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Compounds in Al Khobar

Discussion forum for expats living in Middle Eastern countries not listed elsewhere.

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Compounds in Al Khobar

Post Posted: Wed May 24, 2006 6:18 pm

Can anybody tell me more about Compounds in Al Khobar with
regards to quality of housing / facilities / security etc..
My children will attend the British International School and I think we may be placed in a compound close to the school.
Any ideas or advise?


Re: Compounds in Al Khobar

Post Posted: Wed May 31, 2006 7:21 am

Hi there
There are some great compounds in Kohbar, it all depends on what your housing allowance in your salary package is, as the price range is quite vast and you want to try and avoid having to top up out of your own salary if possible ... the facilities vary on each compound, but most have good swimming pools with chillers, some organised activities for children, restaurants, playground equipment, tennis courts, squash courts, gyms, bowling alleys, daycare for pre schoolers etc etc. The schools generally run after school programmes as well. There are organised coffee mornings and exercise classes and craft groups for the ladies that have a minimal price to attend
The quality of the housing is good and there is a reasonable amount of flexibility to swap your furniture if you don't like it. Villa’s are spacious and most have good storage. Nationalities on compounds are mixed but some tend to have more nationalities than others on them – but people are normally friendly and welcoming and happy to help out answering questions or pointing you in the right direction. I see you are from SA, there are a lot of people from SA that live in Kohbar and they love to mix and mingle and organise social gatherings and bri's (excuse spelling). Villas have both 110 and 220 volt electricity and the maintenance is quite good and they do there best to make our villa as comfortable as possible for you. The compound provides shopping buses for the woman to go out on that run with daily. The compunds also provide transport for the children to and from school and normally a bus monitoe (a mother on a roster basis) accompanies the children to and from school.
Since the incident in 2004 security has tightened up a lot - although it was good before it is tighter now – we were very happy in Kohbar but our company moved us to Bahrain after the incident but we are hoping to be allowed to move back soon.
The only other piece of advice I would give would be to ensure your company allows you to hold your own passports if possible and also to get a multi visa so you can go to Bahrain on the weekend for a little bit of normality and a change of scenery. It is a lot more westernised with woman being able to wear normal clothing, there are fully licensed bars and restaurants to head to there as well. But in saying that there are ‘places’ you can head to for refreshments in Kohbar if you need to.
Hope this helps and if you have any other questions feel free to ask.


Re: Compounds in Al Khobar

Post Posted: Wed May 31, 2006 5:07 pm

Hi Sandpit

Thanks so much for the valuable information.
There seems to be a mixed reaction with regards to womens dress code, we have heard that they are not so strict in Khobar. Would my wife be required to wear an abaya on all trips out of the compound? We have been told that providing she wears clothes which do not show her form, she will be fine outside the compound.
How can I ensure that the company will not hold on to our passports as we will from time to time enjoy a trip accross to Bahrain to watch a movie and do "normal" things as you say...
And yes......we will definately enjoy lots of braai's!!!
Thanks again.



Re: Compounds in Al Khobar

Post Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:12 am

Hi Anthony
In answer to your question about the abaya it is a yes and no one... although it is alot more relaxed than other parts of Saudi most ladies wear the abaya.... and especially during Ramadan it is a must....the abaya it's not so bad and to be honest as a woman myself I was a lot more comfortable wearing an abaya... I wore shorts and a t-short under mine so was nice a cool and it avoided me being stared at which is a creepy feeling. The Saudi's are a funny bunch some aren't bothered by us westerners but others are and it is better to walk on the side of caution... and the religious police are always about and it avoids an uncomfortable situation even thou they aren't supposed to approach westerners some do and go off (so the way I view it is when in Rome do as the Roman's do)
It is a country that runs on contradictions …. I’ll give you an example ….if your car is parked in a car park or stationary at a set of lights and a Saudi hits it .. It’s your fault as you shouldn’t be in Saudi anyway..go figure!!
Just be careful also with want you bring out with you as far as personal possessions are concerned.. as things can and do get taken off you at customs but that once again depends on the day and the custom guys working that day… there is no continuity but you get used to it.
Regarding your passports just ask what the companies policy is and take it from there… If they hold your passports which for some companies is common they normally more than happy to give them when you want to trip over to Bahrain on the weekends… but it pays to have that sorted before you head over here and avoids nasty surprises.
When do you head out this way?
Keep firing questions at me if you like as when my husband and I headed out here we had a million and one of them and there is never a silly question….
Not sure if you are a Mrs Balls/Bulls??? chutney fan but if you are you will be pleased to know you can get it out here our South African friends go mad over it.
Have a jovial day and catch you again soon…

Sandpit kid


Re: Compounds in Al Khobar

Post Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 4:50 pm

Not too sure of exact dates, but the company will require me to start asap, possibly August.
I have just been granted a visit visa so I will be coming out to see the place first and to meet with my prospective employer. The company tried to obtain a visit visa for my wife but were unsucessful.
So, needless to say, the more information we can get the better.
If you can think of anything else which may be of great help, feel free to email us on info @ or perhaps you may have some photo's you can share with us, especially of the compound etc...
What line of business is your husband in?
Do you know if a monthly salary of 24 000 SR is sufficient for a family of 4 with everything else paid for by the company? We would like to try and save a portion of this each month.
Thanks again.
Anthony & Lisa


Re: Compounds in Al Khobar

Post Posted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 12:32 am


I too am moving with my family to Khobar this year. In a about two months actually.
We have been doing research on some compounds and the ones that people most frequently mention as good compounds seems to be Al Bustan, Zamil Village, Oasis (quite expensive), Nesma Village and Rumaih. Sandpit-kid, would you recommend any of these or any other ones? Do you know anything about them and what do you think about them?
Sorry for throwing so many questions.

Take Care and all the best


Re: Compounds in Al Khobar

Post Posted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 5:36 am

Hi there Swede and Anthony
Thought I'd kill two birds with one stone so to speak...
I am happy to email you some photos so will hunt the hard drive and see what I have on file Anthony. You will be fine with what you are earning and be able to save that is assuming the company are also going to pay for schooling etc. My husband said to warn you that shopping is a favourtie pass time for woman here! ha-ha
One thing I would say for your wife etc is to bring shorts and stuff from home as they aren't easy to find and can be expensice when you do find them. I always stock up on clothing when I go home or away on holiday. We find food a lot more expensive here in the Middle East but as we don't pay for rent insurance etc its ok There are things that you can't get here like beef stock etc and also the fruit and veg tend to go off a lot quicker but you get by and soon find your own niche.
There are several ways to connect to the internet and it is a little costly but well worth it we use the internet to call friends and family as it is a lot cheaper.
It does take a little time to adjust to life out here, when I got here I hit a wall and wanted to go home but that soon passed and it wasn't long beofre I made friends. As you have children your wife will meet people pretty quickly so that is a good thing.
I have lived on both Zamil and Al Bustan and my personal choice would be Al Bustan by far.....
Al Bustan is a bigger compound and you have a lot more privacy as living on a compound you can at times feel like you are living in a goldfish bowl at least there you don’t run into people on a daily basis has a lot going on activities wise for children and for the wives. Also it is right next door to the British school so it saves children having to travel by bus to and from school (which is a relief to most parents if something untoward where to happen). The facilities are great they have several gyms and swimming pools and tennis courts, dvd library, running track, bowling alley, fun house for the kids to play at when it is too hot outside, and the list goes on………a supermarket on site so you don’t have to go off compound which are things you do need to take into consideration just encase… I know that at the moment it is pretty full as that is where we are hoping to move back to . We loved it on there and where really happy and content. Some of the villa’s are smaller than Zamil’s but people head to Al Bustan anyway for the activities and lifestyle. The other thing is they have policies on who can reside there which is a good thing. There security is good and during the attack 2 years ago I never felt threatened and as the attack was happening at Oasis just across the road that was most reassuring.
Zamil Village is ok it is currently getting a face lift and they are doing up the compound this has been ongoing since we where there… The upgrade is good and the villas are lovely but it is a smaller compound in comparison. It all depends what you are looking for.
Oasis is ok but a little over the top and as you say expensive I guess a lot will depend on what your housing allowance is.
As for the other two you mentioned I personally wouldn’t live there but that is just me and I am a fussy bugger.
I am happy to answer any questions you may have and I am just pleased I can help.
Have a jovial day
Regards, Sandpit Kid


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