ThePlace: Riyadh, home to more than 6 million people and a central spot in the Arabian Peninsula

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May 12, 2018 

  • Riyadh combines historical landmarks, archaeological sites and contemporary architecture, preserving its heritage while also developing as a global city.
  • Riyadh’s skyline has come a long way since Saudi Arabia was founded, taking on a more urban, modern ambiance as skyscrapers line its streets.

Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s capital city and its most populated area, home to more than 6 million people and a central spot in the Arabian Peninsula.

The city combines historical landmarks, archaeological sites and contemporary architecture, preserving its heritage while also developing as a global city.

Its sites include Masmak fort, a remnant of the old oasis town that was Riyadh, and Murabba Palace, the palace of Saudi Arabia’s founder, King Abdul Aziz, which is now known as the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center.

Riyadh’s skyline has come a long way since Saudi Arabia was founded, taking on a more urban, modern ambiance as skyscrapers line its streets.

The Kingdom Center won the Emporis Skyscraper Award in 2002 for its “design and functionality.” The tower has 99 levels and is considered the third tallest building in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia’s second tallest building, Burj Rafal, is also in the capital.

The first skyscraper to take shape in Saudi Arabia, Burj Al-Faisaliyah, or Al-Faisaliyah Center, has 44 floors and is a monument to the city as it holds several world brands and a hotel in its premises.

The capital city hosts many of Saudi’s football championship league matches at the King Fahd International Stadium, as well as the FIFA Confederations Cup and FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Riyadh maintains links with its history and heritage through its museums and historic memorabilia. The National Museum of Saudi Arabia, for example, has the “Camel’s Hump” meteorite fragment among its collection, while the Royal Saudi Air Force Museum houses a collection of Royal Air Force aircraft.

This article was first published in Arab News

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