Accommodation and way of life around Ma'aden Aluminium

Hello All,
I might move into KSA to work for Ma'aden. I wanted to know different options available for expats for single/family accommodation near that place. Are there any compounds available near Ma'aden where singles/families can stay? What is the proximity of those places from the actual plant? Any shops/malls nearby? What are the sources of entertainment nearby?

Hi there:

I work for Ma'aden at headquarters in Riyadh but I often go to MA at Ras Al-Khair (RAK) for business purposes. MA is located in the  Ras Al-Khair industrial city. It's about an hours drive north of Al-Jubail.

There is single accommodation available on-site but many expats live off-site in single or family accommodations on compounds mostly in Al-Jubail, Dammam, or Al-Khober. You can drive each day or take the Ma'aden bus from any of the three places named above (I believe there is no charge for the bus). There is a small shop in RAK and a larger one just ouside the main gate but there are no restaurants close other than the MA worker canteen. The nearest resturants are probably in Al-Jubail. As for entertainment and malls - none!

Thank you so much for the detailed reply. Gives me some insight. Do you know of any portal where I can look for advertisements related to property rental in & around Jubail?
Is living in a compound advisable for an expat (with or without family) as against living outside? Do compounds in Jubail contain everything a compound in say Khobar (or Aramco compound in Ras Tanurah, where I've lived more than a decade ago) would have?

For me, living in a compound is much more preferable to living outside since I don't speak any Arabic and am not so familiar with local customs such as renting a house or apartment. In addition the compounds have all the facilities you need and are very self contained, pools, shops, dry cleaners, café, etc., and especially important these days - security. The down side is that they can be quite expensive, but in many cases, expats housing is paid for by their company.

The only resource I am aware of for rentals is this forum although I'm sure if you googled rentals in Al-Jubail, you'd find many sites. In my case, my company, Ma'aden, arranged everything. There are many expats at MAC and MPC that work in RAK and live on compounds in Al-Jubail, Al-Khobar, and Dammam. Also, if you don't want to make the drive everyday, you can stay at RAK in the "village" as many people do.

I've never visited a compound in the Eastern Province but from what I understand, they are every bit as good as the Saudi Aramco compounds in Al-Khobar and further south.

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