Saqr Al Jazeera
One of Riyadh’s most enjoyable, but least known, museums is situated on the eastern ring road near junction 10.
Put together by the Royal Sa’udi Air Force, with help from defence firm BAE Systems, it is a museum dedicated to over 75 years of Sa’udi aviation in all of its aspects.
Containing a mixture of models and real aircraft including a number of planes previously in use by the Royal Sa’udi Air Force – together with explanatory videos (in English and Arabic), equipment from the planes, simulators and instrumentation – its prized possession is the now fully restored Dakota DC3 (SA-R-1) presented to King Abdul Aziz by President Roosevelt and on which visitors are allowed to climb aboard and see how royalty travelled in the early years of Sa’udi air travel.
The prevailing theme throughout is how the RSAF developed from flying a few bi-planes to a force which operates some of the most modern aircraft in the world today. Throughout the museum there are interactive video screens that allow visitors to explore this history for themselves.
There are also documents and photographs that reflect the initial stages of the unification of the Kingdom of Sa’udi Arabia under King Abdul Aziz.
It is literally a museum with something for everyone including a ‘white-knuckle ride’ near the exit where you are invited to travel into space on a simulator which throws you about with gay abandon as you navigate black holes and avoid a few passing asteroids!
To get to the museum, go south down the Eastern ring road, and the museum is on your right immediately after junction 10.
Entrance: 24o 45.32’ N; 46o 44.45’E.
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