There are some fantastic shopping opportunities in many parts of Riyadh, and visitors to the Saudi capital will find that they can spend days enjoying the plush new shopping malls of Riyadh’s business district, as well as the historic markets of the old quarter. There are many Riyadh hotels located throughout all of the main shopping areas of the city. It is also easy to travel between the new and old parts of Riyadh, making it particularly easy to enjoy everything that Riyadh’s shopping scene has to offer.
Olaya Road is the main commercial and business district of Riyadh, and is also the home of a number of Riyadh’s beautiful high-end shopping malls. Some of the most famous malls and shopping centres can be found along Olaya Road.
Kingdom Tower is the playground of choice for Riyadh’s young and fashionable. The four floors inside Kingdom Tower Mall are dedicated to the latest trends of fashion, and display a range of western and international designs. There are no fitting rooms at Kingdom Tower, but shoppers can try their purchase on at home and then exchange the item within three days if they are not completely happy.
Located inside the iconic Al-Faisaliah Centre, Al-Faisaliah Shopping Mall is one of the most stunning shopping complexes in Riyadh. Everything about Al-Faisaliah screams style, from the stylish decor, to the haute couture of the designer labels houses within the complex’s walls. One of the most unique parts of Al-Faisaliah is that each afternoon on Wednesdays and Thursdays the centre opens to families only.
King Fayad Road
The area around King Fayad Road is another popular place for fashionistas. Some of the most expensive and glamorous malls are also situated on this trendy road, including the renowned Sahara Mall. There are also some traditional souqs that are well worth a look.
Sahara Mall is one of Riyadh’s super mall destinations where visitors and locals come to escape the heat and pass the day by browsing through the wide array of clothing and accessories on offer at the 180 shops inside the mall. A number of western designers have stores in side Sahara Mall such as United Colours of Benetton. If you need a break from all the shopping, try one of the restaurants or perhaps even Riyadh’s largest food court for a delicious lunch or snack.
Sometimes called the Kuwaiti Souq, Al-Owais is a particularly old souq and is full of traditional and culture. This market place is one of the most vibrant, and people come here to sell and buy a wide range of traditional goods including spices, gold, coffee, and carpets. Al-Owais souq is a great place to experience the local marketplace atmosphere and culture.
The old quarter found in the al-Deira area is full of some of the most exciting and interesting souqs that should be high on any visitor’s ‘to do’ list.
For perhaps the best marketplace experience in Riyadh, go straight to Souq al-Thumairi where you can experience the traditional market culture of Saudi Arabia. It is very easy to find Souq al-Thumairi. The souq is not far from Masmak Fortress, and any taxi driver will know exactly where you need to go. Souq al-Thumairi is the best place to shop for carpets, gold and silver items, and spices.
A trip to Riyadh would not be complete without finding yourself a nice piece of silver or gold jewellery. To find some traditional Arabic style jewellery at a good price, go to Dira Souq where you will be presented with the most amazing variety of jewellery and traditional accessories for men and women. Many of these stores will be able to arrange for a custom-made piece if you cannot find something you like on the shelf. Make sure you bargain to get the best prices.
Lek Boonlert is an editor and content reviewer at DirectRooms and is responsible for all Riyadh Hotels content.