Riyadh kicks off shopping festivities
Riyadh Gov. Prince Turki bin Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz officially launched the 10th Riyadh Festival for Shopping and Entertainment at Qasr Mall last Thursday marking the beginning of the summer vacation which witnessed many Saudi families doing shopping rounds at various mega malls and visiting tourist spots in the capital.
The tourism-cum-shopping festival serves a dual purpose. Besides enabling the authorities to promote domestic tourism, especially the Kingdom’s rich cultural heritage, it encourages Saudis to spend time within their own country. This could help create jobs for Saudis and boost the national economy.
Many visitors were seen in the Riyadh Gallery Mall, Hayat Mall, Panaroma Mall and Granada Mall while others preferred to visit the two landmarks — Kingdom Tower and Al-Faisaliah Tower, both of which afford a breathtaking panoramic view of the city besides offering favorite dishes for families and friends.
Riyadh Municipality has also offered various sports activities this year for youngsters in the open-air playgrounds in different districts that were well received by these sports fans.
With the influx of large crowds of vacationers to the malls and various tourist sites, availability of parking space is posing a huge problem. To cope with this, the Granada Shopping Center has set up the biggest parking lot in the capital with a capacity to accommodate 4,500 cars. The shopping center is one of the favorite destinations for visitors. Situated in an area of 14,000 square meters, it is considered to be one of the largest malls in Saudi Arabia.
“We are seeing a rush of visitors of various nationalities including Saudis not only from neighboring villages but also from the Eastern Province, Jeddah and even from the Gulf countries,” said Saleh Al-Haddad, marketing and advertising manager at Gallery Mall.
He said their sales go up during this period as shoppers hunt for various international brands. Food courts also do a brisk business, while children crowd around the games corners inside the mall.
“Our landscaping inside the mall, the artificial lake, and waterfalls are added attractions for visitors, which gives one the feeling of being in the middle of a jungle. This is in addition to the world-class coffee shops with artificial rivers which draw a lot of visitors,” Haddad said.