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Planning Your Trip

As Saudi Arabia’s largest and most populous city, there’s no shortage of things to do and sights to see in Riyadh. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, be sure to pack accordingly to make the most of your time in the city.

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Business Travel

As the long-standing financial capital of the country, Riyadh is a decidedly formal city when it comes to doing business. Even in the city’s warm climate, conservative business attire is expected.

 

 

 

  • While locals will typically be outfitted in the traditional thawbs, foreigners are welcome to wear Western business clothing like dark suits and long dresses.
  • Women should plan on wearing an abaya for any meetings in a public setting. The long, black flowing robe is similar to the thawb and covers the body entirely from neck to ankles.
  • Footwear for women should be smart and sensible — a low heel with either an open- or closed-toe is appropriate.
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Exploring the City

Elegant restaurants, fascinating architecture, plentiful history and culture, and beautiful outdoor spaces make Riyadh a captivating Middle Eastern destination. Pack these essentials for your time in the city.

 

 

  • You might find that you’ve walked many miles taking in the sights in this sprawling city without even realizing it. Don’t forget to pack sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your skin.
  • Locals favor modest dress, so it is suggested that visitors wear shirts that cover the shoulders and long pants rather than shorts. For women, wearing an abaya, a full-length traditional robe will help you stand out less.
  • Riyadh’s weather during the summer months are extremely hot — keep cool by wearing clothing made of light, breathable fabrics like cotton and linen.
Two men, one in a bisht and one in a thobe, groom each other

Cultural Considerations

Saudi Arabia has a rich culture that has been shaped by its Islamic heritage and its Bedouin traditions. It is a deeply religious and conservative society, so be sure to plan accordingly when packing your suitcase.

 

  • Outside of religious sites, head scarfs aren’t required for Western women, but wearing one is sign of respect.
  • Avoid wearing any visible gold chains, especially those with a cross, as these are considered taboo in Saudi Arabia.
  • Both men and women should avoid wearing clothing that reveals their knees. Pack loose, linen pants instead of shorts

Don't Forget:

A lightweight shawl is a great versatile piece for women traveling to Riyadh — it can be used to ward off any chill from indoor air conditioning as well as a covering for the head and shoulders if visiting religious sites.


There isn’t much you can’t find in Riyadh, one of the region’s most cosmopolitan cities: stunning natural beauty, interesting architecture and fine dining all await. Explore all this and more by making a few plans ahead of time.

Dining Reservations

Place Setting

Book a table at Al Orjouan on Friday morning to enjoy a delectable assortment of culinary delights from their lavish brunch spread. For dinner, savor classic Italian fare with a modern twist at Azzurro, one of the city’s most celebrated Italian restaurants. And if something different is calling your name, reserve a table at Hong, where beautifully plated dishes of traditional Chinese cuisine are served in an equally breathtaking setting.

Spa Appointments

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Take a well-deserved break from business meetings and exploring the city in The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Riyadh. Book the Royal Extravaganza and let the stress of the day melt away as you enjoy a full-body exfoliation and body wrap, followed by a hydrating body massage and olive facial mask. Post-treatment, relax in the indoor pool, which sits under a stunning domed ceiling. You’re sure to leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Museum Tickets and Cultural Sights

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Riyadh is home to a variety of interesting museums and historic sites, from the Antiquities Museum at King Saud University to the century-old Al Masmak Fort, which sits in the center of the city. Gain a better understanding of the region’s rich culture and heritage with a private guided tour. Ask the concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh for assistance with booking.

Day Trips

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On the outskirts of Riyadh, Al Dir’iya is a small town that was the original home of the Saudi royal family and is where the first Saudi state was established in 1745. On the banks of the Wadi Hanifa, the city is broken into different quarters, each containing its own green areas and restoration projects. It’s also a true desert oasis, with a few wetlands and small lake to explore. As with the sites within the city, ask the concierge to help arrange a tour guide for your trip to Al Dir’iya.

The largest and most populous city in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh is also the country’s financial hub. But long before it became a major modern Middle Eastern destination, the region was the site of countless revolutions, tribal takeovers and uprisings. While its history is complex, its allure is simple. Cultural and historic sites draw visitors with a passion for knowledge, while family-friendly activities, exquisite restaurants and plenty of shopping, sightseeing and open spaces appeal to everyone. Whether you’re spending a day or a week, Riyadh will undoubtedly become one of your favorite world cities. 


Family Vacation Fun

When you think of Saudi Arabia, a few things might come to mind — a vast desert, camel rides, interesting architecture and Middle Eastern cuisine, to name a few. And while all of those are in fact part of Riyadh’s narrative, ancient sites, outdoor adventure and interesting cuisine are among the many reasons the Saudi capital is a wonderful place to explore as a family.

 

 

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The Perfect Weekend

Elegant restaurants, fascinating architecture, plentiful history and culture, and beautiful outdoor spaces make Riyadh a captivating Middle Eastern destination. Whether you’re inspired by its incredible skyscrapers or moved by its mosques, you’ll quickly learn to appreciate the charm of this bustling world capital. What’s more, the comfort and sophistication of The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh provide a lovely space to return to at the end of a busy day of adventure.

 

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