City - Buraydah
Buraydah, the regional capital of the Al-Qassim Province in north central Saudi Arabia, is equidistant from the Red Sea to the west and the Persian Gulf to the east. It is located on the edge of the Wadi Al-Rummah, the longest wadi in the Kingdom, which stretches for 772 miles from Madinah to the Al-Thuwairat sands. Buraydah is the second largest city after Riyadh in its region, with a population of 670,000 (2008). Once a small farming town surrounded by a high mud wall, it is now one of the most important cities in the region, housing the headquarters of the governor and branches of several government departments. Buraydah has the largest pharmaceutical factory in the Middle East and the world’s largest camel market, and is one of Saudi Arabia’s largest wheat producers. Buraydah also has much more: sand dunes, camel farms, parks, sports clubs, cultural attractions, shopping, and restaurants.
Thanks to a history that dates back to the ninth century, there are many interesting artifacts to be found in the Burayah Museum. Next to the museum is the King Khalid Urban Center, which has gardens, exhibits, and a special area for popular festivals. The city’s three-story water tower has a large reception area on top and a balcony overlooking the city. Buraydah’s public park has a swimming pool, fountains, waterfalls, and playgrounds. The Usman Bin Affan garden—complete with electronic games—is is another great place for family entertainment . And the Prince Abdullah Sports Complex has playgrounds and a soccer stadium with a seating capacity of 20,000. Buraydah’s sand dunes, found along the highway to Qassim, are beautiful and peaceful—perfect for sand boarding—and its camel farms are fun to visit.
There is abundant shopping at the Al Nakheel Plaza, with everything from designer shops to fast food restaurants. Hoabarth Market is just north of the Palm Plaza shopping complex. There are some fine restaurants, including Sheeza and Feeshon, both known for their Indian dishes. Buraydah’s highway links it to the rest of the provinces. The city is served by the Gassim Regional Airport and by 10 international airports—the closest being the King Khalid International Airport. Buraydah has a typical desert climate, with hot summers, cold winters, and low humidity. The dress code, as in other Saudi cities, requires women to wear the abaya, a black overgarment, and men to avoid wearing shorts.
Buraydah has its own university and branches of King Saud University, in addition to a number of colleges and institutes. There are also many public and private schools. Burayadah, in short, is a well-rounded city that has much to offer Western teachers.