I have no intention to advertise the market but only to share them to you what I got there and the overwhelming pleasures I experienced when I stopped at Al Batha Square. It is is one of the oldest markets in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. For its literal meaning, it is a place for relaxation. It was developed into an exemplary market place found in Riyadh City, where everything is there for your shopping pleasures and comforts. Al Batha Square was designed to meet the desired outlook and availability for shoppers. The market is serving the best quality of commodities imported from other countries. It is located alongside of Al Batha Street, now known King Abdul Aziz Street .
It was around 5:30 PM, I arrived at Al Batha. I remembered that my wife’s birthday was approaching, so I would have to buy a greeting card for my wife. When I got out from the car, I was surprised to see hundred of shoppers scattered inside the circumference of the area; some with bags full of good items. I looked around to the market and saw all groceries, stores; stalls were wide open for the shoppers. I had walked around the market and did some window-shopping.
First, I stopped at five buildings, where they sold home appliances, furniture, office equipment, mobile phones and kitchen wares at very low prices. There were big sales from 20,30,40,50, 60 and 75% discounts of imported items from England, Germany, USA, Japan, China, Taiwan, Paris and other countries. What impressed me so much was the salesreps' way of entertaining customers. They attracted many shoppers to buy their products with their sweet smiles and being polite to customers.
In these buildings, I noticed that Saudi Gold and jewelry were in different karats from 21 and 22, and sold from SR. 36, 38, 40, 42 and 44 per gram but now the price of per gram has reached already from SR.160 to SR.250. Aside from gold and jewelry items, there were also imported perfumes from Paris, USA and other countries. There were also different kinds of watches for men, women and children. At the left side of the square were groceries, stores and stalls for dry and wet items such as, can goods, fruits and vegetables, fresh and frozen meats, chickens and fish and other sea products.
Inside the circumference, there are banks that served for remittances to any part of the world. The Arab National Bank, located at the first floor of the Telemoney building. The Al Rajhi Bank, located at the first floor of the Al Rahji building, they are worldwide express remittances serving customers worldwide. Their banking hours are from 10AM to 10PM daily except holiday season. Aside from these banks there are also door-to-door express remittances including sea and air cargo services to any part of the world.
Outside the building, I could imagine how old Al Batha market is. I remembered my Uncle Timmy, who came to Riyadh somewhere in the late 70s as a construction worker. He was one of a hundred builders of Al Batha market. It has a wide parking area for cars, cabs, and automobile, located at the center part of the square. The square has public rest rooms available for shoppers, a place for ‘salah’ and a post office for posting letters. There are restaurants and fast food outlets. They served a variety of delicious foods and bakeries, and sweet pastries-specialties. There are also pharmacies for your medicines and vitamins.
Everyday Al Batha Square offers some discounted items, from children wears, sport wears, as well as for men and women’s clothing and other imported garments. If you needed for some haircuts, manicure, pedicure as well as hair dying and hair curling, the barbershops especially for males are wide open for your parlor pleasure. The barbers are Filipinos, Hindis, Pakistanis, Bangladesis, Nepalis and other nationalities.
What a marketplace! I would not hesitate to recommend this to you. Maybe one day you would have a trip with your family and friends to Riyadh. Just remember to stop at Al-Batha market. After a couple of hours roaming around the market, the only thing I got was a card worth five Riyals. The design has some camels walking in the desert and the greeting words read, “I would miss you in the desert.”
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