5 Of The Best Nature Spots Near Riyadh That Most Tourists Never Visit


Surprise, surprise, Riyadh isn’t just about glitzy buildings and historic structures. There are so many spots near the city that nature lovers will absolutely love. Now there are a few spots like Wadi Hanifa or the Edge of the World that tourists do visit, but many spots that are worthy tourist sites in their own right don’t make it to make tour guides. This list is all about those ones.

1. Rub Al-Khali Desert

If you look at the satellite view of the Rub Al-Khali desert, you’ll notice that there’s a sizeable portion of it that extends to the east of Riyadh. So whether you’re driving down the highway to Hofuf from Riyadh or the one from Al-Kharj to the UAE border, you can’t reach your destination without crossing the Rub Al-Khali Desert. This desert is famous for being the largest sand-dune desert in the world. And, coming to how you’ll know you’re in it, you just will as the colours of the sand change to a darker shade and the gravel-filled desert changes to one of rolling sand dunes.

2. Faisal’s Finger

Called Faisal’s Finger, for reasons not known, the structure is a natural wonder. It rises close to 200 metres in height, and its setting is such that many have compared it to the much more famous Monument Valley in Arizona. The best part is that there’s a road that goes right past the base of Faisal’s Finger. Plus, it’s a very good place to trek, so keep your trekking shoes handy.


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3. Red Sand Dunes

While Wadi Rum in Jordan is famous for its red dunes, Riyadh has its own version of them. Head southwest, past Al-Muzahmiya, and you’ll be greeted by the distinctive red hues of the sand. Hey, movie scouts, you need to check this out; you’ll have no need for VFX to film your next interplanetary Hollywood blockbuster.

4. Rawdat Khuraim

Just 100 km to the northeast of Riyadh lies this place that stands in stark contrast to the surrounding desert with its verdant grass and landscape that’s pockmarked with wildflowers. You’ll spot those flowers right after the winter rains. So, yes, now’s the time to head here.


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5. Al-Hair Lake Park

The place is slowly developing into a tourist site, and there are a lot of fun activities that are being added for tourists. Make it a point to witness the sunset here, the experience of listening to the chirping of the birds and the soothing sound of the gushing of water all while your eyes feast on nature’s finest is a must-add to your Riyadh bucket list.


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