A Commercial Capital: Riyadh
Situated in the middle of the Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia. It is a large city with a population of 6 million. It is the leading city where Islamic rules are strictly followed. Turks conquered the city when Yavuz Sultan Selim was on the Hedjaz campaign. However, due to lack of commercial activities and humid climate, urbanization didn't happen right away.
Like in the rest of the Arabian Peninsula, the city is oil-rich. Riyadh have begun to grow and developed after 1950s. Desert climate is dominating the city. In the summer, it is over 50 degrees and quite sultry. It is only during the winter and fall that the weather is reasonable.
Where to Visit in Riyadh
Riyadh is famous with its commercial centres. It is home to many business firm and quite rich. Riyadh have been successful to attract many business men. You might see many luxurious automobiles and houses. Shopping malls are home to many famous fashion brands.
The National Museum of Riyadh is among the places where tourists first visit when they come to Riyadh. The architecture of the museum is attractive and reflects the Arab architecture. It resembles the Arab houses. There are many galleries and sections. The elaborate structure of the museum have many references to Arab culture and history. The sections are concentric. This represents the creation. The museum have modern structure. There are many historical documents, objects, swords, arrows and military material. Also, the museum can be visited with an English audio guide.
The Murabba Palace, right next to the National Museum of Riyadh is a squared shaped structure as the name suggests. It is 160 m2 huge building. It was build by King Aziz in 1945. It resembles the desert with the building materials of sand and stone. It has 32 rooms. In 1960s, the palace was turned into an open air gallery. It is an attractive place both for tourists and photographers. Especially during the sunset, it is a place of riot of colors.
Qasr Al-Masmak was built two centuries ago by using stone blocks and it still stands today in its original form. It is very remarkable with its particular architecture. By the help of its strong structure, it is preserved as it is. The interior of the fortress is a museum. There are many rooms where historical objects, military material, photographs, ethnographic material and kings' belongings are exhibited.
Many important buildings are named after the kings. One of the is the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center, situated in the most important part of the city. The centre has a large campus and opens its doors for cultural activities. The complex is also home to the public library, the national museum and the Murabba mosque. There are also many parks where people can relax and eat.
Like in othe Arabian cities, there are many large, gorgeous and modern buildings. Al-Mamlaka, the symbol of the city, is often referred as the Kingdom Tower. 320 meter tower can be seen from a far distance. There are many business centres and shopping malls where tourists flow.
Al Malaz Zoo, also known as Riyadh Zoo, is home to many different species. It is a nice place with an authentic structure. Another touristic attraction is Al-Yamamah Palace which hosts every kind of luxury.
There are many places to see in Riyadh. It combines modern and the traditional. It is a unique geography which is home to modern buildings as well as mud houses.