The Kingdom Tower, Najd Oasis – Riyadh, KSA.

Saudi Founding Day

Today is the second time Saudi Arabia celebrates it’s Founding Day – a national holiday to celebrate the culture, heritage and traditions of the Kingdom.

I have been to a few places in Saudi Arabia, and they all are different, even the people often look different and speak slightly differently but all of them are undeniably proud to be Saudi.

Though I am not there today, I’d love to shoot the celebrations as on this day Saudis dress up in their most traditional dresses, ride horses with huge flags through the streets, enjoy the music and of course the food… so instead I will tell you about my recent visit to the Kingdom.


I spent 4 days in Dammam, participating in IKTVA, the annual trade show for the suppliers of all kinds of services for Saudi Aramco. There weren’t many cultural activities there, as I was mostly at the event, editing images and videos after the event, trying to sleep (mostly unsuccessfully), and battling the traffic of Dammam.


Then I went to Riyadh for a day, I visited the exhibition about The Line, the project that you can see being unveiled in front of you, but still can’t believe it is real. Was rather cold in Riyadh that day (for me anyway anything below 28C is cold), but the weather was rather clear compared to my usual days in Riyadh so the next day in I decided to revisit the Kingdom Tower Sky Bridge to see how it looks during the day and hope to see more of the city.

Kingdom Tower

Previously I visited it at night, I had to wait for a while because it was prayer time and at that time everything was closed, but today even if it is prayer time, you are free to go as you like. The price changed from SAR 60 to SAR 69 with the VAT included I suppose, and you could pay by card this time! Painlessly I was let in the same old elevator, where they didn’t ask us to separate into two groups of people – women to the back, men to the front – you are welcome to stand wherever you like.

Surprising New Riyadh

Although I am a Westerner (in certain sense), and I live in a country where you can see any kind of outfits on daily basis, but I was rather shocked to see a bunch of American teenagers in yoga pants and tank tops once I went up. I have never walked outside in Saudi Arabia without my abaya or at least wearing a dress that covers my entire body, and I know that nowadays you are technically free to wear whatever you want, I still can’t bring myself to even imagine wearing something like this out there. Surprisingly, when I saw them later in the street, nobody was even paying much attention to them, although I do believe it stands out. Anyway, the story is not about them Americans.

Here is the way I looked like compared to the most of people there.

Although I believed that the skies were clear and blue, from the tower it was clear that there was still a large amount of sand hanging in the skies.

It seems like in Riyadh everything is of the same shade, of the same color, the city of sepia in other words…

It is crazy for me to think that I am in the Main Street of the capital city and still there are these massive empty lands of sand, where there is just nothing going on…

I spotted a place that looked like a park and like usual, me being me, I decided that after I finish my visit here, I will just walk over there. Which again proved to be quite a challenge… but maybe challenge is my middle name.

Walking in Riyadh (once again)

The thing is that if you think you can just walk straight and reach it (the logical thing to do), that is a no. The roads are blocked and in construction in some places, and though there are certain places where there are sidewalks, often times you would have to cross to the complete opposite side just to be able to continue walking straight. Crossing the streets maybe have gotten a bit easier since 2020, but there are still few pedestrian crossings, and the traffic lights just don’t work in many cases. Eventually after about 50 minutes of zigzagging I reached the place called the Najd Oasis, rather lovely small park next to some governmental building.

I enjoyed the big palms and a stream running through the place, there were also some coffee and ice-cream trucks, but I didn’t buy anything, just sat there for a while looking at the locals picnicking on their day off.

On my way back I walked through the residential area, which proved to be much better idea, because at least the roads were not obstructed. Nobody asked me anything, nobody wondered if I am lost or need help, just let me roam as much as I want.

I got quite a suntan on my face with all this roaming… surely should get out more. I was very happy with the collection of doors that I have seen on my way.

Riyadh, KSA, Doors of Olaya Street.

And although I was quite exhausted from a long week of work, walking, and no sleep, the moment I stepped into the airport, I felt like I already want to be back. Strange KSA effect…

So until next time, meanwhile check out..

Al Ula Trip – Day 1.

Guns and Roses in Taif, Saudi Arabia

Dancing To Asiri Flute With the Views of Rijal Almaa – Abha Adventures, Day 2.

Dammam, Khobar, Dhahran, ITHRA and Saudi Maritime Congress.

The Place at The Edge of The World Where I Left a Piece of My Heart

much love,



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