Traditionally it was a city of shopkeepers and merchants, perhaps one reason why some of the country's largest shopping malls still cluster in and around it. These range from the local shops on Prince Naïf Street to the upscale Al Rashid Mall, back down to the hustle and bustle of Alissa Souk. As one of Saudi's uncontested pleasures these are all areas that really comes to life life after dark.
Aside the retail therapy, other reasons expats and 'tourists' choose to live within Khobar itself include the quality of buildings and compounds (it's the newest part of in the Dammam area), and that it is very much a resort town. Khobar's southern suburbs of the city face the Half Moon Bay and host several beaches and beach resorts. Sunset Beach, and Al-Azizia beach are five kilometres from the centre. Khobar's corniche itself runs 3m along the coastline.
If you're an expat with kids, you do not need to worry about the quality of schools (although getting a place at one of the better schools may be more problematic). The first school in Khobar was established in 1942, and has since been joined by over 100 more public and private educational institutes.
From an expats point of view however not all of these schools would be considered relevant to a school search. Our editors would point you, initially at least, to the following schools:
The British International School Al Khobar. Established in 1977 to serve the families of the British community today its 850 students come from over from 50 countries. The school relocated to a purpose built new site at the start of the 2019-20 academic year. It is one of only three schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to have been inspected by British Schools Overseas. Click for the full The British International School Al Khobar review.
British International School Al Khobar follows the National Curriculum for England and delivers externally assessed (I)GCSE examinations as well as offering a full A-level programme. The school is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS), the British Schools Overseas (BSO), the British Schools in the Middle East (BSME) and the Middle States Association for Colleges and Schools (MSA). Click for the full British International School Al Khobar review.
The Lycée Français International d'Al Khobar is the only French Lycée in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. It is home to almost 600 students of 22 different nationalities from age 3 to 18. Click for the full The Lycée Français International d'Al Khobar review.
ISG American School Dhahran was first established in 1962. In 2022 it moved to a purpose-built campus in the Aziziyah area of Al Khobar – some 25 km away from its previous location and is now home to 1,102 students representing 54 nationalities. In 1981, it became the first school in the Middle East to receive accreditation from a U.S. accrediting agency (Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools). Click for the full ISG American School Dhahran review.
Click here for a full list of international schools in the Eastern province.
As well as strong educational institutions, the city has numerous hospitals, the most prominent being King Fahad University Hospital (500 beds) and the Al-Khobar General Hospital (50 beds). It is served by both private hospitals and well as government hospitals.
For expats our advice is to live, at least initially on a compound. The area is well served with a wide variety of options. See our list of compounds to get you going below.
Name: Refad Compound
Address: Prince Fiasal Bin Fahad Road, 2224, Al Khobar
Describes itself as the ultimate luxury residential complex. Houses over 100 villas, apartments and duplexes that can accommodate both families and singles on short- or long-term deals. Amenities include two gym and fitness centres, large temperature-controlled swimming pool, four lane bowling alley, tennis and squash court, and a multipurpose hall for table tennis or badminton. Maintenance team on duty 24/7.
Name: Canary Vista Compound
Address: Al Maha, Al Aziziyah 34726, Saudi Arabia
Located off of Al Khalidiyah Road and south of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Road, Canary Vista is close to Dammam, Khobar, and Bahrain. The self-contained compound "offers a green space" where residents can enjoy a picnic or play sports. Previously owned by Exxon Mobile's Qatif Concessions Management Company (until 2007) the compound has 326 villas in total.
Name: The Pearl Residential Compound
Price Range: 55,000 SAR - 165,000 SAR
Address: Prince Sultan Bin Fahed Road, Qurtoba district, 31952, Khobar
Located on Prince Sultan Bin Fahed Road in Qurtoba District, claims "easy access" to shopping malls, hospitals and international schools. Offers maintenance services, cleaning services, bus transportation, security 24/7 (CCTV in all public areas; 24 & 7 surveillance, ID check-in gate system) and pest control.
Name: Canary Village
Address: Al-Khobar 31952, Saudi Arabia
A total of 159 furnished villas with 3 bedrooms. A recreation centre offers a restaurant, ballroom, party room and snack bar, along with a gym, aerobic room, beauty salon, billiard tables, table tennis court and a heated swimming pool. It has several courts for sports such as basketball and tennis. The compound also offers 24-hour security and maintenance, potable water, satellite TV, internet service and buses for schools and malls.
Name: Riviera Waterfront Village
Price Range: 70,000 SAR - 169,000 SAR
Address: Ishbiliya, Al Khobar 34712, Saudi Arabia
Riviera Waterfront Village is an apartment complex with studio, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartments as well as villas. The new residential compound is located near main retail areas, close to leisure activities, educational facilities and medical clinics.
Name: Al Remal Village
Address: Al Quds St, Al Andalus, Al Khobar 34437, Saudi Arabia
The complex consists of five executive villas with basement floor, three standard villas, thirty-five duplex villas, thirty-one one bedroom apartments, and thirty-six two bedroom apartments. There are also eight townhouses type A and six townhouses type B.
Facilities and amenities include: restaurant, laundry, common swimming pool, children’s pool, and prayer room.
Name: Al Nadah Compound
Address: Near EXTRA, King Faisal Road,, P.O.Box 1548, Dammam-31441, 31441, Khobar
Out of the 128 villas, 100 of those are single story villas and 28 are duplex villas. Furnished villas are said to have a modern design. Claimed facilities include tennis courts, swimming pools, aerobics venues, restaurants, mini-markets, tents, saunas and jacuzzis plus children’s playgrounds and an air-conditioned recreational centre squash courts.
Name: Al Danah Compound
Address: Near EXTRA, King Faisal Road,, P.O.Box 1548, Dammam-31441, 31441, Khobar
104 duplex villas, including 96 two-bedroom villas and eight one bedroom executive villas. Recently refurbished, the duplexes have both a "modern design" and "landscaped gardens". Facilities include tennis courts, swimming pools, children's playground and an indoor recreation centre. Transportation includes bus services connecting to international British and American schools, and shopping buses to malls within Khobar. Security measures include three security checkpoints, a camera surveillance system, and a 24 hour security team.
Name: Las Dunas Compound
Address: Ar Rawabi, Al Khobar 34421, Saudi Arabia
Winding roads for safe cycling, walking routes through green parks, shopping, and Las Olivious restaurant.
Name: Oasis Garden Compound
Address: Salaheddin Al Ayoubi Street, Al Jawharah, Al Khobar 34434, Saudi Arabia
Oasis Garden Compound says it is characterised by its "gardens and tranquil spaces". The compound is located in Al Jawhara District close to hospital, international schools, malls, groceries and restaurants. "This will lessen the commute for tenants to work or school."
Also offers rooftop work spaces.
Name: Roseville Compound
Price Range: 55,000 SAR - 90,000 SAR
Address: Al Andalus, Al Khobar 34437, Saudi Arabia
44 units of 4 bedroom villas and 16 units of 2 bedroom apartment. Each villa consists of three floors with modern furniture. Amenities: Kids indoor and outdoor playground, fitness center, game room, pool, 24/7 CCTV.
Name: Black Pearl Residential Compound
Price Range: 75,000 SAR - 225,000 SAR
Address: Azzizyah , 31412, Khobar
A new compound with 138 units of three types: VIP Villas, typical villas, and apartments. 15 minutes away from Al Khobar's Downtown area. "Easy access to multiple Lifestyle centres, shopping malls, major roads and hospitals." Facilities: Mini Market, Children’s Day Care Center, Multi-Purpose AC Covered court (basketball, tennis), standard squash court, 20m swimming pool.
Name: Al Mohamadia Compound
Address: Al Sadafah, Al Khobar 31952, Saudi Arabia
Total land area of 80,000 m2, 12 completed buildings, 96 units each within each. Amenities: beauty and spa center, coffee shop, sports court, mini markets, multi-purpose halls, first aid room, nursery and gym.
Name: Zamil Village
Address: Al-Qashla street, Dhahran, Khobar 34232
168 apartments and 86 villas. Amenities: Gardens, large swimming pool, 24/7 security, maintenance service, transportation services, school transportation, children indoor playroom, library, private shaded parking.
Name: Wadi Village
Address: Hajib Bin Zaid , Qurtubah district. , Al-Khobar-34236
52 villas and apartments. British management. Services and facilities: 24/7 security, maintenance service, transportation services, school transportation, children indoor playroom, library, private shaded parking.
Name: Arabian Village
Address: Hajib Bin Zaid , Qurtubah dist. , Al-Khobar-34236
Established in 2008. 134 housing units (108 apartments plus 26 villas). Managed by a British team
Name: Desert Rose Compound
Price Range: 30,000 SAR to 45,000 SAR
Address: Al Khobar , Al Rakah district , 31952, Khobar
145 units of 3 different types: one-bedroom furnished apartments (fully-furnished), two-bedroom unfurnished apartments, and three-bedroom unfurnished apartments. Facilities: Recreational Center, outdoor kids playground, swimming pool, multi-purpose court.
Name: Al Ansari Compound 2
Address: Al Khobar, beside the French school of Khobar, 31952, Khobar
86 units "in the heart of Al Khobar": Units of three bedroom villas, three bedroom apartments, two bedroom apartments, and one bedroom apartments. Facilities: Library, gym, swimming pool, hot tubs, billiards tables, 24/7 security.
Name: Nouf Compound
Price Range: 95,000 SAR - 125,000 SAR
Address: Al Jawharah, Al Khobar 34434, Saudi Arabia
33 units: 27 three bedroom one floor villas and 6 two bedroom apartments with free high-speed internet, or flats. Units can be furnished or unfurnished. Pool and recreational centre with lounge, TV screens, billiard tables and tennis tables.
Name: Meadow Park Compound
Price: 30,000 SAR - 65,000
Address: Al Jawhara district (Golden Belt) area by Al Quds street /Al mansuriyah street, 31952, Khobar
Two types of units, a three bedroom villa and a one bedroom apartment. Facilities: Swimming pool, gym, basketball court, and large multi-purpose room, 24/7 security system, on site maintenance team, garbage chutes and pest control.
Name: Ronda Residence Compound
Price Range: 110,000 SAR - 220,000 SAR
Address: Hammad Ibn Hibatullah Street, Al Sadafa District, Al Khobar 34215, Saudi Arabia
Newly constructed, modern residential community of 220 units of four different types: one-bedroom apartments, two-bedroom flats, three-bedroom apartments, and three-bedroom villas. Wide roadways, gardens, and landscaping.