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One more Riyadh compound thread

One more Riyadh compound thread

Old Nov 7th 2021, 3:24 pm
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Smile One more Riyadh compound thread

Hi everyone,

after a fair bit of umms and aahs I decided to pull the plug and move to Riyadh. The contract has been signed and I will be there in a few months.

I have been looking into compounds quite a bit so I will share my observations as well as ask some questions for those that may have real life experiences.

Background: I am moving with my spouse, we are arriving from the EU. We are looking into two bedrooms to be able to have occasional visitors from back home in reasonable comfort. Our budget is decent, i.e. we can afford all the compounds considered and mentioned below bar one, but we would of course be happier if we could save more rather than spend the money on accommodation. Since wife will not be working it's important for her to have something to do, i.e. a good social scene at wherever we end up. I am aware location matters considering the commute and if there is a toss-up between two places that can be the clincher. I am also well aware of advance payment requirements and have sorted the cash flow for that, so nothing to further worry about there.

Once we have settled we may consider the off-compound option, but we would prefer to spend at least the first year being pampered until we figure out what's what out there.

Compounds and observations so far:

- Al Bustan - too expensive
- Al Nakhla - expensive but within budget; nice looking apartments; appears to have best facilities, i.e. supermarket/shopping centre adjacent with direct access. Good social scene - but apparently American military staying there - which could be a con
- California - as Al Nakhla, minus direct shopping centre access and American soldiers
- Nakheel - slightly less expensive, difficult to see quality of apartments from the website/brochure, social scene seems fine, but overall not much information
- Cordoba - shabby looking apartments with tired fittings and wall-to-wall carpeting (why?) but good pricing and good reviews overall from what we have seen
- KASB - new, lovely looking apartments, very affordable, not sure about social scene though
- Ranco - waiting for reply, looks ok but nothing to say yet
- Seder - waiting for reply, budget option, apparently, but rather like the look of it as it does not have a council estate appearance - have read the bungalows are tinny and mixed reviews on social scene/tenant mix

Have also written to Antara, Andorra, Al Hamra, Ishbilia, Wadi Qurtoba and they haven't bothered responding even after reminders. Some of the ones that did respond needed a nudge via Whatsapp, but once they responded communication flow was fine.

Kingdom - did not like the look of it so have not put it on the list.

Questions:

- while it is nice having beautiful furnishings it is not something on its own that would make us pay 50% more. So the question is: what else do you get if you go for a place like Al Nakhla or California as opposed to e.g. Cordoba or KASB?
- tenant mix: we have no preference whether we live in a compound with Germans, Arabs, Americans, Indians or anyone else - there are people you get along with well and less well regardless of where they come from. However we would not want to live somewhere dominated by just one nationality - that misses the point of a compound - so can anyone say how things are at the moment in the compounds listed (or other ones, if there is a place someone would recommend that I have missed)?
- things to do/social scene: as mentioned, my wife will not be working so she will need to make friends and have stuff to do. If all a compound offers is a pool and a gym, that's not really going to work - the point is she will need opportunities to meed ladies from all over the world and go shopping/visiting cafes within or beyond the compound/participate in (for example) ballet classes, etc. Any particularly good places for that as well as those to avoid from the point of view of a tolerant Western middle-aged female?*
- noise insulation and noise in general - this one is my bugbear. I do not like hearing my neigbours through the walls, having them party until late or shout outside my window. Is this an issue anywhere?
- general quality issues - seems from my research some places have sewerage smell issues - anything to watch out for?
- management - if e.g. my aircon breaks or there is any other problem, how do they respond, do they bother and do so immediately or not?

It's a long list of questions I know - will be grateful for your responses!

Cheers
Djuro

*We think we understand and will try to respect the rules and customs of KSA; we have no problem with those or we would not be moving. However we will probably want some familiarity with what we are used to and hence socialise with people in a similar position at least some of the time.
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Old Nov 7th 2021, 5:58 pm
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Default Re: One more Riyadh compound thread

Considered Arabian Homes? https://arabian-homes.com/
Well run. Social, Great location
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Old Nov 7th 2021, 8:18 pm
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Default Re: One more Riyadh compound thread

Originally Posted by flares View Post
Considered Arabian Homes? https://arabian-homes.com/
Well run. Social, Great location
Thank you flares, have not considered it yet. The webpage is slightly confusing and does not offer much information but will get in touch. Any personal experience? Where does it fall pricing wise?
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Old Nov 8th 2021, 3:43 am
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Default Re: One more Riyadh compound thread

Do you honestly think you’ll have a lot / frequent guests? It’s KSA after all.
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Old Nov 8th 2021, 8:33 am
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Default Re: One more Riyadh compound thread

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
Do you honestly think you’ll have a lot / frequent guests? It’s KSA after all.
Hi Millhouse,

yes. What do you mean by “KSA after all”?
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Old Nov 8th 2021, 9:25 am
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Default Re: One more Riyadh compound thread

Originally Posted by Djuro View Post
Hi Millhouse,

yes. What do you mean by “KSA after all”?
Never used to be able to get visas for visitors/extended family...but times are dramatically changing

but he probably means as an attractive place to visit when compared to Dubai
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Old Nov 8th 2021, 9:29 am
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Default Re: One more Riyadh compound thread

Originally Posted by flares View Post
Never used to be able to get visas for visitors/extended family...but times are dramatically changing

but he probably means as an attractive place to visit when compared to Dubai
From what I see visas for visitors are not an issue now. In terms of things to do I have been to Slovakia which must be the dullest place in Europe and still found things to do. Besides my visitors will never have been outside of Europe so even if there is not much to do they will still find it interesting and they will also be visiting to see us and not just to sightsee.
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Old Nov 8th 2021, 11:59 pm
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Default Re: One more Riyadh compound thread

Out of your list, and purely based on social scene I'd go for Ranco. Anyone familiar with the compound will know why that is. Good mix of people too.
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Old Nov 9th 2021, 12:00 am
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Default Re: One more Riyadh compound thread

Originally Posted by flares View Post
Never used to be able to get visas for visitors/extended family...but times are dramatically changing

but he probably means as an attractive place to visit when compared to Dubai
Middlebeast coming up.
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Old Nov 9th 2021, 12:41 am
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Default Re: One more Riyadh compound thread

Hi Djuro, I have pm-ed you. We should link up and our wives could hang.
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Old Nov 9th 2021, 8:48 am
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Default Re: One more Riyadh compound thread

Originally Posted by nonthaburi View Post
Out of your list, and purely based on social scene I'd go for Ranco. Anyone familiar with the compound will know why that is. Good mix of people too.
Thanks nonthaburi - I see a lot of people say Ranco has a good social scene - sounds promising as they are not too expensive. Have you spent time there? Will check it out and hopefully have time to post live reviews.

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Old Nov 9th 2021, 9:39 am
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Default Re: One more Riyadh compound thread

Originally Posted by Djuro View Post
Thanks nonthaburi - I see a lot of people say Ranco has a good social scene - sounds promising as they are not too expensive. Have you spent time there? Will check it out and hopefully have time to post live reviews.
There is a wide variety of housing choices there so I'd imagine a fair price range.
Never lived there, but visited many times for either house parties, or events in the centre etc.
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Old Nov 9th 2021, 12:14 pm
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Default Re: One more Riyadh compound thread

Update: flares thank you for the Arabian Homes tip - looks very good in terms of price/quality + social life balance.

Antara - got a reply - same comments as California - also almost brand new so very shiny and pretty but on the expensive side.

Ranco - looks older and cheaper, but great prices and everyone on the forum says it's great for social life.

Looks like it will be tough to choose (subject to availability).
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Old Nov 10th 2021, 8:18 am
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Default Re: One more Riyadh compound thread

Dear Djuro,

Riyadh is not the GCC its Big and relatively low density development and growing at a massive rate with a lot of traffic. I think you need to give this some consideration in choosing accommodation other wise you might face a long commute avoid the Eastern ring road if you can help it. Also discount compounds with schools since you will be paying for a facility you will not avail yourself of. If your looking for a younger crowed try the cheeper compounds Ranco,,Sedar and Riyadh Village. Antara is only 50% finished so not mush of a crowed just yet. Nonthabury's suggestion of Arabian Homes is probably the best location wise it's a different format to the others your looking at which all have one central swimming pool Arabian Homes has 20. tell them your social and let them decide the best one for you.
Your wife will want to be near the Aruba and Olaya Streets which is the center of the cafe culture. The season events take place near the KFFD in the north West of the city. You have not mentioned where you will work so I cant be more help but you will need to factor the commute time in
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Old Nov 10th 2021, 8:39 am
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Default Re: One more Riyadh compound thread

Thanks HiHo,

I'll be working close to the airport, the "riyadh front" area, according to google maps.

So what would you estimate as the commute time difference from e.g. Ranco which is furthest away from there and from e.g. Al Nakhla? On the map it doesn't look like much of a distance but I have no idea how bad the traffic is, of course.
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