Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Shopping Experience,Kingdom Centre,Riyadh KSA

Shopping here in Saudi Arabia is also a very one of a kind experience.It is very different from the Philippines that everybody is allowed to enter the mall like in Glorietta,Greenbelt or any SM super malls.

Here in Saudi Arabia there are malls where only families are only allowed to enter and bachelors are not allowed especially the Saudis or any Arab nationalities but for some expat like to Filipinos,Americans and British or European nationalities security guards give considerations for them to do shopping.Before going to mall phoned first the customer service if bachelors are allowed to enter for not to waste time and effort.All people working in shopping malls from cashiers, sales people are all males and don't be surprised if there is no females that will assist you.Store hours also must be observed in shopping because as we all know KSA is a conservative Muslim country so prayer time is strictly followed and during prayer time all showrooms,boutiques and all establishments are closed .Five or so minutes before the prayer call customers are asked to leave the shop,the staff also exit closing the shutters and failure to do so religious police or the Mutaween also known as the Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice will catch the staff and the customer for disciplinary measures.

This affects shoppers particularly at Midday or Dhur, prayer start between 11:30am and 12:30 pm,it is worthwhile checking if the shop will re-open after prayers, as many stores and malls close between midday and 4:00pm or after mid afternoon or Asr prayer , because during that span of time the temperature is at its highest so its is a siesta time.Shopping malls open from 9:00am until or before midday prayer time. Also during Sunset or Maghrib,prayers start between 5:30pm and 6:30 pm and last prayer time of the day the Isha or dinnertime prayers start between 7pm and 8pm and re-open until 10 or 11pm.

This mall the Mamlaka or Kingdom Centre (Arabic: برج المملكة‎) is very closed to my apartment only a block away when i was assigned working in Riyadh and it is my landmark for not to get lost in the city.Kingdom Tower is the tallest skyscraper in Saudi Arabia, somewhat resembling a modern bottle opener. With a height of 303 m (992 ft), it is the 24th tallest building in world.

The tower is host to the highest mosque in the world. The Kingdom Centre is owned by Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, a prince of the Saudi royal family. It is also the headquarters of his holding company: Kingdom Holding Company. The total cost of the project was 2 billion Saudi Arabian Riyals and the contract was taken by Saudi Arabian El Saif and the Italian Impregilo S.P.A. Kingdom Centre is situated in Al-Urubah Road between King Fahd Road and Olaya Street in the growing business district of Olaya in Riyadh.

Kingdom Centre was the winner of the 2002 Emporis Skyscraper Award, selected as the "best skyscraper of the world for design". A three-level shopping center, which also won a major design award, fills the east wing. The large opening is illuminated at night in continuously changing colors. Besides the shopping mall, the Centre includes a Four Seasons Hotel and state-of-the-art apartments. The 56 meter long skybridge atop the skyscraper contains a public observation deck and a view of the entire city of Riyadh.

The Shopping Mall contains 170 prestigious stores.The first and second floor is open to both gender and third floor is stictcly for females only where they can freely remove thier veil or abayas.If you feel hungry during shopping and if you want to eat,the wide array of choices of local and international fast food chains is located in ground floor ,also the Family and bachelors section is stricly followed.Enjoy Shopping.

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