Yanbu has been hosting thousands of expatriates for many years. But where do they find accommodation? Find out in this article.
Overlooking the Red Sea, Yanbu is deemed to be Saudi Arabia's second industrial city after Jubail which is found on the Persian Gulf. In fact, Yanbu hosts many petrochemical refineries which occupy 24 km of coastline and over 7 km inland. As you have guessed, petrochemical refinery is this city's major economic pillar.
Yanbu also attracts foreigners for other reasons such as its modern infrastructure, its brand new international airport which came into operation in 2009, etc.
Yanbu is divided into three parts which are all 15 minutes away from one another. Most locals, as well as foreigners, live downtown, also known as Old Yanbu. The region hosts not only huge shopping malls and restaurants but also many historical buildings and monuments. Yanbu Al-Nakheel, also known as “Yanbu palm”, is the city's oldest inhabited neighborhood. It mainly hosts farmhouses as you will mostly find date farmers in this region.
Yanbu Al-Sina'iya, for its part, is deemed to be Yanbu's industrial hub as it hosts the city's major refineries and petrochemical plants. But you can still find houses houses and modern buildings there. Note that Yanbu Al-Sina'iya has been experiencing permanent and substantial growth for a few years.
Further, you will find the “Royal Commission” where upper class Saudis, as well as foreigners, such as Europeans, Americans and Asians have settled. It is mainly a residential area and also hosts international restaurants, huge and modern shopping malls, supermarkets, hospitals, cafes, banks, etc. Its inhabitants have a more modern and free lifestyle.
According to expatriates in Yanbu, the Royal Commission is definitely the city's best neighborhood in spite of the current real estate crisis. Thus, single men can find it quite difficult to find housing there. But they can still find cheap hotel rooms where they can stay for a few months until they find proper accommodation as per their criteria.
Families, for their part, can choose among properties which are found in the city center, namely, Laayoune, Khalid, Subh and Bathna, etc. Note that rent prices are rather lower there and can amount to some $ 10,000 per year. These, of course, have to be settled in advance. You can also opt for compounds such as the Arabian Homes and The Cove. However, you should expect higher rent prices, rising up to $ 40,000 a year.
If you are lucky enough, your employer or sponsor could provide your accommodation in one of these compounds as it is a common practice in Saudi Arabia. In this case, the latter will take care of your rent. But if you wish to shift to an independent accommodation later on, make sure that your employment contract does not require you to stay there during a specific and determined period. Also note that relocation procedures and expenses will be your responsibility.