A Visit To The Kingdom’s Aviation Museum (Royal Saudi Air Force Museum)

In Riyadh, there are a lot of communities where Filipino expats can join in. My friends and I are fortunate to have found one that is into worthy causes and traveling every now and then.

During the start of the winter season last year, I was privileged to have been included in the community’s list of participants for their travel series’ kickoff. It should be noted that I was also a part of their Dammam/Bahrain travel series (Eid Break in the Kingdom’s Eastern Region and Bahrain’s Threshold) in 2014.

This time around, they chose Royal Saudi Air Force Museum or Saqr Al-Jazira, which is located at Salbokh Road, Ministry of Defense and Aviation – King Abdul Aziz Military College, on the East Ring Road of Riyadh between Exits 10 and 11. It is just a ten-minute drive from Al Izdihar.

There were 16 of us who lined up at the museum’s gate last 04 December 2015. Actually, we were reluctant to proceed with this visit because we thought the place is only for families. Good thing there is a big signboard at the entrance that says singles are allowed on any day of the week. We were all smiling after reading that.

What we saw upon entering was the huge passenger aircraft, which I had been seeing standing behind a wall right next to the East Ring Road.


The aircraft’s name is Lockheed L-1011 TriStar.



We merrily roamed around the museum’s ground to have a closer look at the various passenger and combat aircraft until darkness started to fall.


“For thousands of years, men have looked at the skies and dreamt of flight. Ancient mythologies tell of heroic attempts to emulate the birds of the air. In more recent times, men have succeeded, with motor-driven flying machines in place of flapping wings. Not content with the skies, man has his sights set on the heavens beyond. The stars upon which our forebears gazed at are now within reach of our children’s children” (Dreams of Flight, Royal Saudi Air Force).


What we feasted on subsequently were exhibits on the history of the Royal Saudi Air Force: uniforms, insignia and decorations, aircraft engines and weaponry—and a special display on Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the first Saudi in space who rode as a payload specialist on the Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-51-G.


Throughout the museum there are interactive video screens that allow visitors to explore this history for themselves.


There is also an Imax cinema, without 3D glasses, where we got to experience flying a jet fighter. It was a simulation of what it feels like to be amid jet fighters in an aerial warfare. It was awesome.


For the first time, I got to get a feel of a cinema in the Kingdom even if what we viewed was only a 15-minute show.

The Royal Saudi Air Force Museum here in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the perfect place if you want to get a literally happy photo just like the second in the series. And, of course, if you want to experience traveling into space on simulators for only SAR 10. Free admission is awarded to children.

Related Articles

Things to see in Riyadh (eyeofriyadh.com)

Riyadh’s Best Museums (destinationksa.com)

Explore Riyadh: Aviation Museum (exploreriyadh.blogspot.com)

5 Awesome Things to Enjoy in Saudi Arabia (twomonkeystravelgroup.com)

Pixels For Four: Royal Saudi Air Force Museum, Riyadh (pixelsforfour.blogspot.com)

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Mabel Kwong says:

    This looked like a very fun outing, Sony. Aviation has come so far over the last century. So many kinds of planes, and I bet some of them are pretty much obsolete, valuable pieces of history. My favourite shot has to be the one of the sunset in the background of the plane. Wonderfully framed – and I like that one side is bright and the other side is dark. Sort of symbolises two worlds, and when we fly, we are essentially going off into another continuum and community in this world.

    All of you look very happy in the cinema there. Boys night out 😀 I was wondering…who takes all the group photos of all of you? They are always wonderfully done and everyone always seems to be looking at the camera? Also, from the sounds of it, you haven’t been to the cinema in Saudi before?


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Glad you like that photo too. It just dawned on me that the other photo you described in the comment symbolizes two worlds. Whatta hindsight! I might as well make a note of that.

      Yes, this is actually a boys’ night out too. I should have thought of that. By thew way, the one who took the photo was the operator (can’t think of the exact designation) of the mini cinema, which can accommodate 30 people.

      There is no movie theater in the Kingdom, Mabel. It is against the Saudi law.


      1. Mabel Kwong says:

        It is actually quite an incredible capture. To loosely put it, it is not often that a subject “looks good” if it is centered in the middle of a shot. I have to give you props for it.

        I had no idea there are not movie theaters where you are currently based. Goes to show I need to see the world more.


      2. Sony Fugaban says:

        Oh, yes, Mabel. There are a lot of things, which would actually surprise every newcomer, prohibited here. No matter how weird I may find them, I can’t deny the fact that the country survives this long with them intact as a rich country. Therefore, I’m in no position to question it unless Philippines will rise as a first world country. That is a joke. Having said that, I’m absolutely proud of my country.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Lani says:

    I remember going to aviation museums in the States and they were, indeed, fun.


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Hi, Lani. Thank you for dropping by the blog yesterday to share your thoughts on this post.

      Aviation Museums in the States would surely look more colorful than this, right?

      Do you have a blog about them?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lani says:

        Sorry, my time in the States was well before blogging.


      2. Sony Fugaban says:

        No problem, Lani. We all have that kind of episode, right?


  3. Chia says:

    Oh gosh! It looks amazing to see those big flying machines! 🙂


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Yes, Chia. You will be more amazed if you try their simulation equipment that are designed to give you a real feel of how to fly an aircraft-big or small.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Chia says:

        Oh yes! The simulator sounds pretty cool and exciting too! I don’t think 3D/4D/5D thing-y here in the PH are as cool as those machines. They basically offer 3D/4D/5D of different movies. Hahaha I want to ride a jet fighter even it’s only virtual. It would be a partially dream come true! #AchievementUnlock


      2. Sony Fugaban says:

        The world is full of possibilities. I woudn’t wonder…


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