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.
If you’re feeling too hot for outdoor activities, you can always visit and art gallery or musuem and stay cool. Read some suggestions below on things to do in Riyadh during spring time (around March-April).
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. ARTICLE UPDATED FOR 2018!
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 2018 dates 14th-24th 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. If you haven’t visited yet, now would be a great time see the Edge of the World in Riyadh!
3. Visit the National Museum. A fascinating time travel experience on the Arabian Peninsula starting from hundreds of millions of years ago when oil was formed, traveling forward in time through seven exhibition halls until modern day Saudi Arabia. The National Museum will keep you occupied for hours!
Around the museum you will find lovely parks and fountains perfect for a stroll or picnic. Don’t miss the Murabba palace nearby, where King Abdulaziz used to live. National Musuem is now open open daily 8 am – 8 pm except Fridays 4 pm onward. Museum Guide here: Riyadh’s National Museum
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! Last race for 2018 season 24 th March. 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. Go to a concert. April is the Europe Month in Riyadh and the various European embassies hold concerts and other cultural events. Check out Facebook page for the schedules and info. King Fahad Cultural center has free concerts almost every week. The Riyadh Music Society organizes concerts in Riyadh, they will be posted on the Blue Abaya facebook page- make sure you’ve liked and followed the page!
8. Desert hiking with expats Check out Riyadh HHH group. 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.
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.
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Hello there, I’m Laura, the founder, author and manager of Blue Abaya, the first travel blog in Saudi Arabia established in 2010. Travel has always been my passion- so far I’ve visited 69 countries and I’m always on the lookout for new adventures inside and outside of Saudi Arabia! Having visited all corners of the Kingdom with over a decade of experience, I have a vast knowledge base about travel and tourism in Saudi Arabia.