Temperaure in Dhahran
Favorite thing: Actually temperature is well within 40s most of the time in summer, however, its temperaure with humidity that makes it "appear" higher, hence "apparent temperature". Late July and early August can be quite humid with high temperatures.
Google "Heat Index" and press "I'm feeling lucky button" (ironic, isn't it!). This will take you to a wikipedia article that explains how Dhahran recorded an apprent temperature of 176oF on a pleasent day in 2003.
But other than July and August, its not bad. On top of that almnost everything is air conditioned. House, car, shopping malls, rec centers.
Rabibah Barge in Tanajib
Favorite thing: Yes, I lived on the Rabibah Barge for a couple of years docked at the shoreline of Tanajib in Saudi Arabia complete with resident physician, nurses and crewmen. It is like a community considering that my Engineering Office is just a stone throw and accommodation camp of other companies are just nearby. It is an 8-storey barge accommodating thousands of employees of our company with the roof top as one of our Entertainment Lounge. The whole area is full whenever there is a live band performing for us at least once a month, otherwise it is a movie house that makes our day complete.
Fondest memory: We use to go for picnic nearby on most weekend. Weekend means Thursday and Friday. Collecting seashells, shrimps and other seafoods and grilled them fresh. We were just one happy family away from home.
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KFUPM : School of Knowledge
Favorite thing: I have visited the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals many times being very close to my office and residence in Dhahran. It is situated between the headquarters of the Saudi Aramco where I work, and the Dhahran Air Base.
The University is composed of three sectors, North, Central, and South. The North consists of the Preparatory Year Campus, the North Faculty/Staff housing, and the student dormitories. The Central contains the classrooms, laboratories, faculty offices, administration, Research Institute, library, and IT centre. The South contains faculty and senior staff housing accommodation.
Fondest memory: I have had memorable experiences at the KFUPM. I used to visit the university very often as many of my expat friends worked in various departments. No events and parties or any kind of celebration held within the university that I was not invited. It has been part of my daily work and life. I miss my friends who worked there. I miss some of the students who also became my friends. I miss the university campus which became part of my comfortable and enjoyable stay in Saudi Arabia.
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Favorite thing: King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals dominates Dhahran. The campus stands on a 100m-high rocky outcrop, or Jebel, between the Aramco compound and the Dhahran Air Base. Saudi Arabia's first successful oil well was drilled 500m from the campus.
This male only university was founded in 1963 and now has 10,000 students. It is considered to be the finest university in the Middle East. The campus covers an area of 900 acres, with the US Consulate sharing one side.
The most popular majors, which reflect the employment opportunities in the country, are Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering.
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Aramco Junior High with wall
Favorite thing: Here is a photo of the Jr. High with the new walls. Here is a rare shot of the gate open that leads to the driveway in front of the "rock". These walls are a sad commentary on the state of things here in the Middle East.
Aramco Junior High
Favorite thing: Not a tip but some may want to see what the Dhahran Junior High looks like. You can go to Aramco schools until you complete 9th grade. Then expats head for boarding schools either in the States or Europe. Some students stay with their parents and go to Dhahran Academy.
There is a picture of the "Rock" that was used as a gathering spot. In this picture
Favorite thing: Not really a tip but you might want to see what the schools look like. Especially those about to move over here or for those reminiscing.
Back in the 80s when there were more students the school was full. Now some of the classrooms have been converted into teacher and administrative offices and even SAP training classrooms.
*Note* These pictures were taken before the big 8 foot walls that were built around the schools for security purposes.
Favorite thing: I live on the Aramco Compound. Back in the 70s and 80s it was mostly filled with expatriates. Now it is about half Saudi and half expatriate. It still has that small midwest town feel to the place. Everyone is friendly and it is a great place to raise a family. Houses are failry nice but there are not that many styles to choose from. Mostly stucco walls and many houses share walls.
Highlights of a one day visit
Favorite thing: Hit the dunes or the beach during the day. Smoke sheesha and eat Arab food sitting on carpets.
Fondest memory: I am an AramcoBrat. I lived there for 13 years as a kid growing up and 2 years as an adult. I've seen how much the Eastern Province has changed since the mid-70s and how much it hasnt' changed.
Money, money, money
Favorite thing: Dhahran is the centre of the oil industry in the biggest oil producing country in the world.
Saudi Aramco, the main oil company, is based here.
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