I decided to do an interview with the manager of Sunrise, Shadi Ghazal, to get a history on the compound. Shadi is from Syria, he came to Al Khobar as a kids when his parents moved here to live. He is a very nice and well educated guy, I could write a whole post on the conversation we had about Syria. Perhaps at another time.
Sunrise was built 13 years ago to house foreigners arriving in KSA who were working in the oil industry.Throughout the years the property has been leased to corporate clients like Schlumberger and Baker Hughes. It sat vacant for several years, 2 years ago Dow started its lease. The present owner bought it 9 years ago. He and this three sons used several of the villas as a get away to get access to the beach. Now I understand they leave KSA during the summer months to live in their second homes in the US and Europe. The family recently built a compound with four large homes directly behind Sunrise .
(Click over the words in green and you will be taken to a new page and link.)
Shadi told me that the owner has a company called the Shoaibi Group. See Board of Directors, The man seated is the father and this three sons are standing around him. If you click on each of their names a description of what they do and there education is displayed. Shoaibi Group Companies is a list on their subsidiaries. Very interesting.
Many companies prefer compound living for their employees, it gives them security, piracy and certain freedoms behind the high walls, especially for the women. (ALL women must where an abaya when out in public, beyond the walls of the compound, more on that later.) For example all of the compounds have pools so the women can swim and ware regular bathing suits, even bikinis. In public areas women really do not swim and if they do, would have to be completely covered up. see abaya bathing suits. Security is another big issue, our compound has 24 hour CCTV which is backed up and saved every week. On the first floor, the larger windows and French doors are covered with a clear anti-ballistic film so they will not shatter and the 12′ walls are topped with razor barbwire.
Our compound employees 15 men from India, Bengali and Pakistan. We have our own water purification system for our water supply and a sewage processing plant.
There were several villas available for ME to choose from when she visited in December. The one we live in has recently been completely refurbish. It is the demo villa furnished entirely of IKEA furniture, all the other units are to be redone the same way in the next few months.
Villa #2 is a 2 story twin building. On the first floor is a kitchen, combination living and dining room, plus two bathrooms and a utility room with washer and dryer. On the second floor there are three bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms and a cozy living room. We spend almost all of our time on the second floor except for when we are in the kitchen.
Open up Google maps, copy and paste these coordinates removed for security issues in the box on the upper left hand side of the page, then click on the blue magnifying glass to the right of the bar. This should take you to a map of where we live. Click on the satellite/earth button on the map. Our villa is on the right next to the red arrow. Please let me know if you are unable to do this. I did try to upload a short video of the inside of our villa but I got a message that the file exceeds the maximum upload size, so you are stuck with snapshots, enjoy.