a flight to Riyadh and visit Saudi Arabia's capital, one of the world's wealthiest cities. Its gleaming modern skyscrapers are in stark contrast to its historic culture and reserved atmosphere. Traditional dress codes are still observed here, and it is a great place to witness the juxtaposition of old and new.

The summer months are best avoided, as temperatures can exceed 50 Celsius.

Riyadh highlights

Kingdom Centre Tower’s Skybridge will give you an excellent preview of what’s to come in Riyadh – the National Museum, Masmak Fortress, Al-Dir'iyyah, 18 holes at Dirab Golf and Country Club, and dune-bashing in Thumama.

  • Tourist attractions

    There is no shortage of historical attractions to see during your trip to Riyadh, but visitors should be aware most sights are closed on Fridays and Saturdays. Everything shuts during prayer hours, so sightseeing needs to be carefully planned.

    In the heart of Old Riyadh, visit Masmak Fortress, restored in 2008. The museum inside recounts the story of King Abdul Aziz's raid on the complex in 1902. The main wooden door still carries the pockmarks of spearheads that became lodged in it during the battle.

    The city's most stunning sight is Kingdom Centre Tower, which is Saudi Arabia's second tallest building. The structure’s Skybridge is set into its 99th floor, connecting the twin points of the tower at a height of 300m. The best views of the city can be experienced after dark.

    Riyadh’s National Museum is one of the Middle East's finest. Here you will find galleries covering Arabic culture, history and art, and it is easy to spend a whole day there.

  • Leisure activities

    Travel to Riyadh and you'll find the area is home to several excellent golf courses. Tee off at the Dirab Golf and Country Club, just 30 minutes from the city, where you can also find a swimming pool and tennis courts.

    The Saudi royal family's ancestral home, Al-Dir'iyyah, was Saudi Arabia's capital until 1818. While you can't visit the old city ruins themselves, the surrounding area has plenty worth seeing and some excellent photo opportunities.

    ‘Dune bashing’ in a 4x4 at the Thumama sand dunes, or guided tours of the desert, are a great way to escape the city. Football is also a popular pastime here. Matches are held at King Fahd Stadium.

  • Food

    Saudi cuisine can be found throughout Riyadh, and it is possible to eat very well on a budget here. Traditional dishes, such as shawarma (meat and vegetables in pitta bread) and falafel (spiced chickpea fritters) are popular.

    Drinking tea is customary in Riyadh, but you will find it is usually served black. If you ask for milk, you may get sheep, goat or camel’s milk. Spending an afternoon at a traditional coffee house on Tahlia Street in Olaya is a great way to mingle with the locals.

    If you are in the mood for curry and rice, the city's Indian restaurants are a safe bet and Olaya Street offers plenty of choices. It's easy to find international cuisine here too. For breakfast or brunch, many of Riyadh's five-star hotels offer indulgent buffets, featuring a wide range of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes.

  • Shopping

    It is easy to find unusual souvenirs for friends and family when you travel to Riyadh. Head for Souq al-Thumairi or Lamma’ah for coffee pots, carpets, silver jewellery and handicrafts. You'll find English is widely spoken and haggling essential.

    The city's air-conditioned malls line many of Riyadh's main roads and offer welcome respite from the summer sun. Al Faisaliah, one of the city's most popular, is home to designer boutiques and department stores. Al Mamlaka is also a good place to find designer labels, with the third floor specially reserved for women.

Essential facts about Riyadh

Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip

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