Saudi’s KEEP OUT – Western Only Compounds and I mean WESTERN ONLY


How do you feel about the concept of a Western Only Compound which prohibits Saudis from entering the compound either as a worker, resident or even a guest?  You might think, come on, isn’t that a bit extreme or are you over-exaggerating?  This is in fact true.  There are some compounds in the Kingdom while the land may be owned by a Saudi, the compound may even be under Saudi ownership, no Saudi nationals are allowed to enter the compound either as a visitor, laborer or resident.  The reason that is typically cited in these cases is “security.”  The premise is that compounds and specifically the Western residents were targets and bombed during the early 2000’s.  These attacks were carried out by Saudis and many innocents were killed and injured.  Thereafter it became acceptable to allow compounds where no Saudis are allowed admittance.


I have no objection to Western Only compounds in general.  I may not agree wholeheartedly but believe my mind is open enough to understand that such compounds serve a demand in the Kingdom.  I do think it is unreasonable though to have compounds which prohibit Saudis with no exceptions.  In my view, that screams of discrimination, especially with the compound located in Saudi Arabia and on Saudi soil.  It further encourages isolation between the residents of such compounds and Saudi nationals.  If one is so determined to have no contact with Saudis then why come to the Kingdom in the first place?


I was told that one particular compound has such a policy because the residents are associated with the British and American military and therefore required stringent security procedures.  Yet at the same time this compound will have festivities such as celebrations, concerts, etc., where other nationalities are allowed entre (after undergoing stringent security checks).  Who can say with 100 per cent certainty that the non-Saudis are always upstanding and fully trustworthy citizens?  Or alternatively, why could a Saudi national not be subjected to the same stringent security check and be allowed admission rather than unilaterally be denied admission because of his or her nationality?


I doubt these procedures will change and obviously this is an issue which the Saudi government has agreed with since after all the compounds are on Saudi soil.  Yet, as I guess you can tell by this post and my thoughts, it still rankles me.

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