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Best Residential Compounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

LifestyleBest Residential Compounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  1. Looking for Accommodation 
  2. Life in the best residential Compounds
  3. Here’s a list of best selected residential compounds in Riyadh

Riyadh metropol comprises 16 smaller municipalities (residential compounds), including the Diplomatic Quarter, housing most foreign embassies and diplomatic staff residences. 

Looking for Accommodation 

Considering you want to live in an ex-pat compound outside the Diplomatic Quarter, as many expatriates do.

Then, Al Olayya & Sulaymaniyyah, RiRiyadh’susiness district, and the prestigious Al Mohamdiyah and Al Nakheel districts in Al MaMa’atharill offer suitable housing.

Local accommodation is advertised chiefly in the Arabic press. You can have a friend or colleague translate the classifieds for you or wander around an area you like. Enquire about vacancies from the building supervisor and for the landlord’s contact number. 

It would be best if you were specific about whether you need a “family apartment” or a “bachelor apartment.” living outside a compound is recommended only for expatriates without wives and children. 

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Families living outside the compounds have fewer socializing opportunities and lack the shuttle bus facility. 

Life in the best residential Compounds

Social life

Compounds offer the advantage of meeting and interacting with other ex-pats. Here, residents experience cultural diversity.


These gated communities, often located outside of metropolitan Riyadh, offer several amenities, like shops, fitness, and shuttle services. 

  • Sports facilities like a Swimming pool, tennis court, basketball court, golf course, gym, and bowling alley.
  • Supermarkets
  • Community/Recreation Hall
  • Organized recreational activities


These compounds are villas and apartments surrounded by high walls with barbed wires and armed guards.

The mutawwa (religious police) cannot enter these compounds. Plus, rules concerning gender segregation and strict dress codes do not apply within the compound boundary.

But outside the compound, the rules are followed strictly. Strictly.


Shopping trips are managed and facilitated with buses hired for their transportation. Similarly, transport is also arranged for school-going children.

Compounds have on-site pre-schools for toddlers.

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Costs and must-dos

A villa in a compound can be costly – a two-bedroom villa can be rented for 135,000 SAR a year. And rents are typically paid a year in advance. These high costs do not deter prospective tenants, as waiting lists are often months long.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Ensure you get an English rental agreement or an official translation from Arabic before you sign anything.
  • Check if your new place already has utility connections for water and electricity. 
  • Furnished housing will save time and money. Accommodations with at least some basic furnishing are available in these compounds.

Confirm the voltage and frequency, and stock up on adapters and plug-in sockets.

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Here is the list of best-selected residential compounds in Riyadh