Hi looked at couple compounds in Riyadh last week so here's my quick summary:
- The person I met with said this years prices are 10% higher than last year (just gone up a couple weeks ago). Wait list quoted for a villa is 4-6 months and I would have been number 75 on the waitlist. They do try and purge the list every couple weeks. There are also VIP villas but these very rarely come available as mostly long-term lease by companies. Overall very impressed with the compound and it's facilities plus fact that kids can walk to British School is major positive. As people periodically ask about their prices I've attached current price list.
- When compared to Al Hamra this place looks poorly maintained and has much fewer facilities. Not helped by sales guy full of BS
who said waitlist 12 months and price 10% lower than whatever Al Hamra charges "because owned by same company". He also more or less confirmed that waitlist doesn't work as you have to keep calling and if you reach him on day something comes up, you'd probably get it!
- Very nice and facilities on par or better than Al Hamra. Also has a driving range and golf course. There is a horse (in keeping with the Arizona theme
) and when they hire someone will offer riding lessons. Large proportion of American residents and place had a slightly "snobby" feel about it.
Prices provided on application which I never filled in so don't have. Don't expect much change from 4-500k SAR for a 3 bed villa. Was shown the show-home for the new compound called "California" that they're building and hope to have ready for 2013. Very nice and modern compared to everywhere else.
Kingdom - Never got to this place, but it's supposed to be as good as Al Hamra and slightly newer; albeit 100k SAR less expensive! Kingdom's reasonable price explains the 20 month waitlist I was quoted and told not accepting any new registrations!
What I hadn't fully appreciated before going to any of the compounds was the security you had to go through. Each had 2 perimeters with very visible barriers and national guards. They look like they are there more for show - the guards didn't look very alert, vehicle inspections were extremely casual, etc. If the threat level went high, I'm not sure I'd expect much from the guards themselves..