Mashael Al Rushaid, founder of fine art gallery Heist, shares the shopping secrets of her home city
It’s an exciting time for Saudi Arabia, with creativity and homegrown talent at the forefront. The all-new hotspot The Boulevard has an outdoor avenue reminiscent of shopping experiences in Los Angeles, with an arabesque twist. As well as having all the international fashion houses, you’ll discover labels you can’t find anywhere else. The highlights of which are: Ashi , a couture designer who has an international following; Re Reem AlKanhal , who collaborates with local artists and offers a collection that can be dressed-up or down; and Razan Alazzouni, who produces beautiful collections with intricate beading and embroidery.
As far as concept stores go, Pattern has a great selection of curated art, fashion and lifestyle, which is all laid out for you under one roof, while Number Nine is a great destination for gifts, gadgets and clothes.
No trip to Riyadh would be complete without a visit to the gold souks; the city is one of the few places in the world where you can get 21-karat gold.
Discover labels you can’t find anywhere else
For traditional, locally-produced products, make a beeline for Art Heritage Centre Art Heritage Centre, where you are guaranteed to find a vast array of beautifully-embroidered jalabiya (kaftans) and farwa (Saudi’s answer to the winter coat) handmade and designed by Saudi women.
Another thing you must do is add to your fragrance wardrobe with essential oils, incense or perfume. You’ll find scents in their purest form – particularly those from Taif, one of the oldest cities in the world – and traditional glass blown perfume bottles called tolla, which are works of art in themselves.
For gourmands, sukkari dates sukkari dates from the date market are world-class, and don’t leave without stocking-up on the date syrup from Bateel.
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