edit

Introduction

Buraydah (بريدة), or Buraidah, is a city in the Nejd region of Saudi Arabia. It is the capital of Qassim (Gassim) province, and the names are often used interchangeably on timetables and signage. Buraydah has the unenviable reputation of being the most conservative town in all Saudi Arabia. Women are advised to dress conservatively, this means wearing an abayah and covering the face.

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

Milad al-Nabi

All Saudi Muslims celebrate the birthday of their Prophet, Mohammad, by elaborately decorating their homes and mosques. Children recite poems about the Prophet, while older Saudis tell stories about Mohammad’s life and accomplishments. Large feasts and street processions are among Milad al-Nabi’s other traditional activities. The date of Milad al-Nabi varies from year to year according to the Islamic calendar.

Unification of the Kingdom Day

The country’s only secular public holiday takes place each September 23 on the anniversary of Saudi Arabia’s 1932 founding. Although many Saudis still choose to quietly celebrate this formerly low-key holiday at home, growing numbers of young Saudis have chosen to express their national pride more overtly by singing, dancing, honking car horns, and waving Saudi flags.

Eid ul-Fitr

Like their Muslim counterparts in other nations, Saudis mark the final day of the fasting month of Ramadan with this three-day religious festival. Eid ul-Fitr begins with a small morning meal and quiet prayers, and continues with larger feasts and livelier celebrations among family and friends. Saudi children receive money and elaborately decorated gift bags from adults, several shopkeepers add free gifts to all purchases, and Saudi men secretly leave large bags of food on strangers’ doorsteps during this festive time of year.

Eid al-Adha

This important Muslim festival lasts four days and marks the moment when Ibrahim was willing to sacrifice Ismael, his son, for Allah. Today, most Saudi families celebrate Eid al-Adha by dressing up in their finest clothing, saying special prayers, and slaughtering lambs to share their meat with everyone.

Top

edit

Getting There

Qassim Regional Airport (ELQ) is the region's airport, which is about 30KM out of Buraydah and Unayza. Riyadh, the kingdom's capital is 320KM away. There is not much scenery between the two cities, but the road network is good for travel.

New high-speed trains operated by Saudi Railways connect with Riyadh several times a week. Trains call at Al Qassim Railway Station, which is almost 20 km northeast of the city.

Top

edit

Sleep

A number of new hotels have opened in recent years. Other than that, furnished apartments are available but generally not advised, and they are usually reserved for families and do not accept single men.

Mövenpick Hotel Qassim (موفنبيكْ القصيم) (On King Khaled Road), ☏ +966 16 316 9999.

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes abound in major Saudi cities, and many shopping malls feature a gaming parlor or two. Rates are around SR5/hour.

While Internet in Saudi Arabia is cordoned off by a filter, it aims primarily at pornography, non-Islamic religious and domestic political sites in Arabic, and (from the traveller's point of view) is nowhere near as strict as, say, China's. Google, Skype, Wikipedia, all major webmail providers etc. are all accessible.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The three mobile operators in Saudi, incumbent Al Jawal, Emirati rival Mobily and Kuwaiti newcomer Zain (Vodafone Network) are fiercely competitive, with good coverage (in populated areas) and good pricing. A starter pack with prepaid SIM and talktime starts from about SR 75, and you can sign up in most any larger mobile shop (bring your passport). Local calls are under SR 0.5/minute, while calls overseas are around or less than SR 2/min.

And yes, you can bring in your own phone: despite grumblings from the clerics, both camera phones and multimedia messaging (MMS) are now legal.

Post

Saudi Post has a good network of post offices around the country, but offices are closed Thursday and Friday. Stamps for postcards to anywhere in the world cost SR4. The bigger problem is actually finding postcards, as the mutawwa periodically crack down on the celebration of non-Islamic holidays like Valentine's Day, Christmas or even birthdays, causing all cards of any sort to disappear from bookstores! Your best bet is thus gift shops in major hotels. Mail coming in to the country from overseas is notoriously unreliable. Stories abound of things arriving months after they were sent or never arriving at all. There are branches of DHL, FedEx and UPS operating throughout the kingdom, so a good rule of thumb is to have anything important sent through those channels.

Top

Buraidah Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Buraidah

This is version 3. Last edited at 14:18 on Oct 1, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License