Accommodation in Yanbu

Yanbu villas
Updated 2022-02-24 07:23

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, the petrochemical refinery is this city's major economic pillar. Proximity with the Suez Canal makes Yanbu a strategically important hub for export and trade with European and African markets.

Yanbu Al-Sinaiyah is the new, modern part of the city, which hosts the industrial area. Located about 350 kilometres northwest of Jeddah, it is a busy and vibrant place, welcoming at the same time, with unspoiled coral reefs and serene nature. Yanbu Al-Sinaiyah is near the old part — Yanbu Al-Bahr — a historically rich trade route from and to the Arabian Peninsula, established before the dominance of the Roman Empire.

Today, both the old and the new parts are attractive for foreigners thanks to their modern infrastructure, recreation and public services, international airport which came into operation in 2009, etc.

Buy or rent in Yanbu?

As most expats come to Yanbu for work, renting is a way more popular option than buying. Few expats consider moving to Yanbu for the long term and instead prefer to invest their savings in real estate back home. What's more, purchasing property in Saudi Arabia can be quite complicated for foreigners. Certain cities and areas are off-limits when it comes to buying property, and you will also need to apply for approval from the Ministry of Housing. This is a long process that can take more than a year.

Types of accommodation in Yanbu

There are lots of different accommodation types available in Yanbu. However, most expats living in the city prefer to settle in compounds. These are walled-in gated communities with everything you might need within easy reach: fitness facilities, coffee shops, convenience stores, a swimming pool, etc.

As these are closed walled-in communities, expats living here can stay relatively unaffected by the “outside”, which offers a smoother transition into a new culture. Within the compound walls, you can (for the most part) dress and behave the way you would do back home. You may also find this to be a great option for socializing with other expats in the area.

Outside the compounds, you will find standalone apartment buildings, townhouses, villas, condos and more.

Neighbourhoods in Yanbu

Yanbu is divided into three parts which are all 15 minutes away from one another. Most locals, as well as foreigners, live downtown, where the Old Yanbu lies. 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 neighbourhood. It mainly hosts farmhouses, as you will mostly find date farmers in this region.

In Yanbu Al-Sinaiyah, you can find houses and modern buildings. Note that Yanbu Al-Sinaiya has been experiencing continual and substantial growth for the past 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 the city's best neighbourhood. You can choose among properties which are found in the city centre, namely, Laayoune, Khalid, Subh and Bathna, etc.

House hunting in Yanbu

If you are moving to Yanbu for work, there is a high chance that your employer will take care of your accommodation. However, even if this is the case and all the arrangements have been made for you, it's best to inspect the property you are about to rent in person and study the rental agreement carefully.

If you are looking for accommodation on your own, a good place to start is online. Check popular websites like Bayut or Aqar. They can also give you an overview of the real estate market in general so that you have a better idea of what rentals are on offer, price range and more.

A typical rental ad will include the description of the accommodation (compound, neighborhood, number of rooms and bathrooms, size, etc.) as well as payment options. Generally, the cost of rent in Saudi Arabia is established on an annual basis and paid in several installments or at once. Monthly rent options are also available — typically in modern compounds.

Social media can also be very useful when searching for rentals. Check Facebook groups and local expat forums (like Yanbu Expatriates and Yanbu Yard Sale) for tips on house hunting and maybe even rental offers.

If you've had time to explore Yanbu first hand and have your heart set on a particular compound, you can also stop by and talk to the compound manager about any available rental options in the compound. Some of the most popular compounds are The Cove Yanbu, Arabian Homes and others.

If you have friends, colleagues or family in Yanbu, it's also a good idea to ask them for help or advice in your apartment hunting.

Rent prices in Yanbu

Yearly rents for apartments in Yanbu vary, depending on the location, whether the flat is furnished or not. The price range is very wide and may reach up to 30,000 SAR per year for apart-hotels. However, you can find much cheaper basic flats for less than 1,000 SAR monthly.

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. These compounds are deemed to be luxurious, providing the tenants with many extras, like private beaches, wellness facilities and a great community environment, above all.

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 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.

Signing a rental contract in Yanbu

The process for renting an apartment in Yanbu is quite standard. Note, however, that the rental agreements can be quite detailed and include a number of rules for the tenant to abide by.

Rental contracts are typically signed for the period of one year. In a lot of cases, rent has to be paid in advance or in installments via post-dated checks: you may be asked for two checks or quarterly checks. Paying the rent monthly is often an option in modern compounds and can be discussed in advance with your landlord.

When you sign the lease, you will need to pay a security deposit. In most cases, the deposit will amount to one month's rent. You will get your security deposit back at the end of the lease if no damage has been done to the property.

To sign a lease in Yanbu, you will need to present the following documents:

  • An Iqama (residency permit)
  • Originals and copies of your passport and visa
  • Marriage certificate (if you are renting with your spouse)
  • In some cases, a letter from your employer specifying your salary and position

A typical rental contract in Saudi Arabia may include additional clauses and rules for the tenant to follow. For example, most landlords won't allow pets on the premises and may also have strict rules regarding visitors of the opposite sex.

This is why it is very important to carefully read through every clause in the contract so that you understand all of your do's and don'ts as a tenant.


If your rental contract is in Arabic and you don't speak the language, make sure to have it translated into English (or another language you prefer). Never sign a contract if you don't completely understand any of its stipulations.

Typical tenant obligations include:

  • Making timely rent and utility payments
  • Maintaining the property in good condition
  • Following all the rules outlined in the rental contract
  • Avoiding creating any disturbances for the neighbors
  • Not subletting the property or using it for commercial purposes

Typical landlord responsibilities include:

  • Handing over the property in a proper state
  • Provide the tenant with the receipts for all the checks received
  • Make sure all common areas related to the apartment are well-maintained
  • Perform all the requested repairs
  • Ensure the tenant's privacy and avoiding unscheduled visits
  • Keep the price of rent the same throughout the length of the lease


When you sign your lease, it is absolutely essential that you register it in the Ejar system, set up by the Ministry of Housing. This online portal has been created to manage rental property in Saudi Arabia. Besides, you will need to provide your Ejar number if you have a dispute with your landlord. To register in the Ejar system, you will need to upload a copy of the rental agreement and provide basic information about yourself and the landlord. Note that if you don't register in the Ejar system as a tenant, your Iqama (residence permit) may not be renewed.

Tips for moving to Yanbu

To make sure your move to the new city goes smoothly, it's always a good idea to invest some time into research. Look through the Saudi Arabia guide, check out our expat forum, get in touch with your acquaintances in Yanbu, scan local forums and more.

Here are a few basic tips for arranging your accommodation in Yanbu:

Whether you are looking for accommodation yourself or your employer is making all the arrangements, it's important to check the property in person before signing the lease. Make sure to inspect the property for damage and make a list of all the furniture items and appliances.

Explore the neighborhood you are about to rent in. Make sure key amenities are within a convenient distance and that you feel comfortable in your new environment. If you are not sure about being able to adjust to your new environment in Saudi Arabia, consider settling in one of the popular compounds, which can soften the initial culture shock.

If you choose to rent in a standalone apartment building or house, do your best to follow local social norms. For instance, during the Holy Month of Ramadan, you will need to abstain from eating, drinking and smoking in public during the designated hours.

Note that Friday is a day off in Saudi Arabia and if you need to have any repairs or maintenance work done, take this into account when making arrangements.

Once you've signed the lease and handled all the related formalities, you will be ready to move into your new place. Note, however, that if you plan to live in a compound, these may have waiting lists in place.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.