When we thought of the tallest building in the world, the first thing that comes to our mind is in Dubai City, why not? What about the most iconic and one of the most beautiful buildings in the world? You wouldn’t have probably thought of Saudi Arabia, would you? I know you’re raising your eyebrows right now. But yes, there is a building here that could rival any other modern landmarks in the world.
Have you ever heard of King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture? Sounds unfamiliar right? It’s a new iconic building developed by Saudi Aramco, the largest Oil and Gas Company in the world. Located in Dhahran City, it was officially opened last December 2017, inaugurated by King Salman of Saudi Arabia.
The building is shaped like three pebbles stones sitting alongside together, it’s situated near “Well no. 7” the first prosperity well of Saudi Arabia that marks the potential of oil reserves in the kingdom. This state of the art structure houses, museum, library, theatres, cinemas, exhibition hall, and auditorium.
In line with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision to diversify its economy from oil-based to enhancing its human resource, knowledge, tourism and entertainment. Saudi Arabia has seen unprecedented changes over a short span of time through its new leaders who have promised to make Saudi Arabia similar to that of the outside world.
A dramatic announcement was made last year when the kingdom has lifted its banned from women driving cars. Last June 2018, the world has celebrated as officially the women were allowed to take on the wheels, several women are now seen driving along Saudi roads. Additionally, both expats and locals rejoiced as the kingdom has once again opened its cinemas nationwide.
There were already movie theatres 30 years ago; however, it was shut down as per the recommendation of the religious clerics. Likewise, the government has also reduced the authority of the “mutawa” or religious police. As a proof, there are several programs held in a public parks all around Saudi Arabia during the weekends, local songs and even western music were played in events like this.
Meanwhile, the King Abdulaziz Center of World Culture is already opened to the general public, at first – it used to be only for Aramco employees and its dependents. Getting inside to the building is free, but you need to register first and obtain your free ticket from their official website. However, cinemas, live shows and the museums have corresponding fees. As a general rule, please observed proper attire and modesty when visiting the building.
Taking photos are also allowed in certain designated areas, so don’t worry – you can bring your cameras with you. If you have nothing to do during the weekend, consider visiting this place along with your family and friends. It’s a great weekend destination especially if you’re based in the Eastern Province.
The author is currently based in Saudi Arabia, the holiest land of Islam. He’s a full-time employee of the largest energy company in the world. He’s a graduate of Communication Management, loves to write and travel.