5 Realities of Growing Up in a Saudi Compound | ExpatWoman.com

5 Realities of Growing Up in a Saudi Compound

As a child growing up inside a compound, your experience is different from anyone else’s, even the adults living there.

Posted on

14 March 2017

Last updated on 6 September 2017
5 Realities of Growing Up in a Saudi Compound

Saudi Arabia’s conservative culture separates it from most places around the world. It is, nevertheless, a popular destination for many expats who seek a tax-free salary. For many of the Western expats, they are privileged enough to be able to live in a gated compound where they don’t have to conform to the Kingdom’s restrictions.

Living inside a gated compound can both be a blessing and a curse. You get to carry on living the same lifestyle you had back home, but you’re sheltered from the “real” world happening outside those walls.

But for kids growing up there, worrying about the strict laws of the country isn’t something you do. If you grew up in a Saudi compound, you’ll likely relate to these 5 things!

1. It was like living in the movies

You were surrounded by green grass, big houses and pets. You spent your afternoons riding bikes and swimming in the sun. It’s really the closest you’d get to big screen living. The minute you step outside, it was a whole different world. It’s like living in your very own bubble.

happy child

2. You became more open-minded

Your neighbours were from different cultural background from all over the world. Being in the playground with others, it really didn’t matter what country they were from.

SEE ALSO: 8 things you experience after leaving Saudi Arabia

kinds playing

3. You always felt safe

With big walls around the compound and security checking who comes in and out, it's easy to feel safe. Perhaps a little too much as you were isolated from the rest of the world, in a sense.

Fenced in

4. You had great memories

As a child, you normally wouldn’t see all the negatives but rather all the beauty around you.

SEE ALSO: 6 things for teenagers to do in Saudi Arabia

Happy memories

5. You always get asked baffling questions about your childhood

Many people around the world think you instantly give up your lifestyle once you move to KSA. When in reality, you live just as you would have at home as long as you’re in your bubble, then the compromise comes in only when you step outside.