What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
How long have you lived there?
What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?
There were many expatriate clubs before the 2004 security incident which caused most westerners to leave. Everything from knitting and drama to golf and scuba diving. They all vanished, but are just startign to come back due to the huge influx of westerners to Yanbu because of the gigantic industrial expansion. There are only two western expatriate compounds - Arabian Homes and The Cove. If you live on either, there are many social activities.
In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.
Almost all non-westerners are Muslim. No overt Christianity or other religions are really accepted (no crucifixes etc.). But everybody is very freindly and won't have a problem with your religion as long as you don't shove it in their faces. Sexual diversity is not really accepted, although it does exist. Think closet.
What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?
Huge industrial expansion. Oil, steel, float glass, chemicals, paint. Yanbu is a boom town.
In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?
Yanbu is an industrial 'new city', but it is very clean and tidy, unlike most Saudi towns. The western housing area of the Royal Commission is very like parts of America. Most westerners in Yanbu are there to work - but it's a great place to socialise and great for things like scuba diving, sailing, dune-buggies etc.
If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.
You will have great fun. Just make sure you get housed on Arabian Homes or The Cove. Arabian Homes is an open compound, a bit out in the sticks (17Km from Royal COmmission) and is a mature compound i.e. a bit faded. The Cove is westerners only, in the Royal Commission and is brand-new. But it's very popular and not easy to get into. May be a waiting list.
An Expat Talks about Culture Shock & Living in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
An expat in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia appreciates how accepting the locals were of his family and how they live their lives day to day. He found prayer time and the fact that stores are closed during the middle of the day a challenge. He admits that life in Al Khobar was more challenging for expat women, who have to be transported everywhere and have more rules to live by.