Saudi Arabia Area Guides: Eastern Province

Al Jubail Area Guide

Optimistic, not fearful
“We are confident about the Kingdom’s future. With all the blessings Allah has bestowed on our nation, we cannot help but be optimistic about the decades ahead. We ponder what lies over the horizon rather than worrying about what could be lost.”
Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz
Crown Prince, Prime Minister, Saudi Arabia
Al Jubail
Eastern Province, UAE
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At the last count in 2021 just shy of 700,000 people lived and worked in Jubail. And we mean really worked...

A fishing village until 1975, today Jubail hosts an Industrial City that claims to be the largest in the world. The town is also the HQ of SABIC, its fourth largest petrochemical company. It has the world's largest IWPP (Independent Water and Power Project) producing 2743.6 MW of electricity and 800,000 m3 of water daily.  Perhaps most importantly, its engineering and industrial plants crank out 7% of Saudi Arabia's not insignificant GDP.

There are long stretches of beaches to enjoy around Jubail...

People will either live in the old town, or Jubail Industrial City.  Jubail old town has been in existence, in some form for 7,000 years, and has grown organically, some would say haphazardly, with the biggest spurt to growth (and hence architecture) coming since the 70s. It is not the first choice for many expats, and that's reflected in the rents, which are about half of the Industrial City. The general cost of living is cheaper too. 

Jubail Industrial city is, in comparison at least, master-planned (or at least planned). It is a 20-30 minute drive from Jubail (35 km) and, again in comparison, has an abundance of greenery mixed in with the villas and apartment buildings. There are beaches, more Western style shopping options and restaurants, as well as a number of hospitals and international schools. Because it is newer and hosts better accommodation options, living off a compound is easier - although our advice for new expats is still compound life for their first two years.

Note: Click here for a list of schools in Eastern Province.

Jubail is growing fast - faster than anywhere else in the Eastern province, and probably the Kingdom (although NEOM may eventually challenge it once it really picks up steam). From 2000 to 2015 it grew by some 60%, although it has since slowed. The current population of is 655,000, a 3.8% increase from 2021. Males significantly outnumber females - by approximately 2:1.

For those looking to escape on a weekend, Jubail is just 60 km away from Dammam, and 100 km from Khobar, perhaps the most resort like escape this side of Bahrain. Getting further means the King Fahd airport (90km, less than an hour on the expressway), while the King Fahd Causeway is 116 km away, and takes 80 minutes by car. Even by bus it only takes 3.5 hours to get you to the Bahrain border. Manama itself is 160 km away.  

Pros of Living in Al Jubail:

  1. Industrial Hub: The city’s industrial significance ensures ample job opportunities, particularly in petrochemicals and heavy industries.
  2. Quality Infrastructure: Al Jubail boasts modern amenities, roads, and housing due to its planned development.
  3. Waterfront Views: The city offers some splendid sea views and beautiful beaches.
  4. Cultural Blend: A mix of traditions and modernity, it’s a melting pot of different cultures, given the large expat community.

Cons of Living in Al Jubail:

  1. Industrial Landscape: Some may find the city's largely industrial views less appealing.
  2. Hot Climate: Its desert coastal climate ensures hot and humid summers.
  3. Limited Entertainment: While there are amenities, entertainment options might be less compared to bigger cities like Riyadh or Jeddah.

Top 10 Independent Schools in Al Jubail (with average fees):

(Note: Actual figures might require specific research, but here's a generalized list)

  1. Jubail International School: Offering a broad curriculum for expats. Average Fees: SAR 25,000 annually.
  2. Al Hussan International School: A trusted name for quality education in KSA. Average Fees: SAR 28,000 annually.
  3. Jubail British School: Emphasizes the British curriculum. Average Fees: SAR 30,000 annually.
  4. Indian International School: Catering mainly to the Indian expatriate community. Average Fees: SAR 15,000 annually.
  5. Philippine School Al Jubail: Serves the Filipino community with a curriculum aligned to Philippine standards. Average Fees: SAR 12,000 annually.
  6. Al-Fanar Private School: A blend of Saudi and international curricula. Average Fees: SAR 20,000 annually.
  7. International Schools Group, Jubail: Part of the ISG group, offering American curriculum. Average Fees: SAR 32,000 annually.
  8. Al-Khaleej Training and Education School: Known for its focus on extracurricular activities. Average Fees: SAR 23,000 annually.
  9. Almanarat Aljubail School: Combining religious and modern education. Average Fees: SAR 22,000 annually.
  10. Jubail French School: Catering primarily to the French-speaking community. Average Fees: SAR 28,000 annually.

Best Areas to Live in Al Jubail (with average rents):

  1. Al Deffi: A popular area among expatriates. Average Rent: SAR 2,500/month for a 2-bedroom flat.
  2. Al Huwailat: Known for its modern amenities and proximity to schools. Average Rent: SAR 2,700/month for a 2-bedroom flat.
  3. Al Mardumah: A serene neighborhood ideal for families. Average Rent: SAR 2,800/month for a 2-bedroom flat.
  4. Fanateer District: A coastal area popular for its beachfront properties. Average Rent: SAR 3,200/month for a 2-bedroom flat.

Best Areas to Live and Why:

  1. Fanateer District: Preferred by many for its recreational facilities, malls, and waterfront.
  2. Al Huwailat: Its proximity to major schools and shopping centers makes it convenient.
  3. Al Deffi: Centrally located with easy access to various parts of the city.

Weather in Al Jubail:

Al Jubail features a desert climate but is also influenced by the Persian Gulf's coastal location. Summers (June to September) are hot and humid, with temperatures often surpassing 40°C. Winters (December to February) are mild and pleasant, with daytime temperatures around 20-25°C. Compared to the interior parts of KSA, Al Jubail is more humid due to its coastal position.

Who Lives in Al Jubail Now?

Al Jubail’s population is a mix of native Saudis and a large expatriate community. The city's industrial significance has attracted professionals from South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh), Southeast Asia (Philippines, Malaysia), Western countries, and other Middle Eastern nations. This diverse mix ensures a vibrant cultural atmosphere.

Al Jubail, Our View

While Al Jubail's industrial aura is evident, its well-planned infrastructure, schools, and living areas make it appealing for families and professionals alike. The city’s blend of cultures, modern amenities, and employment opportunities ensures a quality lifestyle, balancing work, and leisure in the heart of Saudi Arabia's eastern province.

Al Jubail Ratings





Family Friendly


Transport Links


Al Jubail Pros & Cons


Lots of work!
Good accommodation in the newer industrial city
Just an hour from Dammam, Khobar
Calm and quiet in the industrial city


A little remote, isolated
Old town congested, tired

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