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Here are a few images of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh from a work trip in May of 2014.  This is the same hotel that was made famous 3 years later as the hotel Donald Trump stayed at during his first official overseas trip as US President in May 2017.  It was then again in the news in November of 2017 when it became a makeshift prison for some of the Saudi Royal Family.

Besides of course the amazing luxury inside the hotel, the one thing I remember the most from my visit was that they had excellent food.  They had of course traditional Middle Eastern dishes but also a lot of American style options as well, and funny enough the one I remember the most was the chicken wings of all things.  I could go back just for the chicken wings!

Ritz Carlton Hotel Exterior

Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh at Dawn
Closer view of front of the Ritz Carlton Hotel and Fountains
Fountains in front of Ritz Carlton Riyadh at dawn
Main entrance gate and driveway into the Ritz Carlton Riyadh

Ritz Carlton Hotel Interior

I had to take most of these pictures descreetly as technically speaking pictures are not allowed inside the hotel.  Especially not in the pool area, but I grabbed a few as best I could, but this is why a couple are blurry or not the best framing.

Ritz Carlton Riyadh main lobby
View of the Ritz Carlton Riyadh Male Only Pool from upper seating area.
Ritz Carton Male Only Pool

There are even very lavish seating areas in the hallways and side hallways throughout the hotel.  Although I never saw anyone using them.

Hotel hallway and seating area

I found the bowling alley and bar downstairs.  The bar servers drinks (or mocktails) but all non-alcoholic.  They have a huge list of beverage options (white russian, pina collada, daiquiri, beer, etc.) just all non-alcoholic.

Panoramic view of the bowling alley and bar

This was my very first trip to KSA so I thought the little bathroom sign man was interesting, but after living here now for a while I don’t really notice them or the female version in the hijab anymore.

Sign for the men’s toilet


Also my first visit in person to the SABIC (Saudi Basic Industrial Chemicals) headquarters in Riyadh.  This is a picture of the main headquarters building which because of its interesting and distinctive shape is well known in the region.  Also one of the first large buildings you see when leaving the airport heading into Riyadh.

SABIC Headquarters building in Riyadh


My name is Don Owens and I am a Chemical Engineer, US Expat, FIRE Enthusiast, Author, and Frequent Traveler. I blog about life as an Expat in KSA, my journal toward financial independence, travel, and science.

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