Life in Saudi Arabia

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Discover what it’s like to live in Saudi Arabia... Read more

Depending on your position and what kind of accommodation is available, you’ll either be living in Saudi Aramco community housing, Saudi Aramco leased housing, or we’ll give you a rental allowance that you can use to live in the local community.

Saudi Aramco Community Housing

Our residential communities provide all the comforts of home.

Saudi Aramco operates four private, gated residential communities for employees and their families: Dhahran, Ras Tanura, Abqaiq and ‘Udhailiyah. Each is unique in appearance, size and character, but all four are friendly, welcoming places filled with Saudi Aramco employees from all over the world. 


Dhahran, the largest community with a population of 11,400, is home to our worldwide headquarters and corporate functions. It has many modern facilities, while the older section of Dhahran is still a very attractive environment with tree-lined streets, stone houses and grass lawns.

The main Dhahran residential community contains the administration complex, health center and dental clinic. Dhahran features one of the Middle East's most challenging golf courses, and has three recreational centers with swimming pools, tennis and squash courts, a bowling alley, library and movie theater. Other activities include horseback riding at the community's farm, exercising on hike-and-bike paths, and soccer and rugby on the company fields.

Dhahran Hills is a mostly residential area, located about two miles west of Dhahran and just beyond the community’s golf course. The Dhahran Hills School (kindergarten through to Grade 5) is located in the Hills.

Dhahran’s marina and beach are just 40 minutes away at Half Moon Bay. The bay’s beautiful clear blue water and fine white sand make this a popular gathering spot for many Dhahran community residents to relax or enjoy sailing, fishing or water-skiing.

The local town of Al-Khobar is a 20 minute drive from Dhahran, where you’ll find shops and restaurants.

Ras Tanura

Ras Tanura, with a population of 3,000, is Saudi Aramco’s “jewel community by the beach.” Situated on the Arabian Gulf, approximately 80km north of Dhahran, it serves expatriates working in aviation or marine operations, the Ras Tanura refinery and two nearby company-owned and operated gas plants. The community’s facilities include a Community Information Center (CIC), bank, housing office, travel/insurance office, barber and beauty shops, and laundry.

The central recreational complex features a large swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, aerobic classrooms and a soccer field. Like all of the main Saudi Aramco communities, Ras Tanura has an attractive 18-hole golf course and driving range, but this course is unique in offering views of the Arabian Gulf. The Ras Tanura fitness trail, the beach path, and the splash pads are also popular with many residents.

Outside Ras Tanura, the town of Rahima has a collection of gold markets (suqs), appliance stores, fruit and vegetable markets, and several restaurants.


Abqaiq, also known as the “Friendly City,” has a population of 2,300 and serves as Saudi Aramco's main oil processing center. The community lies near the Rub' al-Khali, the largest continuous body of sand in the world. Abqaiq is also about 75km southwest of Dhahran and about 65km from the oasis city of Hofuf, known for its ancient caves, pottery works and markets that sell gold and fabric, as well as fruits and vegetables.

Abqaiq has extensive facilities, with the dining hall, snack bar, library and meeting rooms all located in a large recreation complex near the community center. The community school is centrally located, as is Abqaiq’s commissary mall, which houses the grocery store, bank, mail center, travel office, beauty salon and Community Information Center (CIC).

The community also has stables with horseback riding, two swimming pools, a weight room, bowling alley, jogging track, baseball and soccer fields, tennis and basketball courts, and an 18-hole grassless golf course with clubhouse. At the company's private beach about 40 minutes away, expatriates enjoy fishing, sunbathing, sailing and swimming.

Close to Abqaiq, the town of Medinat is home to restaurants, a gold market (suq) and fruit and vegetable markets.


 ‘Udhailiyah, with a population of 1,250, is located about 100 miles southwest of Dhahran. It serves employees supporting oil and gas operations in the region, as well as medical professionals working at the area’s health facility.

‘Udhailiyah offers a variety of amenities – bank, mail center, and other daily essentials – and leisure facilities. Most of the homes and townhouses are new and modern.

Recreational facilities include stables with horseback riding; a swimming pool and a children's paddling pool; bowling alley; tennis, squash and racquetball courts; state-of-the-art exercise rooms; and saunas and hot tubs. In addition, a scenic 18-hole grassless golf course has been carved into ‘Udhailiyah's foothills, or “jebels,” and a movie theater and supervised youth center are available on the community grounds.

The nearest town is the oasis city of Hofuf, about 45 minutes away, which can be reached by private company bus three times a week. In addition to several historical sites, including ancient caves, Hofuf offers a variety of shopping for items such as gold, housewares, fabric, fruit and vegetables. 

Saudi Aramco Leased Housing

Saudi Aramco provides five gated communities at Ar-Rakah, Dhahran Residential Tower, Las Dunas, Radium Corniche and Pearl. All are within a 20-minute drive from the Dhahran community and offer a range of leisure activities, including sports facilities, restaurants and grocery stores.

Employees and their families who live in leased housing can also enjoy the Dhahran Community’s leisure facilities.

Living in the Local Community

As a Saudi Aramco employee, we’ll help you find the right property for you.

Your choices include: houses or apartments in gated communities, apartments in condominium-style buildings, or houses in residential areas close to where you work.

The houses or apartments in gated communities are generally designed for expatriate residents. These have been created with the comfort of people in mind – giving them convenient access to a wide range of leisure and sports facilities. These usually include swimming pools, tennis courts, children’s playgrounds, supermarkets and restaurants.  

If you choose to live in an apartment in a condominium-style building or a house in one of our residential areas, you’ll find they’re all generally placed at the heart of the local community.

If you live in the Al-Khobar/Dammam area, which is a 20 minute drive from Dhahran, you’ll have the Mall of Dhahran right on your doorstep – the largest shopping center in Saudi Arabia. As well as a supermarket, it has plenty of food outlets and over 200 stores, including a wide selection of western high street brands selling everything from electronic goods to perfumes and cosmetics, arts and crafts to designer clothes. Next door is an IKEA furniture store, Toys “R” Us and Jarir Bookstore, which sells stationery, electronic goods and home office equipment. What’s more, the nearby Al Rashid Mall has many well-known shops, plus a Carrefour supermarket.

Employees and their families who live within the local community can enjoy the Dhahran Community’s leisure facilities.