Desert carnival draws families in droves

Women use Thumama park to practice driving, horse rides


Okaz/Saudi Gazette

RIYADH — Saudi families in Riyadh competed with one another to visit Thumama desert and book its various recreation facilities during the winter break for schools.

They came with varying intentions and family members moved from one place to another to realize their desired goals in a carnival called "Saada", or happiness.

Most women wanted to spend time on desert bikes to improve their driving skills before they will have the opportunity sit behind the wheel in less than five months.

"Most women are thrilled to drive desert bikes and they compete with one another to get hold of one," said a tourism official requesting anonymity.

Many women visit Thumama with their children to enjoy their stay in the recreation center. Some of them drive bikes keeping their children on board to double their joy.

Desert biking is another attraction that draws women to Thumama, the official said.

A young female said they would like to have equestrian clubs for women all over the Kingdom.

"This will provide us an opportunity to learn horse riding," she pointed out. "The authorities should hold horse races for women as well," she added.

Another young woman who was vacationing in Thumama said she wanted her whole family to visit the place to explore its attractive recreational facilities for all members.

"This is one of the unique places of recreation in Riyadh," she added.

Thumama's natural beauty is mesmerizing and it woos a large number of vacationers and tourists. "It brings together the city and the desert," she said, adding that the area has a number of attractive fun centers.

Thumama attracts a large number of families from Riyadh especially during school holidays and weekends. Many women come to this place to practice driving.

A Saudi man, who heads a family, said he was happy to see his wife and children enjoy horse rides and bike drives in Thumama.

"There is no reason for embarrassment and I believe women deserve recreation like men. There is nothing to prevent them from such joy. Actually, it was I who asked my wife and daughters whether they wanted to enjoy horse rides and bike driving," he said while speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette.