After numerous attacks around the country and especially after the Oasis compound attacks all the compounds began to construct high walls with barb wire, electric wire and security cameras. Now, unfortunately, all these compounds look like small prisons. National guardsmen serve as security. The weird thing is that before these attacks the Oasis was known for its high level of security compared to other compounds.
A few bad apples have ruined it for everyone. Those bad apples being blood-thirsty fundamentalists who want to take the country back to how it was in the 15th century.
Driving around the country can be hazardous if you don't pay attention. Often there are unmarked potholes, unmarked or badly marked construction sites, no one stops at intersections and forget about turn signals. Once at night we almost hit a camel on the way to the Dammam airport. You have noticed that I have yet to mention the drivers. This can be like Thunderdome at certain times of the day and in certain locations. Many people drive too fast and many drive too slow. This means on a 3 lane road you have a car in the right lane going 50 kph; middle lane 100 kph; left lane 120 kph and left shoulder 150 kph. Also, there is almost always a car doing 180 weaving in and out of these lanes with 2 kids standing up in the back seat, 1 kid in the passenger seat standing up and one in the drivers lap. Child seats are a rare sight.
Inshallah everyone will make it to their destinations in one piece!
Shamals are desert sand storms and they can be dangerous. High winds with sand blowing around in waves. Be careful and try to not be outside during them. Some are worse than others. They make for very bad driving conditions as well. If you can avoid it, don't go out in itl These pictures were taken from the end of my street. This Shamal came about around the time for school to be out.
It gets very hot here and the heat can be intense. Be sure to drink plenty of water here to avoid getting dehydrated. By the time you are thirsty it could be too late. Always carry a bottle of water with you here, so that you don't dehydrate!
Due to all the attacks most compounds and buildings now have concrete walls or concrete barricades surrounding them.