About a 30-minute drive from KAUST is a really nice city called KAEC. It’s a HUGE tract of land that is mostly empty for now, but the government is slowly working on it. It’s a community that will house many companies, stores, residential areas, hotels and entertainment and recreation areas. The government knows that it can’t rely on oil revenue forever so KAEC is part of their plan to bring more foreign and domestic investments into the country. This area will house many Saudi youths who will ideally be working in the future tech and investment firms within the its walls. It’s so huge that it’s several times the size of KAUST. 173 square kilometers, to be exact.
Before you enter KAEC, the guards ask for your ID. KAUST people are allowed in, and so are people from specific compounds and companies. Not everyone can enter. That’s why I feel it is more of a compound than a city.
Bay La Sun is the only hotel inside KAEC. They have a lovely restaurant called Seasons.
It had the best selection of any buffet I’d ever had in this whole country. The quality of the food is at par with 5 star hotels abroad.
They had a salad and cold foods section.
They even had a whole salmon (first time I’ve seen a whole cooked salmon, actually).
They had an Indian Food section. It was good but the chicken tikka was a little dry.
An Arabian Food section.
A Chinese Food section that I wasn’t really interested in since eating Chinese food outside of Chinese countries is always disappointing for me.
I loved the Om Ali. It reminds me of Spanish Arroz con Leche but even yummier!
It cost SAR 144 per person. A little pricey but well worth it! Also we don’t eat this much that often. After lunch I felt a twinge of guilt since I’d just visited the dietitian last week and she was very clear about how much I should limit my portions. Oh well.
There are lots of beach front restaurants where you can relax and watch the sunset. There’s even a shisha place as well.
There’s also a grassy place right in front of the beach where you can lay towels or rugs and have a picnic.
The beach here is definitely nicer looking and bigger than the KAUST beach. It was an afternoon well spent.
On the way back home we stopped by a gas station.
22 liters=SAR 10. That means a liter costs SAR 0.45, or USD 0.12. Sometimes I can’t believe we live in a country where oil is dirt cheap and costs even less than water.