You are looking at the Kingdom Tower in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia).
Work takes me there every now and then and this beautiful building, which by the way is one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world, is one of the few things I always look forward to seeing again. Otherwise, it’s probably only the fact to get to a place with quite unusual rules of life that fascinates me. As the sound of the names is so similar, I am always joking that I am going to “Riyadh the Janeiro”. In fact, both cities actually seem to be on completely different planets, so here just five reasons why Riyadh is not Rio:
1) When you arrive at the passport control you are not being greeted by the beautiful sounding “bom dia”. You are actually quite lucky if you are greeted at all while being pushed erratically from one waiting lane to another.
2) You barely see women. And those few you see, wherever you go, are covered and always accompanied by their husbands.
3) You are surrounded by sand of an impressive, actually beautiful desert that separates you from any beach.
4) You don’t hear music at all, not even in restaurants or tea shops. Can you imagine Rio de Janeiro without music?
5) No caiprinha and no cerveja…
It’s truly quite a different place to experience, with strict rules that are partially difficult to understand for a stranger. But hey, I guess that’s what you call diversity.