Perched high upon a desert plateau in the Arabian Peninsula, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s capital city is a bustling metropolis where industry, glamorous hotels, world-class dining and ancient culture collide. Towering skyscrapers rise unapologetically out of the surrounding desert, hinting at the city’s burgeoning economy, although there’s far more to Riyadh than opulent buildings.
Colourful souks, such as Qaisariah Souk in Al Hofuf, and Al-Zal, are beloved of locals and tourists alike, while those in search of culture should head to the Al Murabba Palace. On the edge of the city, Ad Diriyah, the original capital, is well worth a visit, and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. There’s plenty for ardent shoppers, too. Riyadh boasts more than 50 malls, the largest of which can be found on Olaya Road and Tahlia Street, while the popular Souq al-Thumairi is located next to the Masmak Fort.