12 Things You Miss About Riyadh Once You Leave It

Photo Credit: ttcollege.edu.sa Photo Credit: ttcollege.edu.sa

By Mohammed Mirza

When you were in Riyadh, you wanted to leave the city to get a chance to experience everything out there. But once you actually leave it and see life in other cities, you realize that maybe Riyadh had it all but you just didn’t see it.

You know Riyadh intimately and it knows you. And no matter what happens or where you go, your heart is attached to it and you continue to miss the little things you enjoyed there.

1. The Countless Shopping Malls

A weekend is always incomplete without a visit to the mall.


Photo Credit: skyscrapercity.com

2. The New Restaurants That Keep Popping Up Everywhere

There is always some new dish to try, a new place to dine, an exotic cuisine to experience.


Photo Credit: nzpounamu.com

3. The Rich Heritage

From the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ad-Diriyah on the outskirts of the city to the National Museum & Masmak Fort, rich heritage is a thing we take pride in – something many modern concrete cities across the country don’t have.


Photo Credit: en.wikipedia.org

4. The Mini-Markets

Baqalas as we like to call them are just too convenient. Whether we need a quick snack or grocery for our home, almost everything we want is found in the matchbox-sized shop.

5. The 2 Riyals Store

Also known as Abu Ryalain, these stores are amazingly affordable. They constantly leave us in shock at how all these products are available for just 2 riyals.


Photo Credit: Alriyadh.com

6. The Winter

Summer may be enjoyable to everyone else, but not for those living in Riyadh. It is during winter that we really enjoy hanging out, going on long drives or just walking down the streets.


Photo Credit: alriyadh.com

7. The View From The Kingdom Center

Once atop the skybridge that sits on the 99th floor, the view of Riyadh is truly unforgettable.


Photo Credit: aecom.com

8. The Timings

You love the fact that shops stay open till 12 a.m. and restaurants go even beyond that during weekends.


Photo Credit: saudiwoman.me

9. The City Lights

They gracefully light up the city and never make us feel lonely. Driving down the illuminated Riyadh streets is an experience to be cherished.


Photo Credit: flickr.com

10. Picnics in the desert

The barbecues, bonfires and sports are all part of a picnic in the desert. Watching sunsets in the desert is just surreal.


Photo Credit: nzpounamu.com

11. Midnights

Empty streets and silence are things you long for throughout the day, but can only find after midnight.


Photo Credit: staticflickr.com

12. The People From All Around The World

Riyadh has broadened your horizons and exposed you to all the different cultures it encompasses. For that, you will be forever grateful.

 No matter where you go, Riyadh will always hold a special place in your heart. After all it is in this big city where you realized who you really are. 


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  1. 1

    Idiotic place with illiterate, arrogant and idiot Saudis not qualified enough to tie shoe laces. Worst place I have ever lived

    • 2

      Go back where have you come from.
      May you may be indian or pakistani, in both ways citizens sucks here. Spitting all over the city where ever they feel like. Every counttry people have some pros and cons , You need to deal with it .!!

  2. 3
  3. 4

    well, not all exactly. winters? i’d move to shifa. riyadh doesn’t have winters, there are no chilly winds :p .. shopping malls? come on, there are more than enough already. timings? haven’t been to Jeddah, have you? people from all around the world? that’s like in every city or town in the middle east.

    appreciate the effort though. could have added the wadis, edge of the world etc.

  4. 5
  5. 6

    you didn’t mention Almarai milk
    Wherever you go you will always long for that creamy yummy clean milk.
    The mama Noura shawerma too.
    The pure friendships created in Riyadh are not like any other.
    People are still genuine Saudi and foreigners!

  6. 7
  7. 8

    Everything that this article mentions about Riyadh is not especial to me at all. I mean even Dubai has such attributes or even better. What I really miss about Riyadh living in Dubai is free parking, small buildings as I hate living in towers where it takes like 15 mins to reach your apartment due to parking and lifts. Unlimited 4g internet connection which doesn’t exist in UAE. CHEAP PETROL prices, American cars, Panda Tahlia street and much more.

  8. 9

    I lived in Dammam, almost my whole life, then 5 years in Jeddah and now it’s been a year in Riyadh.
    Out of the 3, I think Jeddah is the most livable and the most wonderful place.
    Somehow, I haven’t been able to settle down in Riyadh due to the way things work here. I feel the city has not been planned as well as Jeddah, with only 2 important Roads – Khurais and King Fahd – causing traffic like I have never seen before. Jeddah is structured with important main roads running in parallels — north-south and east west hence distributing the traffic…
    I dont know much about people here, cuz I hardly get the time to interact – but I notice the extreme lawlessness on the roads in Riyadh. Some folks dont respect the law and run a red light as it it was nothing. I have never seen as many road accidents and mishaps anywhere else in the Kingdom. Some folks just try and pester you from behind – honking – so that I give them way, but it’s not always possible. That’s arrogance to me!
    The weather – unbearable in Riyadh ! It’s just so DRY – and maybe that’s why some of the people here are dry, irritable and arrogant (not all, but more than I have noticed in Jeddah n Dammam). During Summer, almost every week there’s a major SandStorm !
    In the end, it’s the Holy Month of Ramadan. We should all just try to be better human beings, forgive each other, and love each other for Allah SWT has created us equal! I applaud the citizens and residents of Riyadh who have lived their lives in Riyadh, and are continuing to do so.

  9. 10

    Riyadh is a great metropolis. Very Cinematic and filled with energy. Each one of us has a different experience of the city, it’s massive. Great people. But After leaving in Riyadh for 20 years, I’m happy that I moved to Sharqyah 4 years ago.

  10. 11

    I like your article as you select an interesting topic to tell us about your memory at Riyadh, and in the same time your article could benefit all who are intending to travel to Riyadh as you tell us about thing interesting there, And also you give us great idea to make a documentation blog about each trip we had, I also like the way you organise your article that simple in speech and deep in value in the same time, one more thing I like about your article which is the talented real photos you use its really amazing, Thanks for your efforts and talent, Please keep writing am waiting your next blog

  11. 13

    I work as a DH Domestic helper here at riyadh i did’nt feel any boring here i can go somewhere there thers some area not mention or include wat u miss the 12 destination city of riyadh..u did not includ kamsa kamsa,haraj,building 99 floor which is sky bridge or kingdom tower…and the animal in riyadh zoo was amazing its real animals and every friday its amazing day too much crowded when u go mall …it so fun when u go mall and more people u not feel boring…but in my experience more excitement place are red sand and haraj . Red sand experience i cannot forget even i bcome old..and the haraj so very nice even u dont have an idea wat u want to buy from thre its a same market open area selling something household..house chores ..clothes..toys..appliances…etc..theres a used and still brand new…u need to spent whole day to rounding this place u not feel boring this area u can buy 1 riyal to 100 riyal….

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