I am early in the hiring process but am a teacher with an interview scheduled for Dhahran School. There also may be an opportunity for me at RT. I am curious to hear opinions, pros, cons and anything else anyone can contribute to help decide which camp would be better for us. We are a family of 4. I am American, wife is Brazilian and children would be 6 and 1 when we arrived.
Both have advantages and disadvantages. A lot of it depends on you.
Dhahran is the main camp and is centrally located. They tend to have better facilities, are putting sweet water throughout the camp, and tend to have better internet. Dhahran is just outside the main shopping areas (Khobar/Dammam, etc) which can be very convenient and has a much better commissary. It is basically a small self contained city within a major city.
Ras Tanura has some issues (especially with the current state of the commissary, sweet water, and electrical outlets). That being said, it is a wonderful place to raise kids and for those who like the small beach town lifestyle it is great! The kids can play in the parks without fear. The roads are generally clear, and kids bike, skate, etc on the roads. Nearly anywhere is walking/biking distance, and a lot of us use golf carts to get around camp (which is not allowed in DH). The beach is amazing.
In the end, its a matter of preference. There are times we get frustrated with the lack of infrastructure here, but for our kids this place is heaven.
Post by principe.azzurro69 on Sept 17, 2013 4:45:56 GMT
Twofeets, I totally agree. The thing is, if you work in DHA and have to take the bus every morning, it can be quite a bore to live in RT, even with the beach and all the other niceties. That bus takes about 1h 20 minutes to get you from RT to DHA - whatever they tell you on Houston or London, or later at orientation where they tend to embellish things a lot saying that 40 minutes are the regular travel time between RT and DHA. I have been doing this for 3 weeks now and it is 1 hour and 27 minutes in the morning and the same in the evening: because in RT the bus drives around camp and picks up people everywhere, before it finally leaves from the main gate / commissary. And in DHA it does a similar thing, before I reach my destination. Having said that, note something else: the beach is very nice, that's true. But the water is like soup at the moment, almost warmer than the air. So not taking a bath is not really refreshing. The two pools though are great, especially the South one, water about 27 / 28°C. For the rest, the taxi trip to Rahimah (where the supermarket Panda is, with MUCH better prices than the outeously expensive commissary that mirrors European / US prices and has nothing to do with the rest of the country) is cheap (10 SAR) and short (8 minutes to go) and practical. But - and I say "but" being a bachelor and a socially active person - RT is like an island. There is NOTHING around here, whereas in DHA you have Khobar, Dammam etc. Having said that, as a bachelor there is no chance you can get anywhere else because of the radically changed housing policy. Or Abqaiq or RT or nothing. So make up your mind before you come, because it can be quite frustrating the first days/weeks as it was (and still is) for me and most of my companions and colleagues who share the same fate... (oh I know there will be many people writing about this post and arguing against it, but this is MY opinion and not an unbiased neutral observation).
I think it's important and relevant to describe your real-world experience, particularly as a bachelor. The lifestyle change isn't for everyone. When our family was going through the relocation and new hire experience, this forum wasn't nearly as populated with current, real-life experiences of newcomers as it is now. I definitely would have appreciated more candor and less rose-colored glasses. Good for you for sharing your experience.
Im sorry, I misunderstood. I thought you were saying you had a job opportunity in RT as well. If you will be working in DH, then you will want to live in DH. As you said, commute kills any free time you would have to enjoy RT during the week.
As to the water temp, its nice in the mornings. There's a group of us that go out between 530 and 630 most mornings and swim out around the poles. By 9am its too hot though. The good news is this is temporary. Pretty soon the weather will cool down and the beach will be very nice.
Thanks twofeet. Job could be in either place and I'm not hoping for a commute longer than my own 2 feet can carry me. As someone who used to surf before work, you don't know how good a morning swim with friends sounds. What a great way to start the day! I hope I have the opportunity to join you.