By Rawan Nasser
Unplug, Relax, Recharge
Dhahran — Aramco facilities are known for being the greenest and most colorful in the Kingdom. The credit goes to the great efforts of Community Services (CS), who year after year try to find new ways to spruce up the Aramco communities, keeping them fresh, groomed, and aesthetically pleasing.
This year, CS has invested in creating more spaces and experiences for employees to immerse themselves during their time of leisure giving them a chance to recharge and return to their daily routines with a bounce in their step.
“In Community Services, our primary goal is improve our employees’ quality of life and well-being,” said Faisal A. Al-Hajji, executive director of CS. “By focusing on this important goal, we are delighted that we have been able to offer our employees and their dependents facilities like Abqaiq’s Heaven, the Dhahran Nursery, and various outdoor dining options at different locations, to name a few. These exciting new additions are also in line with Aramco’s contribution toward its green communities and supporting biodiversity.”
Facilities of joy
In Dhahran, cheerful greetings during the crisp mornings can be heard in the outside seating area of the Starbucks across from the library, and at noontime, when employees begin trickling into Kings Park to reserve outdoor seats at Carleton Café, now renamed “Habak” restaurant. It is the same friendly crew, but they are now serving fresh Lebanese cuisine from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. every day. Habak is now available in Ras Tanura and Abqaiq as well.
The King’s Park area itself has been completely transformed into a mini oasis of beauty, where visitors can take a stroll or enjoy their meals from the Tandoori House at a newly created outdoor terrace to the sound of soothing fountains and the chirping of birds.
Abqaiq Nature Reserve
The same attention to detail can be observed at the Dhahran Nursery, where each area is a zone for learning and relaxation. Local farms are hosted in the nursery to sell plants and pots for great prices, and the new Pattis France offers a unique dining experience for guests as it is nestled snugly among the greenery and exotic flower beds.
The Abqaiq comunity now has one of the most enchanting havens for animals and plants that were brought from around the Kingdom. Open during the weekends, Abqaiq’s Heaven provides visitors with a host of attractions as well as outdoor seating areas, a food service station, and a coffee stand.
The design of the Abqaiq facility utilizes natural and recycled materials, all planned and executed by the Southern Area CS team. Bamboo shoots cover the huge birdcage, which houses a delightful assortment of birds, a crafted wooden house shelters the precious eggs of ducks and geese, and chopped tree trunks are used as walkways and flower pots.
Nearby is the Abqaiq “Nature Reserve,” which was also recently inaugurated as a sanctuary for wildlife such as Arabian sand gazelles, ostriches, dazzling birds, and more than 2,000 trees. Guests can visit the fenced reserve and enjoy observing and learning about the animals in their natural habitat.
Bookings to the Dhahran Nursery and Abqaiq facilities must be made ahead of time through the Health Passport application.
Responding to community needs
Certain facilities are popular among Aramcons, especially during good weather. Considering the precautions that have to be taken to ensure the safety of all guests, CS have been monitoring the utilization of facilities and finding ways to decongest busy outlets.
“Our rigorous monitoring of consumer behavior through our control center has helped us better respond to the customers’ needs so they can enjoy the facilities provided by the company safely,” said Shatha A. Al-Baadi, head of CS Customer Relations. “The Health Passport application is also being utilized to manage the utilization of these areas.”
CS is carefully expanding its offerings and adding new experiences for employees and their dependents. Al-Baadi said that some areas are more popular than others are, which is why they have been investing in raising awareness of all available venues for their customers to enjoy with their families.
As a new year approaches and the winter season raises our spirits and invigorates our zest for life and the outdoors, the Aramco communities offer many activities that are only a booking or a car ride away.
— The Arabian Sun: December 30, 2020 | Vol. LXXV, No. 51