When I first moved to Riyadh and took a taxi to the National Museum of Saudi Arabia, a strangetower caught my eye. We continued to drive down Olaya street and I tried to take a picture of the interesting looking tower without much success.
“Excuse me, what is the name of that tower?” I asked the taxi driver.
“Kingdom Tower,” he replied cheerfully.
Kingdom Tower (برج المملكة) is one of the tallest skyscapers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and can be found in the Olaya retail district of the country’s capital city: Riyadh. The tower is over 302 meters tall making it the second tallest skyscraper in the country, and the world’s third tallest building with a hole after the Shanghai World Financial Center and Tuntex Sky Tower.
Construction of the tower was completed at the end of 2002 and today the Kingdom Tower is considered as a center point for both business and shopping. The cost of building the tower was over $1 billion US dollars – it really is a grand structure!
Although many refer to the tower by its name, many also call the tower the ‘Saudi Necklace’ due to it’s unusual, unique caternary arch. Many people that I have spoken to actually feel that the tower represents a shopping bag. What do you think it looks like?
What things can you do at Kingdom Tower?
When you enter Kingdom Tower you can visit Kingdom Mall (Mamleka Mall) and shop in the various different stores. On the second floor of the mall you can find the ‘Ladies Kingdom’. Sorry gents – only women are able to shop on this floor! There is also a large food court on the lower floor that compromises of many different fast food restaurants and eateries.
If you prefer something more classy, there are two restaurants that you can visit. One such restaurant is Spazio restaurant, located 77 floors above the hyperactive city of Riyadh. My friend Ifrah and I loved eating there, and the view was trully beautiful.
My personal favourite feature of Kingdom Tower is the Sky Bridge that stretches along 200ft and provides a perfect view of the beautiful city of Riyadh. The skybridge, located on the 99th floor, allows you to see a 365 degree view of the capital city. You can visit the skybridge during the day, or at night; it is worth noting that the skybridge is closed during prayer times (like every other place in Saudi Arabia.)
Kindgom Tower is one of my favourite places in Riyadh due to its unique features and Skybride – I must have visited the Skybridge up to five times and it is the perfect place to show guests and visitors.
Most of the shops in the mall are considered ‘high end’ or ‘designer’ and are therefore quite expensive, but the mall itself is a lovely meeting place for a gathering of friends.
If you are travelling to Saudi Arabia and are visiting Riyadh, Kingdom Tower should certainly be on your list of places to visit.
Have you visited Kingdom Tower? What did you like about it? Let me know in the comments below.