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Things to do in Riyadh

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King Abdullah Park
King Abdullah Park is the most prominent landmarks in the capital. It is located in al-Malaz quarter. Park's main attraction is "Dancing Fountain" with its colorful laser lighting.
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Al Zubarah
Located on Qatar’s north-west coast and comprising the immaculately restored Al Zubarah Fort and surrounding 60-hectare archaeological works, this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most extensive and best preserved examples of an 18th–19th century settlement in the region.
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Souq Waqif
A stroll down the bustling alleys of Souq Waqif provides an authentic taste of traditional commerce, architecture and culture. The maze of small shops offer a dazzling array of Middle Eastern merchandise from spices and seasonal delicacies to perfumes, jewellery, clothing, handicrafts and a treasure trove of souvenir bargains.
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Museum of Islamic Art
xperience 14 centuries of great art in a few hours. The MIA’s magnificent and imaginatively presented displays of the finest art and artefacts from across the Islamic world have earned it recognition among the world’s top cultural institutions.
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Dar Al Madinah Urban Museum
It is the first museum specialized in the history and urban and the built heritage of Al Madinah. The museum showcases the Islamic heritage and culture, as well as the city’s magnificent and substantial history since the Prophet’s first arrival in Al Madinah to the present day.
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Al-Hijaz Railroad
You will witness the true meaning of solidity in the formation and foundation of this railway, which tells the tales and adventures it has experienced. The establishment of the Hijaz railroad was ordered by the Ottoman Sultan.​​
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Qasr Al Watan
Qasr Al Watan, the new cultural landmark in Abu Dhabi, opens its doors to the public in an invitation to discover the legacy of knowledge and tradition that have shaped the journey of the nation, boosting cultural understanding of the United Arab Emirates. More than a traditional palace, Qasr Al Watan is an exquisitely crafted tribute to the Arabian heritage and artistry, and its architecture and design echo the significance of the exhibits housed within its halls and the function of its most iconic rooms. Qasr Al Watan invites visitors to learn about the country’s governing traditions and values, and explore a well-preserved legacy of knowledge, thus boosting cultural understanding of the UAE.
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Etihad Towers
A dramatic architectural statement, this five-tower complex invites residents and visitors to live, work, stay, shop and dine in one destination with panoramic city and Arabian Gulf views. A benchmark for luxury experiences, the complex includes three residential towers and the 280 metres high, five-star Jumeirah at Etihad Towers hotel. On Tower 2’s 74th floor, the Observation Deck at 300 offers unbeatable cityscape and island views. The Avenue at Etihad Towers is one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive collections of boutique shops, with many having luxurious private rooms for private, VIP shopping.
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Qasr Al Hosn
Qasr Al Hosn is the oldest and most significant building in Abu Dhabi, holding the city’s first permanent structure; the watchtower. Built around the 1790’s, the commanding structure overlooked the coastal trade routes and protected the growing settlement established on the island. Qasr Al Hosn comprises of two major iconic buildings: the Inner Fort (originally constructed in 1795) and the Outer Palace (1939-45). Over the centuries, it has been home to the ruling family, the seat of government, a consultative council and a national archive; it now stands as the nation’s living memorial and the narrator of Abu Dhabi’s history. Transformed into a museum in 2018 following more than eleven years of intensive conservation and restoration work, Qasr Al Hosn is a national monument that encapsulates the development of Abu Dhabi from a settlement reliant on fishing and pearling in the 18th century, to a modern, global metropolis, with displays of artefacts and archival materials dating back to as far as 6000 BC.
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Louvre Abu Dhabi
The iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first universal museum in the Arab World that translates the spirit of openness of cultures. As one of the premier cultural institutions located in the heart of the Saadiyat Cultural District, the art-lovers dream displays the works of historical, cultural and sociological significance from ancient times to the contemporary era. Designed by Pritzker-prize winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Louvre Abu Dhabi encompasses 9,200 sq. m of galleries including the Permanent Gallery and a Temporary Gallery that is enriched by loans from many notable French museums including Musee du Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, and Centre Pompidou. Recreating parts of UAE’s integral cultural elements, Nouvel designed a falaj-inspired water system running through the museum, inspired by ancient Arabian engineering whilst the orderly lace dome borrows inspiration from the interlaced palm leaves traditionally used as roofing material in many parts of the country that results in an enchanting play of light. The juxtaposition of different civilizations in the same spaces, the Louvre Abu Dhabi illustrates similarities and exchanges from the shared human experience going beyond geography, nationality, and history.
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Saadiyat Beach
With pristine white sands stretching along its shore, Saadiyat Beach has maintained a reputation as one of the most desirable beach locations in the UAE. From beach yoga classes to eco-friendly water sports activities such as windsurfing and sailing, guests can make the most out of their beach experience with the help of the attentive staff and the many leisure outlets. In order to achieve this delicate balance between world-class modern resorts and serene natural beauty, the local authorities in Saadiyat Beach are dedicated to preserving the natural environment with a dune protection zone with restrictions on development while access to the beach made possible via a wooden boardwalk. As a result, the area is rich with native wildlife including the Hawksbill Turtles that use the beach as their nesting ground. Hatching sites are protected by strict environmental measures and are patrolled by trained personnel who continually monitor the reproduction of the turtles.
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Capital Gate
Drive down Khaleej Al Arabi Street and you will see a modern-day challenger to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Capital Gate, developed by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, has been certified as the ‘World’s Furthest Leaning Man Made Tower,’ by the Guinness World Records. It leans 18 degrees westwards - more than four times that of Pisa’s famous Leaning Tower. The 160 metre (524.9 ft), 35 storey tower is a postcard image of Abu Dhabi and makes a great holiday snap.
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Arabian Wildlife Park
On Sir Bani Yas Island, the Arabian Wildlife Park is home to more than 10,000 free roaming animals and takes up more than half of the island. Visitors can now get up close and personal, at eye-level, with the island’s giraffes from a purpose-built viewing platform made completely from recycled materials. Or you can take 4x4 Nature & Wildlife Drives of the park in specially made vehicles accompanied by expert staff. Alternatively, you can book a three-hour tour - there are many Arabian Oryx, gazelles and giraffes, along with hyenas and cheetahs.
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Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque stands out as one of the world’s largest mosques, and the only one that captures unique interactions between Islam and world cultures. Sheikh Zayed's vision for the Grand Mosque was to incorporate architectural styles from different Muslim civilizations and celebrate cultural diversity by creating a haven that is truly diverse and inspirational in its foundation. The mosque’s architects were British, Italian and Emirati, and design inspiration was borrowed parts of Turkey, Morocco, Pakistan, and Egypt among other Islamic countries, revealing a glistening architectural marvel with an astonishing capacity of 40,000 worshippers and visitors. The open-door policy invites tourists and celebrants from all around the world who can witness the spectacular onion-top domes, the reflective pools that engulf the courtyard and the iconic prayer hall, which not only overflows with blissful sunlight but also houses the world’s biggest chandelier and carpet, both meticulously handmade. Be sure to spot the calligraphy encircling the hollows of the domes, etched with verses from the Quran and painted with gold leaves in An-Naskh lettering.
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Al Jubail Mangrove Park
Jubail Mangrove Park is the first self-contained educational, nature and leisure destination of its kind in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Visit and explore a haven for avian and marine species native to Abu Dhabi at this serene mangrove sanctuary. The Park aims to enhance the awareness, appreciation and understanding of the important ecological function of the mangrove habitats that include protection of the Abu Dhabi Coastline and supporting biodiversity. A meandering boardwalk will take you through the mangroves and allow you to discover Abu Dhabi in its true essence.
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Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi
One of the world’s biggest, fully air-conditioned indoor theme parks, Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi brings together all legendary characters from the studio under one roof. From Superman to Batman and Wonder Woman to beloved cartoon stars like Bugs Bunny, Scooby-Doo, and Fred Flintstone, all and more are housed within the 1.65 million sq. ft. theme park with 29 state-of-the-art rides, interactive family-friendly attractions, unique live entertainment, multiple dining options, and exclusive shopping outlets. The magical experience starts as soon as visitors step into the Warner Bros. shield and are transported to different worlds of action, adventure and eccentricity through the park’s six immersive lands. Each portal, with its scenic backdrops and authentically themed restaurants, is exactly how you imagined these enchanting Warner Bros. Worlds would be.
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Shah Cheragh
Shah Cheragh Shiraz (in Persian: King of Light) is one of the most popular funerary monuments in Iran. It is home to tombs of Ahmad and Mohammad, two brothers of Ali ar-Ridha – 8th Imam of Shia Muslims. Circa 900 A.D, the two brothers aiming to join Ali ar-Ridha, who at the time resided in Khorasan of Iran (in eastern Iran) as the appointed successor to Abbasid caliph, took refugee in Shiraz but were persecuted by the Abbasids. The tombs remained unknown until early 12th century A.D. Different accounts or myths exist around the discovery of the tombs; All of which revolve around noticing a luminous light in the distance, where later the gravesites were discovered. And this is basically the reason behind the appellation: ‘’King of Light’’ or Shah Cheragh Mausoleum.
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Yas Waterworld
This futuristic waterpark spans across an area as big as 15 football pitches, with 43 rides, slides, and attractions – five of which are one-of-a-kind. Visitors at Yas Waterworld can experience the world’s first and largest hydro-magnetic-powered, six-person tornado waterslide that extends up to 235 meters in length. For adrenaline junkies, there are three-meter-high waves on Bubble’s Barrel, which has the world’s largest surf sheet wave for flow-boards and body-boards. The Bandit Bomber, a 550– meter coaster, is the first with onboard water and laser effects. Riders can shoot jets of water at targets, drop water bombs and trigger special effects, while people below can spray them with water as they pass. Sitting atop Jebel Dana, the towering core of the park’s altitude-defying summit and measuring eight meters in diameter, the park’s gigantic pearl is Yas Island’s newest landmark. The park draws on Abu Dhabi’s heritage with “the lost pearl” theme that follows the story of a young Emirati girl on a quest to find a legendary pearl as they make their way around the attractions, which include a souk and pearl-diving exhibits.
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Bagh-e Narenjestan
Bagh-e Narenjestan (or Qavam House) is a historical house in the city of Shiraz. Construction of the house dates back to late 19th century (Late Qajar era), belonging to the famous wealth family of Qavam in Shiraz. Qavam House is one of Shiraz tourist attractions for its beautiful garden of sour oranges and exquisite architecture. While walking in the alleys of Shiraz, the smell of bitter orange intoxicates you. Now imagine wandering in the garden of bitter orange: Bagh-e Narenjestan! Bagh-e Narenjestan Shiraz or Narenjestan Garden Shiraz is famous for its bitter oranges and also the great mansions inside it. Narenjestan Shiraz is a must-visit to truly appreciate what makes Shiraz so famous among people.
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Arg of Karim Khan
Formerly a prison, but now an architectural wonder on exhibit. The structure of the citadel combines military and residential architecture, for it was the home of Karim Khan and the military center of that period.
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Eram Garden
Eram Garden (Bagh-e-eram) - Highly recommended. This stunningly beautiful complex contains a vast network of gardens, as well as a colorful palace and a system of small artificial rivers flowing throughout the entire area.
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Persepolis
Tourists coming down to Shiraz must not miss the chance to visit the Persepolis. The Persepolis, Shiraz is a must to every itinerary to Shiraz for its beauty the grandeur and history. It is a major Shiraz Tourist attraction which represents the grandeur of the Persian Empire. The Persepolis, Shiraz is situated at the center of the Persian Empire and was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenians. The exact location of the Persepolis in Shiraz is in Fars province which lies at a distance of 60 kilometers from Shiraz, near Marvdasht city.
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Tomb of Saadi
Tomb of Saadi: The Tomb of Saadi is also called Saadieh. The first mausoleum was built in 13th century, however, it faced destruction in 17th century. The building that tourists visit today is the heritage of 1950s. The present building, which its architect was Mohsen Foroughi, was inspired by Chehel Sotun of Esfahan. Moreover, a Sassanid-year-old garden, the gorgeous Delgosha Garden is near the Tomb. The Tomb of Saadi was a Khangah* where Saadi lived the final days of his life there. And so he was buried there. Inside the mausoleum, the verses of Saadi poems are inscribed all around the walls.
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Emirates Park Zoo
With over 1700 animals, including a majestic pair of white tigers, a 31-year-old, 300kg-plus Siberian bear, lions, cheetahs and dozens of zebras housed in the zoo’s ‘Predators’ and ‘Wild Animals’ enclosures, the Emirates Park Zoo in Al Bahia, a north-east suburb of the UAE capital features a park-wide ‘misting system’ which keeps animals and patrons cool in the summer months.
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Motiongate Dubai
Lights, camera action: Hollywood comes to life at Motiongate Dubai, located in Dubai Parks and Resorts. This thrilling theme park features epic rides and attractions based on some of the most memorable and successful movie franchises of recent years. Meet your favourite characters in real life and grab a photo to take home. Expect to see a few Hollywood favourites at Motiongate Dubai, including favourites from Ghostbusters, Kung Fu Panda, The Hunger Games, The Smurfs, Shrek and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. Strap in for a ride on some adrenaline-pumping rollercoasters such as The Green Hornet’s High-Speed Chase and the Madagascar Mad Pursuit, or drop-down vertically in the high-speed Zombieland Blast-Off. For an in-depth experience, explore one of the top attractions in Dubai with the Backlot Tour. You can see how these amazing movies grow from a simple idea, all the way to becoming a blockbuster motion picture. Or, check out a show at the Kung Fu Panda Academy or Operation Penguin Shake. Every day you’ll find a great schedule of entertainment, and some may invite you to take part on the stage.
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Bollywood Parks Dubai
The magic of India’s prolific film industry can be experienced in Dubai at the world’s first Bollywood-inspired theme park. Bollywood Parks Dubai recreates the charm of old-school Mumbai and brings to life some of the industry’s top blockbusters. Located in Dubai Parks and Resorts, get ready for a whole lot of thrills, exciting family entertainment and plenty of surprises along the way.
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Palm Island
Palm Island Dubai (Jumeirah Palm Island) is one of the most ambitious real-estate developments on earth, heralded as the 8th wonder of the world as it can be seen from space. It is one of three islands called the Palm Islands (Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira) which extend into the Persian Gulf. Jumeirah Palm island features themed hotels, villas, apartment buildings, beaches, marinas, restaurants, and a variety of retail outlets. The most popular feature being 5 star aqua themed hotel Atlantis. The best way to visit Palm Jumeirah is to take a taxi to the Palm Gateway Monorail Station, at the base of the Palm, and then the Monorail up to the the top, where most of the attractions are (Atlantis hotel, Aquaventure Waterpark, The Lost Chambers Aquarium... ). This way you can enjoy the view of the Palm from the elevated train.
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Naqsh-e Rustam
Naqsh-e Rustam is an ancient necropolis, located near Persepolis and 68 km northeast of Shiraz city. Naqsh-e Rustam Shiraz is the necropolis of the Achaemenid Dynasty (550–330 BC) and contains rock-reliefs from the Sassanid era (224–651 AD). Naghsh-e Rostam counts as one of the top Shiraz attractions, paired with Persepolis. A historic treasury lies in the Naqsh-e Rustam tombs location. Naghshe Rostam Shiraz is where the tomb of Darius I is located. According to the Naqsh-e Rustam inscription, archaeologists have discovered which great kings reside in Naqsh e Rustam burials. Inside Naqsh e Rustam tombs lacks any special design, however, there are carved the Naqsh-i Rustam inscriptions on the façade. Naghshe Rostam relief is like an ancient family album of the Achaemenids.
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Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina offers plenty of entertainment for families, friends and couples. This impressive outdoor entertainment development launched in 2014 directly opposite JBR's The Walk and it's been a hive of activity ever since. Its modern, low-rise design elevates the enviable beachside location and there are now more than 70 shopping and dining options.
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Burj Al Arab
One of Dubai’s most famous tourist landmarks, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah often stands among the top five – if not the absolute peak – of the world’s most iconic hotels. Since its opening in late 1999, the hotel with its distinctive sail-shaped silhouette, has thrust Dubai onto the global luxury tourism landscape. Built on a triangular man-made island reclaimed from the sea, the hotel and its billowing sail-like structure rise 321 metres above the sea, offering panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf. Managed by Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, Burj Al Arab takes accepted standards of luxury to a new level. Guests have access to service on par with royalty and fine dining alike. Gold interiors, lush suites, the finest delicacies – Burj Al Arab’s long list of superlatives cannot be matched.
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Ski Dubai
Ski Dubai is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East and offers an amazing snow setting to enjoy skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing or just playing in the snow. Young or old, there is something for everyone, from the beginner to the snow sport enthusiast. Also come and meet the incredible Ski Dubai Snow Penguins! Say hello to the cute colony of Gentoo and King Penguins who call Ski Dubai home. Enjoy a rare and personal encounter with these wonderful creatures by booking one of our amazing Snow Penguin packages. Meeting our Snow Penguins is one of the top things to do in Dubai. This is definitely one experience you will treasure forever!
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Kite Beach
Beachgoers, kitesurfers and spectators unite at the popular and well-named Kite Beach. If you’re serious about your watersports and wish to test your skills on one of the best free beaches in Dubai, Kite Beach has the challenge you seek. Located steps from Jumeirah’s main street, you’ll find high quality watersports equipment available along the sand, with kitesurfing, wakeboarding and stand-up paddleboarding gear all ready to go. Head down in the afternoon, as this is when the wind picks up and presents some better conditions.
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Burj Khalifa
Discover the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building, a global icon and a feat of engineering. Truly a marvel of not just engineering but also imagination and design, the 828m Burj Khalifa has drawn visitors from all over the world since its opening in 2010. This magnificent building is the conceptual heart and soul of the city of Dubai – inspiring the viewer to imagine new possibilities. Inspired by an abstraction of the Hymenocallis flower, the towering structure is essentially three sections arranged around a central core. Viewed from above, it is consistent with the onion-dome design frequently found across a variety of Islamic architecture, albeit on a much smaller scale. The Burj Khalifa boasts not one but two observations decks – the two-storey At the Top on the 124th and 125th floors, as well as the world’s highest observation deck (555m) on the 148th floor.
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The Dubai Fountain
Witness the tallest performing fountain in the world during your visit to Downtown Dubai. The Dubai Fountain offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to immerse yourself in a captivating water, music and light experience. Submerged within the 30-acre Burj Lake, at the foot of The Dubai Mall, powerful water jets are laid out strategically over an area equal to the size of two football pitches. The fountain jets up to 22,000 gallons of water as high as 140m in the air at any one time.