Murabba Palace: The historical divan of King Abdul Aziz

Updated 25 September 2012
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Murabba Palace: The historical divan of King Abdul Aziz

The Murabba Palace played a significant role in the early history of the Kingdom as the Founder, King Abdul Aziz had the palace as his divan. The palace was the hub of all administrative decisions besides the Al-Hukum Palace. King Abdul Aziz used to receive kings and heads of state who visited him and make historical agreements at the Murabba palace.
The palace was built in 1936 when the king ordered construction of a new building complex. The old Riyadh city had become too crowded to accommodate any more buildings and the city walls had only five gates. The new palaces were built outside the city in a single compound.
These buildings were called the Murabba Complex and one of these palaces housed the king’s administrative headquarters. It was Prince Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman who first built a palace outside the city and it was named Atiqah Palace followed by Prince Saud Al-Kabeer with the construction of Al-Shamsiah Palace. Another palace built in the same period was Al-Badiah Palace as a guesthouse for visiting dignitaries.
The palace complex was built on a plot called ‘Murabba Al-Sufyan,’ which was used for farming during rainy season, according to the documents at the King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives (Darah).
The location is only two kilometers from the old city and was surrounded by gardens in the south, the Batha valley in the east, and Wadi Abu Rafie in the west and small hills on the north. Built in the Arab architectural style, the two-story palace has 32 rooms. The materials used in the construction of the palace included bricks, indigenous stones, tamarisk trunk and palm-leaf stalks.
The king’s audience hall, offices of administrative affairs, communications and guest chambers were on the upper floor while the ground floor had the offices for palace utilities, security and administration.
The major decisions taken in the palace included the setting up of a separate Ministry of Defense, launch of the Saudi Broadcasting and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, and the issuing of an independent Saudi currency.
This was also the palace where King Abdul Aziz received kings and heads of various state, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.


Blake Lively makes a surprise trip to Abu Dhabi

Updated 19 November 2018
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Blake Lively makes a surprise trip to Abu Dhabi

  • Blake Lively is the wife of Ryan Reynolds who is currently shooting a film in the UAE capital
  • The pair were spotted at various locations across the city by excited fans while Reynolds posted photos of Lively and the crew enjoying dinner in Abu Dhabi

DUBAI: Hollywood actress and style icon Blake Lively jetted into Abu Dhabi over the weekend to pay her equally famous heartthrob husband, Ryan Reynolds, a visit as he shoots scenes for action movie “6 Underground.”

The pair were spotted at various locations across the city by excited fans while Reynolds posted photos of Lively and the crew enjoying dinner in Abu Dhabi on his Instagram stories.

Reynolds, Latin actress Adria Arjona and a host of other famous faces will be in the city for 30 days to shoot scenes for the Netflix/Skydance Media film.

Arjona took to Instagram to post a series of snaps from the UAE, including shots of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The star, who is best known for her role in the HBO television series “True Detective,” is joined in the film by actors Ben Hardy, Lior Raz, Mélanie Laurent, Corey Hawkins and Manuel Rulfo.

There are more than 300 cast and crew in the country working under award-winning director Michael Bay, whose portfolio includes “Bad Boys,” “Armageddon,” the “Transformer” franchise and “The Rock.”

The cast will shoot at four locations, including the Liwa desert, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al-Khaimah.

 “Shooting in Abu Dhabi is going to be one of the highlights of this production, although you’ll have to wait until the movie hits Netflix to find out why,” Reynolds said in a public statement last week.

“We’ve only been here a few days so far, but the welcome from everyone has been amazing and I can’t wait to explore Abu Dhabi more.”

The movie’s production team includes more than 100 Abu Dhabi-based production specialists, who are working closely with media zone twofour54, which is providing production services.

This is just the latest in a string of blockbusters to use Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE as a location.

Others have included the comedy “War Machine,” starring Brad Pitt, in 2015.

In a statement, Michael Bay said: “Abu Dhabi is a unique place to make a movie, with a lot of great looks.  It’s got the diversity and architecture I need in front of the camera, plus the professional facilities, crew and infrastructure to back it up.  I’m very excited to be shooting here over the next few weeks.