In this second installment in our multi-part series on compound life I wanted to share some more details and pictures of the types of facilities available at KAUST and what you might expect to find at other compounds in the region.
Nearly every compound will include at least one recreation center which will typically include a gym or two (one for men only and one for women only), a pool, and a restaurant. Due to the large size of KAUST we are lucky enough to have four separate recreation centers with each specializing in a different type of sport and/or activity.
The Island Club
The Island club is the largest and most diverse of the recreation centers. It has a large coed pool that looks out over the red sea and beautiful sunsets. It also has a small male only gym overlooking the pool and red sea. In addition to the pool and gym this center also contains a large two story indoor padded playground for kids, an indoor rock-climbing wall, several specialized rooms for classes (yoga, Pilates, spinning, etc), a pottery room with attached kilns, and an outdoor skate park. Finally, the restaurant attached to the Island club is one of the best in the compound and features surf and turf menu including lobster.
The Racquet Club
As the name implies this facility has a focus on racquet sports including badminton, tennis, squash, table tennis, and hand ball. In addition to racquet sports this club also has a child soft play area and mat covered room for gymnastics classes. This specific club does not however contain a gym or pool. Finally, the club also has a small Sauna room and a steak restaurant.
The Golf Club
Also, as the name implies the golf club is focused on the sport of golf and features a 9-hole golf course, locker rooms with golf club storage, and a clubhouse with pool tables and large tvs for watching sports. Golf lessons and a club pro are available to assist players of all ages and skill ranges starting at 5 years old. This specific club does not have a gym or pool, but does have an attached indoor/outdoor restaurant and grill serving American and North African dishes.
The Harbor Club
The Harbor club is one of the larger clubs at KAUST and contains the largest male and female gyms in the compound. It also contains a coed pool and smaller female only pool. In addition to the pools and gyms the club also has a large outdoor running track and soccer fields, a 12-lane bowling alley, arcade, indoor basketball courts, and an indoor/outdoor restaurant serving a variety of Asian and Indian dishes.
KAUST also has its own two screen movie theater. This used to be a much bigger deal until recently when the ban on showing movies in public was lifted in KSA. Since last year several large and modern multiscreen theaters have been built in bigger cities like Jeddah so this is not such a big novelty any longer, but it is still a nice option to have within the compound. One other nice feature is the lower cost of seeing a movie in KAUST, with ticket prices around $1.5 per person and a large box of popcorn at around $2. For a family of four this means we can catch the latest Avengers movie with snacks for around $10 total. Not a bad deal on a hot day in KSA.
Next in our Series: Fun in the Sun
Interested to learn more about Compound Life? Then check out the next post in this series on Outdoor Activities in the compounds.