Have you ever tried golfing in the desert? Ever been to the beautiful desert during the spring time when even the Red Sand dunes are in full bloom after the winter rains? How about a leisurely walk or a sweat inducing run in the desert with fellow expats? Or a picnic to a hidden desert lake?
Spring is the best time to head out for some hiking and camping trips just outside Riyadh. Check out all the desert treks from Riyadh I’ve written about by going to this page: Off the Beaten Path Saudi Arabia.
Here’s a list of some suggested activities for those in Riyadh this March. Most of the listed outdoor activities could be done in other months too but they are at their best during the spring.
1. Visit the International Riyadh Book Fair. The fair starts normally in the first week of March and runs around two weeks, open daily from 10 am to 10 pm at the Riyadh International Exhibition Center. There is an English books section, a female only area and an excellent children’s book and activity area. Guide to the Book Fair found here: Riyadh International Book Fair. UPDATE Riyadh International Book Fair open in 2016 dates 9-19th March
2. Go to the desert! Saudi springtime is almost over, now is the time to see the desert in full bloom and the weather is not too hot yet. Easy to reach, even with two wheel drives are the Red Sands area on Mecca highway 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 Secret Lake.
3. Visit the National Museum. An exhibition “Early Capitals of Islamic Culture”, which is organized by SCTH in the National Museum in collaboration with the Pergamon Museum in Germany is on going at the Museum until May 5th. More info about the expo here.
5. Go watch the horse races at Riyadh Equestrian Club. Located next to the Janadriyah village, the Riyadh Equestrian Club is open and free entrance for all. Races start after Asr on Fridays. There’s singles, family and a VIP sections. You can rent your own room complete with private service and brunch included, no abaya needed! Check out this post for more info on the horse races: http://www.nzpounamu.com/2012/04/horse-racing-in-riyadh.html
6. Learn to golf or watch (or participate in!) a golf tournament. The Dirab Golf & Country Club is one of the most beautiful of golf courses in Riyadh and they often have gold tournaments in the spring. Some of the other golf courses are Riyadh Greens Gold Club, Intercontinental Hotel Palms golf course, Arizona compound golf course. Dirab golf club is worth visiting because it has stunning scenery, a nice restaurant, swimming pools and horse stables with beautiful Arabian horses. More pics and info here: http://gavinlee.travellerspoint.com/8/
7. Join the Riyadh Road Runners! The running season continues until end of April and all levels of runners are welcome to participate. They have regular 10k runs, more info on their website: http://riyadhroadrunners.com/index.html.
8. Desert Walks with expats **UPDATE as of June 2014 the Hash House Harriers desert walks have officially been cancelled until further notice. You can always enjoy the walking track at Diplomatic Quarter instead. Walk, run or cycle around the 20 km long path. (ladies can join and don’t need abaya!) More info on how to do that here.