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An Expat Talks about Living in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia

Submitted by circumpunct

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Yanbu

How long have you lived there?

15 years

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.

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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.

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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.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Dec 1, 2010 08:46

We a British expats and live in a private house opposite the Cove and the Compound is empty at the moment(Nov 2010) We veiwed this and it was not finished and expensive. We have a a lovely house with our own pool much better deal.

MrBritish
Feb 20, 2015 10:02

The Cove might have been empty in 2010 but it is full now. We really enjoy living there. A fantastic social life and lots of sports facilities etc.

guest
Feb 20, 2015 23:38

As The Cove only opened in 2011 it is not really surprising it was empty and unfinished in 2010. It was still a building site!

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