Favorite thing: What are the restrictions for ladies to move around in Dammam? I mean other than the dress code, can a lady move alone/with kids in shopping malls (the way it is in India)? Do you suggest any website to get more info on this? Will be obliged if you can give practical info.
When you want to look for a flat in Dammam, you should realize that you should have be armed with two things 1. a method of transport, and 2. A looooooooooooot of patience
first off you gotta know that bachealor accomodation is different from family, and has different areas where you should look, then there's the amount of money you wanna spend as opposed to what you can accept for a lodging, the following points are the key aspects which control the rental prices down here:
1. Location: Mazroueya is one of the most expensive areas, as its closer to corniche and khobar road
2. New building / old building /renovated building
3. Furnished / Unfurnished : but usually long term rentals are unfurnished or semi furnished
4. Number of rooms
5. Floor, remember that this is a hot country, and since most buildig are two stories tall, the 2nd storey is the least desired, and so is the one on the roof, especially if the house doesn't have proper insulation, and the bottom floor is less desired because with time, you'll see more mice, insects and such tha the higher floors, and so the most expensive is the first floor.
6. Building extras: most buildings are plain and almost the same shape and looks, like everyone is copying from each other, but you do find buildings that have a little extra like, a lift, a guard, a shadey spot to park your car, sometimes gas pipes connected to your flat (you still buy the gas yourself), solar panels, central ac................etc.
Fondest memory: When looking for a flat here, i advice against going to realestate agents directly, they're the least helpful and will literally flog you off to continue watching tv, chatting with their friends or talking on the phone, i suggest driving around in your car in the areas you like, and when you see a sign posted saying flats for rent, or you notice some flats seem like no one lives there (no acs , no lights ....etc.) you could call the agent using the number mentioned on the sign, or wait for a tenant to come down and ask him, but be careful, most agents are too lazy to come show you the appartment, so only call and ask for the price and features first, if you think there's a shot then ask to see it, you have to have some one who speaks arabic coz almost all the agents are arabs!
average flat prices in an average area, with average finishing on the first floor, 2bd rooms, 2 receptions, 3 bathrooms may cost approximately 15000-18000/annum