Rawdhat Khuraim- An Oasis In The Desert

Rawdat Khuraim-An Oasis in the Saudi Arabian Desert. Directions and GPS Co-ordinates to Rawdat Khuraim (also spelled Rawdhat Koraim/ Rawdhat Kuraim) can be found at the end of this post! More information about this desert oasis, also known as the King’s Forest, can be found here: Rawdhat Khuriam-The King’s Forest.

The beautiful desert gardens of Rawdhat Khuraim can be found about 100 km outside Riyadh in the middle of the desert. An abundance of trees, bushes, birds and flowers will surprise first time visitors. Rawdhat Khuraim is like a green oasis suddenly appearing from the desert. Rawhdat Kuraim is also commonly known as the ‘King’s Forest’ because a part of the huge area is closed off from public, forming the King’s private farm.

The best thing about the Rawhdat is that it’s fairly easy to reach from Riyadh and that no motor vehicles are allowed beyond the fenced area. No quad bikes or SUV’s madly racing around! Just silence interrupted only by the chorus of birds and sound of the the leaves rustling in the wind. Perfect for a picnic or long walks in the “bush”, exploring the desert flora and fauna.

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 rawdhat kuraim kings forest saudi arabiarawdat khuraim flowers

Rawdhat Khureim is fenced all the way around and accessible by foot only. You must drive next to the fence and when you find a spot you like, park your car and then proceed on foot. The further away you walk from the fence into the park, the greener and quieter the area gets. Saudis usually stay close to the fence and don’t walk further inside the area.

The area inside is clean and free of trash, which is unfortunately a rarity for picnic places in Saudi. It’s a lovely place to go walking, bird watching or just for a picnic and women can take their abayas off if they wish because there’s typically nobody else around. On a weekday you can have the entire place to yourself.
The best time to visit the Rawhdat is during the cooler winter months and spring when the garden is in full bloom. The vegetation is green year round and many interesting plants can be found there. Migratory birds stop here and it’s a bird watchers paradise.
After rains in the winter and spring months small “lakes” and streams form in the Rawdhat. This is when lots of Riyadhis will come to the area for picnicking on weekends. If it gets crowded it’s best to drive up North around the gardens, a trail runs next to the fence all the way around the area. A 4×4 vehicle is needed when driving on this trail!

Overnight camping is not allowed inside the area and visitors should leave the park before 10 p.m when the rangers start roaming the area. Caution should be practiced when making open fires and visitors are expected to keep the place clean. Don’t leave any trash behind and try to pick up anything you see. There are large trash cans outside the area.

Directions: From Riyadh take the Dammam highway (route 40E) toward Rumah. After about 40 km turn left to Rumah. Then drive another 55km and you will see signs for Rawdhat Khuraim on the right, just follow the signs and the green oasis is very easy to spot from the highway.
Turn towards Rawdhat Khuraim and by following this road you can the enter the park from anywhere you like, left or right hand side of the road. If you continue straight on this road you will reach the King’s farm which is off limits to public and closed off with a large gate. To the left of this road the red sand dunes can be seen behind the garden.

For the most quiet places drive off to the right from the road, around to the back of the area beside the fence until you see a nice spot. The area is so huge you can drive for half an hour along the fence and still not see an end to the park. Alternatively you can go left from the road next to the red sand dunes but this place usually is more crowded because it’s easier to reach. You can drive here with a normal car but if you wish to venture further you will need a 4×4.

 GPS Co-ordinates:
Latitude: N 25.35209°
Longitude: E 47.45373°
 or
N 25° 21′ 15” | E 47° 17′ 50.2”

 

Google Maps location click here.

 

Warnings and tips: 

-Watch out for the thorny bushes especially at night. Don’t wear flip-flops or crocs the thorns might puncture the shoes!(trust me it hurts)

-It’s best to leave the area before dark if your car is far away from you, carrying all the stuff back to the car in the dark is a nightmare (been there done that, see above)

-Don’t take a strollers here that have air filled tyres, the thorns will puncture the wheels. Strollers with very small wheels might be hard to manoeuvre in the terrain. (pushing a stroller with flat tyres in the desert makes for a good work-out though)

-If you make a fire, use one of the fire trays that you can buy at all of the gas stations on the way to the desert. They are much safer. It’s not allowed to use the garden trees for firewood so bring your own, it can be purchased on the road to the garden. (remember to bring a lighter so you don’t have to rub sticks together  until your hands get blisters in them and then walk around the rawdhat looking for someone to borrow a lighter from and then get lost in the process and end up scaring your wife into thinking you got eaten up by some desert lizards.)

-Make sure you know where your car is parked. If you walk around and don’t pay attention to your surroundings you WILL get lost. (not fun especially in the dark and carrying a baby, see part one)

-If you have children with you make sure they are wearing proper shoes like sneakers and long sleeve trousers. Don’t let them out of your sight they might easily get lost!

-Don’t leave food lying on the ground, ants will soon take over your picnic. Instead, hang the foods packed in plastic bags on tree branches or keep them in the cooler. (ants especially enjoy climbing into opened cans of 7 Up in the dark)

-Don’t play loud music here. It annoys the heck out of people who drove 100 km to enjoy the song of BIRDS not your crap. (includes watching loud Youtube videos from your iPhone)

-If you sit under a big acacia tree, check first if it has birds nests in it. You don’t want bird poo-sauce on your sandwich (or any other food for that matter, trust me on this)

-Before you leave, try to check the weather forecast for sandstorm warnings. Check this post to find out what happens if you don’t.

-Pick up all the trash you can carry out, do a good deed and you will feel good, promise!

 

Liked this post? For more desert treks outside Riyadh click here! Don’t forget to subscribe to Blue Abaya to receive updates to your email!

 

 

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  • AnonymousJanuary 29, 2013 - 7:28 am

    LOL!

    I really enjoyed your advise and look forward to visiting this place in the near future, insha Allaah.

    ThanksReplyCancel

  • LaylaJanuary 29, 2013 - 2:34 pm

    Thanks, i hope that others can learn from our mistakes :DReplyCancel

  • Jerry Mc KennaJanuary 30, 2013 - 4:44 pm

    Lovely photos!ReplyCancel

  • desert campingJanuary 31, 2013 - 9:40 am

    I been in Saudi Arabia in 2003, desert camping it was my best camping ever, i really enjoyed same as my kids, unfortunately we didn’t discover that till the last month before we go beck home.ReplyCancel

  • KKSeptember 7, 2013 - 6:35 pm

    Looks like a nice place to visit.

    Is it advisable to access this place in Hyundai Accent or Toyota Yaris?ReplyCancel

    • LaylaSeptember 17, 2013 - 1:04 am

      Yes, you can visit with these cars, however you would have to stick to the places closest to the road..nothing wrong with those places, but you might have to walk into the area to find a better spot.ReplyCancel

  • Shahid LuqmanSeptember 28, 2013 - 1:14 pm

    All photos are beautiful but no human can see in photos.
    How about security because looks lonely & scared place in desert for families & kids. Is there any sitting arrangement, hotels & restaurant near by that place ?

    Br,
    Shahid from Riyadh, KSAReplyCancel

    • LaylaSeptember 30, 2013 - 12:08 am

      Hi there, no sitting arrangements, it’s a protected natural area and the best part is that there are not many other people around and you get to enjoy the sounds and sights of nature!ReplyCancel

  • Rizwan khanOctober 16, 2013 - 6:41 pm

    I had heard of this place through newspapers n web, I went with my family today but was disappointed as we could not see the real beauty which is hidden with the wires. Would request the authorities to open these natural treasures to the general public. Or at least post photos n pictures so that we learn more about Saudi natual treasures.ReplyCancel

    • LaylaOctober 20, 2013 - 3:11 pm

      You have driven to the King’s farm which is closed from public. Enter Rawdhat Khuraim from either left or right from that road which leads to the King’s farm. it’s quite simple really. The little pole fence is there just to prevent you form driving inside and ruining it, you must walk in.ReplyCancel

  • […] For more tips and warnings in Rawdhat Khuraim check this post. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] them it was a fantastic idea to go. So after five hours of preparations and driving all the way to Rawdhat Kuraim. BOOM. Sandstorm […]ReplyCancel

  • Sans Abaya in Saudi » Blue AbayaFebruary 6, 2016 - 11:41 pm

    […] place far off in the desert will be safe for women to take their abayas off. This time we went to Rawdhat Khuraim and the girls made long walks around the huge area without abayas, there was literally no one else […]ReplyCancel

  • […] just outside Riyadh which have vegetation year round. One of the largest one’s is called Rawdat Kuraim, also known as the King’s […]ReplyCancel

  • […] and Thumamah sand dunes and park in the North. For further expeditions out of the city try the King’s Forest, Rawdhat Khuraim, Red Sands Flower Fields, For seasonal desert lakes try Lake Kharrarah or The […]ReplyCancel

  • […] just outside Riyadh which have vegetation year round. One of the largest one’s is called Rawdhat Kuraim, also known as the King’s Forest. Fun Fact: Riyadh is the plural of rawdhat, meaning gardens […]ReplyCancel

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