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Riyadh - Compound vs. non-compound

Riyadh - Compound vs. non-compound

Old Feb 15th 2021, 8:52 am
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Default Riyadh - Compound vs. non-compound

Hi folks

I would like some expert advice on comparing the pros and cons of living in a compound vs. non-compound in Riyadh. I am a single male and this would be my first time in the region. From research and browsing these forums I know that compounds are ideal for western expats but I have also heard that you can get equally nicer apartments outside the compounds for significantly cheaper rents. First of all, is this true?

And secondly, why exactly is it that some of you folks prefer to live in compounds (especially in KSA)?
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Old Feb 16th 2021, 4:29 am
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Default Re: Riyadh - Compound vs. non-compound

Originally Posted by Edo View Post
Hi folks

I would like some expert advice on comparing the pros and cons of living in a compound vs. non-compound in Riyadh. I am a single male and this would be my first time in the region. From research and browsing these forums I know that compounds are ideal for western expats but I have also heard that you can get equally nicer apartments outside the compounds for significantly cheaper rents. First of all, is this true?

And secondly, why exactly is it that some of you folks prefer to live in compounds (especially in KSA)?
You must have taken a position as a client representative in KSA, no answers provided without consultation

Compounds allow you to freely mingle without the general KSA rules in force in public, such as hair covering, abayas etc. they are a lot more expensive yes. If you don't need that facility then look for an external location.
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Old Feb 16th 2021, 5:24 am
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Default Re: Riyadh - Compound vs. non-compound

Originally Posted by Edo View Post
Hi folks

I would like some expert advice on comparing the pros and cons of living in a compound vs. non-compound in Riyadh. I am a single male and this would be my first time in the region. From research and browsing these forums I know that compounds are ideal for western expats but I have also heard that you can get equally nicer apartments outside the compounds for significantly cheaper rents. First of all, is this true?

And secondly, why exactly is it that some of you folks prefer to live in compounds (especially in KSA)?
Hi Edo,

You are correct, you can get cheap luxury apartments outside of compounds, even renting a whole villa with a pool would work out cheaper than a apartment on a good compound.

Riyadh or Saudi in general has become much more relaxed in terms of restrictions in the past 2 years. The main benefits of living on a compound is that you can get to meet other westerners and be part of social circle. Depending on your line of work there is no reason you cannot meet other westerners in your work place.

Hope that helps.

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Old Feb 18th 2021, 8:02 am
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Default Re: Riyadh - Compound vs. non-compound

Compounds are not in place to protect you from the local community. They were set up to protect the local community from the O&G boys, and the work hard play hard ethos. In the last two years that has changed but all the infrastructure that might offend the local imam remains on the compounds.
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Old Mar 11th 2021, 8:52 am
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Default Re: Riyadh - Compound vs. non-compound

Hi.
I’ve lived in Riyadh for 5 years and have been looking to come off-compound to safe so
e money. It all comes down to expectation and budget, especially as compounds are not cheap. 1 bedroom, fully furnished in anywhere decent in a European style compound will cost a minimum of SAR 80k for a 1 bed. Ranco is probably the cheapest out there and you can pay as little as 50k for a studio.
Compounds are no longer an issue of safety, it’s about lifestyle. Unlike Dubai or Bahrain, there are no modern, European style high-rise fully furnished flats to move into. I know Brits who live off-compound and pay in the region of SAR40k a year, but they aren’t very nice. I have a friend who pays SAR25k a year and lives amongst the local community. Having seen and smelled the place, I wouldn’t let my dog live there.
I drove past a new development on King Abdullah Road last week, called Marvela. They advertise 2 beds, fully furnished at SAR 85k a year, so if you are happy to find a room share, it might work for you.
Good luck!
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Old Mar 11th 2021, 9:48 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh - Compound vs. non-compound

If you get on a nice Western compound the atmosphere is very pleasant: when you drive through the gates it's as if you are leaving Saudi. As others have said there is often a good social side (with a ton of home-brewed booze of various types) and facilities. They're also good for running and walking. For me the single best thing about living on a compound is seeing women walking round in normal clothes rather than ninjas/dementors everywhere which does my head in. Both compounds I've lived in had a no-abaya rule, which was wonderful.
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Old Mar 12th 2021, 12:22 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh - Compound vs. non-compound

Originally Posted by DavefromLeeds View Post
Hi.
I’ve lived in Riyadh for 5 years and have been looking to come off-compound to safe so
e money. It all comes down to expectation and budget, especially as compounds are not cheap. 1 bedroom, fully furnished in anywhere decent in a European style compound will cost a minimum of SAR 80k for a 1 bed. Ranco is probably the cheapest out there and you can pay as little as 50k for a studio.
Compounds are no longer an issue of safety, it’s about lifestyle. Unlike Dubai or Bahrain, there are no modern, European style high-rise fully furnished flats to move into. I know Brits who live off-compound and pay in the region of SAR40k a year, but they aren’t very nice. I have a friend who pays SAR25k a year and lives amongst the local community. Having seen and smelled the place, I wouldn’t let my dog live there.
I drove past a new development on King Abdullah Road last week, called Marvela. They advertise 2 beds, fully furnished at SAR 85k a year, so if you are happy to find a room share, it might work for you.
Good luck!
There are plenty of nice places in the 30-40 k region but they take a bit of searching for. Be prepared to spend time driving around viewing different places. I've known people who lived in furnished apartments and they were fine. All modern fittings, split AC units, and good quality build.
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Old Mar 12th 2021, 12:24 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh - Compound vs. non-compound

Originally Posted by Elgin1983 View Post
If you get on a nice Western compound the atmosphere is very pleasant: when you drive through the gates it's as if you are leaving Saudi. As others have said there is often a good social side (with a ton of home-brewed booze of various types) and facilities. They're also good for running and walking. For me the single best thing about living on a compound is seeing women walking round in normal clothes rather than ninjas/dementors everywhere which does my head in. Both compounds I've lived in had a no-abaya rule, which was wonderful.
Apart from the perve factor, why would that do your head in? 🤔️🤔️
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Old Mar 12th 2021, 2:04 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh - Compound vs. non-compound

Originally Posted by nonthaburi View Post
Apart from the perve factor, why would that do your head in? 🤔️🤔️
I find it very disagreeable to be surrounded by walking binbags every time I go outside. It is aesthetically unpleasant and mentally draining to have black blobs permanently floating about one's vision. Nobody is saying dress for Rio Carnival but you won't go to hell if someone sees your face, love. And why always black, not a more bright, pleasing, upbeat colour? It takes a mental toll over time. Having lived both in and out of compounds, that was the everyday difference that I found most significant in the long run. It is refreshing and balancing, not pervy, to be around women in normal clothes with face/hair uncovered.
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Old Mar 12th 2021, 5:50 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh - Compound vs. non-compound

Originally Posted by Elgin1983 View Post
I find it very disagreeable to be surrounded by walking binbags every time I go outside. It is aesthetically unpleasant and mentally draining to have black blobs permanently floating about one's vision. Nobody is saying dress for Rio Carnival but you won't go to hell if someone sees your face, love. And why always black, not a more bright, pleasing, upbeat colour? It takes a mental toll over time. Having lived both in and out of compounds, that was the everyday difference that I found most significant in the long run. It is refreshing and balancing, not pervy, to be around women in normal clothes with face/hair uncovered.
I don't live in Riyadh anymore. I live in Buraydah which is three hours away. Just spent some time in Riyadh and returned today.

I'm confused as to who lives where.

Riyadh these days is not the Riyadh you seem to inhabit. I suggest you get out more to the right kind of places.
Or is that the wrong kind of places? 🤔️🤔️
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Old Mar 12th 2021, 5:55 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh - Compound vs. non-compound

I think Elgin is suffering from Saudiphobia.
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Old Mar 12th 2021, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: Riyadh - Compound vs. non-compound

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
I think Elgin is suffering from Saudiphobia.
Not at all. There's a lot to like about Saudi and Saudis. But if you plan on staying long term I would recommend the freedom, peace and normality of a western compound.
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Old Mar 13th 2021, 7:04 am
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Default Re: Riyadh - Compound vs. non-compound

Originally Posted by nonthaburi View Post
I don't live in Riyadh anymore. I live in Buraydah which is three hours away. Just spent some time in Riyadh and returned today.

I'm confused as to who lives where.

Riyadh these days is not the Riyadh you seem to inhabit. I suggest you get out more to the right kind of places.
Or is that the wrong kind of places? 🤔️🤔️
HaHa, when I first came to Saudi, I asked if the degree coving up of women was an indication of religious piety or sect ect... A young Saudi explained it for me. "It's an indication as to how likely they are to be doing something that they had not aorta be doing" Elgin has a compound She has her "Bin bag" live and let live.
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Old Mar 13th 2021, 7:30 am
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Default Re: Riyadh - Compound vs. non-compound

Originally Posted by nonthaburi View Post
Apart from the perve factor, why would that do your head in? 🤔️🤔️
You made the same comment to me about women being covered up in Saudi, there's no 'perve' factor in women going around in normal dress for most people. That seems your own perspective.

As the the French/Belgians once explained about face coverings etc. in their countries, we are coming from a perspective similar to them of "it's about social communication, the right to interact with someone by looking them in the face and about not disappearing under a piece of clothing"
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Old Mar 13th 2021, 7:34 am
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Default Re: Riyadh - Compound vs. non-compound

Originally Posted by HiHo View Post
HaHa, when I first came to Saudi, I asked if the degree coving up of women was an indication of religious piety or sect ect... A young Saudi explained it for me. "It's an indication as to how likely they are to be doing something that they had not aorta be doing" Elgin has a compound She has her "Bin bag" live and let live.
Explains the typical Saudi male mentality very well, which seems to be that all women are uncontrollably wanton if not constrained by moral laws. Don't wear an abbaya hence a slut, do wear an abbaya hence a covert slut. Embarrassing stuff really
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