A glittering city built high upon a desert plateau, Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s political and business capital. Once a nomadic settlement, the city is now bustling with industry, glamorous hotels, upscale shopping at Kingdom Centre mall and world-class dining. Its dramatic surrounding landscape underscores the ancient roots of the city, and visitors can explore its deep Arabian heritage at the National Museum, the many souks (traditional outdoor bazaars) and cultural festivals. Excursions into the desert are a must-do — book a camel ride, go on a diamond hunt or buckle up for a thrilling four-wheel drive through the sand.