Welcome

Date Palms & Camels

The site is named to honor the flora, Date Palm and fauna, Camel of Saudi Arabia. They are remarkable in that they can exist in the most arid and extreme heat environment and thrive! They both are staples of a desert kingdom. Their adaptation in this ecosystem is to our benefit for nourishment and sustainability.

Living Life in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Hello! Salam Alykum!

Thanks for visiting this blog!

We are a family of 4 from America, who had been living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for 3 years, from 2018 until 2021. You can find out what it is like to live an expat life in this country with your family, or by yourself. The most recent posts are the first ones you will find. If you scroll back through the many posts here, you can find out information on compound life, dressing, cultural customs, and so on. It was exciting to spend some time here, and there are still places we’d like to come back to visit. May you find it useful in your exploration!

We entered Saudi a year after ladies were allowed to drive. We left when Saudi started adopting new “green initiatives” both in energy production, the environment, agriculture and water. Currently there is a boom in building projects both for entertainment, such as sports arenas, horse racing tracks, desert camping, and tourism in historic districts. In a few years this country will be posed to be a new hot spot destination for tourism, so why not visit while it is still in the making!

Blog

7th Int’l Date Palm Conference – Abu Dhabi, UAE Don’t miss it! March 14 – 16, 2022

Date Palm is an important food crop in arid lands, especially the Middle East. Why not get a seat at the 7th International Date Palm Conference, held this year in Abu Dhabi, Emirates? The place, Emirates Palace Hotel, will be sure to impress for 3 days this March. The website link for all information concerning …

AlUla is backdrop for new Hollywood movie ‘Kandahar’

Look out world, here comes a new movie set in a terrifically scenic and stunning location, Al Ula, Saudi Arabia! Kandahar is Hollywood’s first go at filming in an increasingly welcoming region for tourism and international business. The movie’s director is Ric Roman Waugh, and the release date has not yet been set. Read the …

Crop wild relatives can lend genes to our food crops, making them more food secure for the future

Looking online for some information about Middle East wild crop relatives, I ran across this article published in 20 Dec. 2017 in natureasia.com, (nature middle east section). It’s entitled, Shaking up salt-friendly agriculture, written by Sedeer El-Showk. High salt-tolerant crops grown in the Middle East are a new focus for scientific study and genome sequencing …

New YouTube video featuring Saudi Arabia –greening desert landscapes in Saudi, Africa, Mongolia, and China

Just found a great youtube video on much of what my “Agroforestry in Arid Environments” review paper is about.  It is done really well and describes desertification, greening projects in Africa, China, Mongolia, and Saudi Arabia, sand drift, agriculture, etc.  North America is not represented here, but this video gives a nice view on projects …

Alicia Keys to perform in sold out concert Feb. 11th in Al Ula 2022

Tantora festival is back this year at AlUla, Saudi Arabia! It is a time to celebrate arts, music, sports and culture in this most beautiful desert environment. Set to perform to an already sold out concert this coming Friday, is Alicia Keys! She will also be leading a panel on women’s empowerment the day after. …

Salt tolerant plants for future food production: Middle East research with desert plants and microbes

Living in Saudi Arabia became a catalyst that began my interest, starting with dust storms, in learning about desert ecosystems and agriculture. The environment being so foreign to my past experiences living on planet earth, was something I wanted to understand better. Through reading many scientific articles relating to desert environments, heat extremes, desertification, sand …

Saudi Female Photographer Wins Award from International Federation of Photographic Art – 2021

Yomn Mohammed Al-Monla, who lives in Jeddah, has been recognized this past fall for the beauty that she captures in her images of Arabian horses. A Saudi native, she has an interest in highlighting her culture and showcasing the beauty of the horse within the equestrian world. She also has future plans to establish a …

Arid and Semi-Arid Areas of Southwest US – Agroforestry Practices to Mitigate Climate Change, Build Soil and Food Security

This past semester as a graduate student was challenging, but I learned so much from the professor and class, besides the readings and lectures. I wanted to bring some of what I had learned while living in Saudi Arabia to the class, as well as learn about what other areas of the world are doing …

AlUla-Elephant Rock, not to miss (4 of 4) –videos The Best Way to Finish Your Visit to AlUla

This one site is still on my mind. So much rock and sand beauty in this one area! We chose the cooler night option at Elephant Rock, as I can’t imagine a day visit would be as enjoyable. After nearly 2 hot days of sightseeing, we ended our tour with Elephant Rock, so named because …

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7th Int’l Date Palm Conference – Abu Dhabi, UAE Don’t miss it! March 14 – 16, 2022

Date Palm is an important food crop in arid lands, especially the Middle East. Why not get a seat at the 7th International Date Palm Conference, held this year in Abu Dhabi, Emirates? The place, Emirates Palace Hotel, will be sure to impress for 3 days this March. The website link for all information concerning …

AlUla is backdrop for new Hollywood movie ‘Kandahar’

Look out world, here comes a new movie set in a terrifically scenic and stunning location, Al Ula, Saudi Arabia! Kandahar is Hollywood’s first go at filming in an increasingly welcoming region for tourism and international business. The movie’s director is Ric Roman Waugh, and the release date has not yet been set. Read the …

Crop wild relatives can lend genes to our food crops, making them more food secure for the future

Looking online for some information about Middle East wild crop relatives, I ran across this article published in 20 Dec. 2017 in natureasia.com, (nature middle east section). It’s entitled, Shaking up salt-friendly agriculture, written by Sedeer El-Showk. High salt-tolerant crops grown in the Middle East are a new focus for scientific study and genome sequencing …

About

We have lived in the Eastern Province of Al Khobar. The nearest big city is Dammam. The great advantage of living here, is it is near the sea. Also there is an easily accessible land bridge to the country of Bahrain. We hope this site will help give you an idea of life here in Saudi. It won’t be complete but you can get an idea of what elements of Saudi living will appeal to you.

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If you would like to reach out, please use the “Send Us a Message” form below. We usually respond within 24 hours. Thanks!

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