Riyadh Oasis is back and better than ever in 2022, featuring shopping, dining, concerts and even sports, including bowling, archery, golf and horse riding. The event was described as “a luxury pop-up in the desert” by Saudi influencer Lama Alakeel. The Jeddah native liked it so much that she recently made two visits to “Oasis,” as locals call it — one with girlfriends and one with her husband.
“When I went with my friends, we spent the whole evening there,” Alakeel says. “We went for a dinner, to a concert, then we stayed, just walking around, until 3 a.m.!” Between activities, visitors to the Riyadh Oasis can shop in boutiques featuring local brands. “You can buy coats, abayas, perfumes — so many things,” Alakeel says. “The vibe was great. So, two weeks later, I told my husband we needed to go back, because it is also a romantic place for couples.” Alakeel says the Oasis tends to be more crowded on the weekends, so she went during a weekday with her husband. “We had a relaxed dinner, then we walked around. There was music all around and places to sit for coffee, tea or shisha,” Alakeel says.
Among the big-name international restaurants that have been featured at the Oasis are the Japanese restaurant Zuma, Latin American fusion eatery Amazonico, Emirati Arabic restaurant Ninive and Greek seafood establishment Nammos. The shopping area has included brands such as perfumery Tolat Etr, luxury jeweler Cardial, and local home and retail store Papillon.
The Oasis offers chic accommodations in the form of “glamps” — glamorous camps, which can hold up to eight people. They are strikingly decorated and include living rooms, dining areas and luxury bathrooms. While they are a great home base to eat, relax and leave bags or layers of warmer clothing, they are not available for overnight stays. (For more on where to stay and what to do in Saudi’s capital city, check out this guide.)
Located between Al Ammariyah and Diriyah, the Oasis is open from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. on weekdays and 1 p.m. to 3 a.m. on weekends. This year’s event runs through February. Book tickets for the restaurants and glamps using The Chefz app. Restaurant reservations cost SAR500 to SAR860 (about US$130 to $230), while a reservation for a glamp is about SAR13,000 (about US$3,465). Oasis visitors must be fully vaccinated. Download the Tawakkalna app, to display your vaccination status, here.
Open-air attractions like the Riyadh Oasis are especially lovely to explore in winter when temperatures don’t soar quite so high in Saudi. Check out these five epic outdoor attractions.