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

AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj
Updated 12 May 2018
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ThePlace: Riyadh, home to more than 6 million people and a central spot in the Arabian Peninsula

  • 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.


Two Holy Mosques program receives international award

The Two Holy Mosques program has received the Sharjah International Cultural Heritage award for its achievements. (SPA)
Updated 22 May 2018
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Two Holy Mosques program receives international award

  • The state adopted the program presented by the SCTH four years ago
  • King Salman’s initiative to care for cultural heritage is one of the outputs presented by the SCTH

RIYADH: The Two Holy Mosques program to care for the Kingdom’s cultural heritage has received the Sharjah International Cultural Heritage award for its achievements.
It was described as an unprecedented national program sponsoring projects and efforts related to all aspects of national heritage.
King Salman’s initiative to care for cultural heritage is one of the outputs presented by the SCTH, sponsored and financed by the country, and it is being carried out as part of the important initiatives of Saudi Vision 2030 with more than SR5 billion ($1.3 billion) allocated in the current phase. The initiative includes 10 courses, each under implementation consisting of a number of main projects that amount to more than 330 in total.
The state adopted the program presented by the SCTH four years ago and financed within the National Transformation Program with more than SR4 billion ($1 billion).
The program includes the establishment of 18 museums in the Kingdom, 80 heritage sites and opening them to visitors, the restoration of 18 villages and traditional towns to visitors.