5 Indoor Play Areas for Kids in Sharqiya KSA

Play Areas for Kids

1. Gymboree 

play area for kids

You do need a membership to utilize the soft play area at Gymboree and to take advantage of their awesome classes, but it is totally worth it.

Web: gymboreeclasses-ksa

Instagram: @gymboreekhobar

2. Billy Beez 


read also : Toy Town Activities For Kids Center in Jeddah

One of the largest soft play areas in the city, Billy Beez is way too much fun. You can even book it for birthday parties.

Location: Mall of Dhahran

Instagram: @billybeez_sa

3. Chuck E. Cheese 


The Dhahran branch is pretty small and cozy, with fun rides for the younger kids and arcade games for the older ones. Also, their pizza is yum. Check them out for birthday party bookings.

Location: Amwaj Mall

Instagram: @chuckecheeses

4. Toy Town

Credit: toytown.com.sa Credit: toytown.com.sa[/caption]

This is even smaller, just right for the very little kids.

Location: Fouad Center

Instagram: @toytownksa

5. Stationary Fantasies 


One of our personal favorites, Stationary Fantasies is so much fun for all ages.

Location: Amwaj Mall


The Many Faces of Sharqiya’s Art Scene

By Anousha Vakani and Hajer Al Alwan

Artists from every corner of Sharqiya.


IMG_8378Tell us more about yourself.

I’m a freelance art curator and art consultant. I graduated in 2008 and worked with several companies before finally deciding that I wanted to work with art. In 2012 I started working in Desert Designs – a company my parents started 25 years ago. Since then, I’ve been curating art workshops and helping artists work with different mediums.

What is your earliest memory of art?

The image of my mother painting in our house always comes back to mind. How she used to teach me how to draw and use colors. We did a lot of arts and crafts together when I was a child.

What inspires your art the most?

I get really excited when I go to workshops and see artists working passionately with something new. Seeing artists who push their boundaries is really inspiring to me. Some artists work digitally then they just print their art, and that’s fine. However, I really love to see artists who don’t just stick to their safe mediums, but get creative and invest and experiment with new technologies like 3D printing, work their muscles around a new technique, or just mix both digital and manual techniques.IMG_8216


Who is the artist?

I don’t practice art as a fine artist does, but I also think that every one of us has an artist inside of them. I don’t believe in separating artists and other people because everyone can be creative in their own way. I’ve see artists who are business-minded and others who are just creating and don’t think practically about their work. I also think it depends on the type of art an artist does. I’ve met writers and musicians and these definitely have a different approach from other art practitioners.

What’s the most important thing for the work of an artist?

To practice and keep creating. Even if the artist is not intending to publish their work, it is important for them to continue creating and practicing whatever they do.IMG_8417

What do you think of art in Khobar?

There is a great development in Khobar. It is not like it used to be before. Artists here get way more support than they used to be, and it makes me happy to see this happening.

Where do you see art in Sharqiya going?

I know many artists from all cities in Shariqya including Jubail and Al Ahsa, and it’s nice to see how they’re working hard to show their work and make things better and easier for the upcoming generations of artists in such areas which still need so much work to develop.

Instagram: neenoism
Twitter: neenoism


Tell us about yourself.

My interest in pop art started 10 years ago, introducing me to the greater world of art along the way. I attended an art residency in Dubai, and when I came back I started a small art business called Huna Art with Raneen Bukhari. Now we’re the official social representative for the Arts and Culture Association in Saudi. I give speeches and lectures about art regularly and I’m a professional art trainer.

What inspires you the most?

Music is always a huge inspiration for me. I learn about it all the time and it’s something that makes me happy just as much as painting.

What is the thing that catches your eye in any piece of art?

Some may find the message or concept behind a piece interesting, but I personally appreciate the techniques used to make it. It’s fascinating learning the approach and technique an artist uses to deliver their message.NajlahAbdullah_Dammam_2017_HA-(9)

When was your first encounter with art as a child?

In 4th grade, my teacher noticed my eye for art and she asked me to draw the best drawing I could draw. Later, she came back to me and told me that my drawing won 2nd place in an art competition for Saudi Aramco. Ever since then, I started taking art more seriously.

Where do you draw your style from?

My work is deeply influenced by fashion and fashion shows. There are certain trends and styles that are very relatable to the kind of art I do.NajlahAbdullah_Dammam_2017_HA-(5)

How does an artist’s outlook to life differ from anyone else’s?

I feel like art is inside all of us, but an artist is the person who can deliver it to others. Everyone appreciates beauty. A scene of nature is something that anyone can fall in love with, and to me that’s a form of art. So if anyone can appreciate nature, why can’t they also see the beauty behind art?

Where do you think art in Dammam is going?

It is pretty advanced. Dammam is full of artists, including film directors, actors and fine artists, and there are a lot of art studios here. Many art movements started here such as Seen TV channel.NajlahAbdullah_Dammam_2017_HA-(3)

How about the art movement in Sharqiya in general?

Many of the artists in Saudi Arabia come from Sharqiya, especially Qatif. The art community in Sharqiya is still in its early days unlike Riyadh or Jeddah where it’s more spread and well acknowledged.

Facebook: najlabdullah
Snapchat: najlabdullah


HasanMdawi_Jubail_2017_HA-(3)Tell us more about yourself.

I’m a fine artist. Originally from Asir region, I was born and raised in one of the villages in Namas Governorate. I moved to Riyadh to finish my bachelor’s degree in art education at King Saud University. Currently I’m working at the Royal Commission in Jubail. I have participated in multiple collective galleries inside and outside the Kingdom.

What is your earliest memory of painting?

I used to be obsessed with the pictures and portraits I found in my older brothers’ school books, and I tried to redraw them.

What inspires your art the most?

Ever since I was a boy, I’d always been inspired by nature. My work reflects the vernacular architecture, urban setting, and social life of the villages in Namas.

A-Cloud's-Neighbour_HasanMedawi_Jubail_2017_HA-(7)How would you describe your work?

My work is not influenced by modern schools of art. It does not have an abstract nature to it, and it’s a mere projection of my attachment to the nature of the villages I grew up in. I love this about my paintings because in a way, they too, deliver a message.

Most people do not know about the diversity of terrain in Saudi. When having galleries in foreign countries, I get asked a lot whether my paintings reflect the nature of an area here in Saudi Arabia. The main element in my paintings is human life. It is important to me that anyone who looks at my paintings can see the interaction between humans and the environment they live in. I want my paintings to be easy to understand even for people who don’t know much about art. A-Life-Among-The-Rocks_HasanMedawi_Jubail_2017_HA-(5)

How would you describe an artistic outlook to life?

Many people in our society do not give art its true value and overlook the fact that art has had a role in building solid civilizations since the beginning of time. The artist is the one who reflects the culture and civilization of his to the rest of world, and any artist should be aware of this role.

What are your thoughts about development for artists and art enthusiasts in Jubail?

I don’t think it’s that active, since it’s a bit isolated from the more active centers such as Dammam and Khobar where you can find many art platforms and organizations, not to mention the Culture and Arts Association in Dammam.Dream_HasanMedawi_Jubail_2017_HA-(4)

Where do you see the art movement in Sharqiya going?

The Eastern Province is the third most active area when it comes to fine arts and arts movement, and I’m full of hope that it’s moving forward as we see the opening of new authorities such as the King Abddulaziz Center for World Culture. 


AbdulAdiemDhamen_Qatif_2017_HA-(6)When did you start to practice art?

I started during my days at King Saud University in Riyadh. In 1982, I displayed my paintings for the first time in a collective exhibition and I won 2nd place, which was a major boost for me. Three years later, I had my second personal gallery in the public library of the university, kicking off many more opportunities in and out of the country.

At that same time, I used to write in the university’s weekly newsletter, leading to writing for other newspapers and culminating with publishing my first book after graduation. This year I will be publishing my 12th book.

When did you develop your appreciation for art?

As a talent, it started when I was a child. Thanks to my teacher in 4th grade, he noticed my interest in art and took every opportunity to take me to the arts and crafts room at school.

I remember I sculpted a map on plaster when I was in primary school, and it was hung in the hall. Years later, I came back to teach at the same school and I found the map right where I left it.AbduladiemDhamen_Qatif_2017_HA-(10)

When did you start developing your own personal style?

In 1988, I started experimenting with using decorative burlap sack material as elements within my paintings. It gave them their identity because I was one of first people who used it. I also incorporated and recycled pieces of ceramic and mud that were used in buildings from Tarot Island.

What inspires you?

The state of being in love and seeing love around is what inspires me the most. I feel inspired by positivity and like to project this in my paintings.AbdulAdiemDhamen_Qatif_2017_HA-(2)

How would you describe an artistic outlook to life?

If there wasn’t a mission or a message that the artist wants to communicate through, then there’s no value for the art they make. Art without a message is just aesthetics.

What are your thoughts about the art movement in Qatif?

There is a great artistic movement in Qatif. However, this movement is limited to certain names and figures. The number of artists is considerable, but the ones that survive to the top are quite few.

AbdulAdiemDhamen_Qatif_2017_HA-(3)Where do you see the art movement in Sharqiya going?

I really admire how there’s a lot of development in the area in general, but having no platform to exhibit and network led so many aspiring artists to either give up or seek somewhere else. It’s true that we use malls, stores and public spaces as galleries, but this makes the audience the general public instead of the closed circle of artists, art critiques and art enthusiasts.

Instagram: abduladeim


TaghreedBaghshi_AlAlhsa_2017_HA-(13)Tell us more about yourself

I recently got my master’s degree in methodologies and techniques in teaching arts. I’ve had around 15 personal galleries and many other collective galleries. I think that life is about doing what we are most passionate about because without a dream, a human cannot exist.

What is your earliest memory of painting?

I was obsessed with colors as child. I used to experiment with colors and – a big thank you to my parents – they never minded the mess I made.

As I grew older, my art frenzy never lulled. However, there weren’t many ways to learn art in the area and it felt like being in a creative desert. During summer vacations in Syria, I used those opportunities to take courses at Damascus University and other places. Soon after, I took off with my own style.TaghreedBaghshi_AlAlhsa_2017_HA-(2)

What inspires your art the most?

It’s never one thing. There’s always a philosophy behind every piece I did, a message and a question: “Why?” I’ve always been obsessed with feminism, and that’s what I started with. Later on, my style started to advance towards the idea of human existence and experimenting with that concept.

My paintings are intended to provoke the audience. Every gallery started with a set of questions that I tried to communicate through my paintings.

What have you been up to lately?

I finished and exhibited my latest collection in Paris, where I spent the most inspiring two months of my life. At one point, several international artists and I were invited to exhibit our work in Cité Internationale des Arts (the International City of Art). Two months later, I wanted to share my experience, so I participated in a gallery called “Her” in Kuwait to represent Saudi and I sold most of my paintings there.TaghreedBaghshi_AlAlhsa_2017_HA-(16)

How would you describe your work?

My art speaks for me and for the causes of the society we live in, such as the issues of women driving, women’s femininity and a woman’s personal search for herself. My paintings are genuine, and it’s nice to see women relating to my paintings when they look at them. I consider this the biggest I achievement I made.

Is there an art community in Al Ahsa?

There’s definitely a seed for aspiring artists in the area, but there’s still so much work to be done. The road is not smooth. We still need authorized art institutions and centers to provide academic and professional training.TaghreedBaghshi_AlAlhsa_2017_HA-(24)

Where do you see art in Sharqiya going?

In general, we can see many well-established artists and poets as well as new aspiring ones in the area. But there’s still a need for a professional platform for networking and training for the artists in the Eastern Province.

Twitter: tagreedbagshi
Facebook: tagreedbagshi
Snapchat: tagreedbagshi


5 Pretty Notebooks that will Get You Excited for School

There’s nothing like window shopping on Amazon especially if it is for stationery!

We browsed the notebooks and found 5 ultra-pretty ones:

1. Vintage Wonder

Leather bound and refillable – this notebook has an embossed compass design on the front and is utterly vintage and beautiful.

Maleden Leather Classic Embossed Notebook

2. Retro Journal 

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This looks it could be a fairy tale storybook but it’s actually a journal. Classic yet practical, this will be the prettiest thing on your desk.

Retro Notebook Journal

3. Tree of Life

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Simple, clean and minimalistic, this Tree of Life notebook is bound with faux leather and is great for organizing your thoughts.

Classic Leather Writing Journal Notebook

4. Mint Green

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You can never go wrong with mint green with specks of gold, check out this Ashley G notebook:

Ashley Blue Sky Scatter Notebook

5. Brighten Up!


No stationery haul is complete without something Kate Spade, check out this notebook for a pop of color amidst your school books:

Kate Spade New York Notebook


Recipe: Peach-Raspberry Iced Tea

By Norah Al Eisa

Somedays it’s a bit too hot for hot tea or coffee, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on caffeine completely.

Try this recipe for peach and raspberry ice-tea, perfect for any day of the summer.


  • 8 cups of water
  • Three tablespoons of loose-leaf tea or six tea bags (you can use white, green or black tea, depending on your preference)
  • 4 ripe peaches, sliced
  • 1 cup of fresh raspberries


  • Bring 8 cups of tea to a simmer, and then remove from the heat.
  • Add the tea of your choice.
  • Steep for about 4 to 5 minutes. Avoid steeping it for too long as that tends to make it bitter.
  • Leave the tea to cool completely. Once it is cooled, mix it with the ice, peaches, and raspberries in a pitcher.
  • Before serving, allow the tea to infuse with the flavors for at least 1 hour. 

Note: If you prefer your iced tea sweetened, add the sugar while the water is still hot.


10 Food Instagrams From Sharqiya To Follow Immediately

Deciding where to eat can be one of the most difficult tasks in the world. Fortunately for us, Sharqiya is teeming with some amazing instagram food critics who can help you make your decision. Check them out now!

1. Eman Al Majdouie

Instagram: @eman.almajdouie

Snapchat: amon.m2015

Covers: Sharqiya

Contact: via DM

2. Food Critic KSA

Instagram: @foodcriticksa

Covers: Sharqiya and Bahrain

Contact: via DM

3. Sarah

sarah Capture

Instagram: @sarah_7ail

Snapchat: sarah_7ail

Covers: Sharqiyah

Contact: via DM

4. Bashaer Khalid

Instagram: @ibesh88

5. Al Maha Al Dossary

Instagram: @almahadossy

Covers: Dammam, Khobar, Bahrain

6. Instacafe

Instagram: @_instacafe_

Snapchat: instacafe

Contact: via DM

7. Hesham Baeshen

Instagram: @misho_baeshen

Snapchat: foody_moody

8. Ibrahim Saleh

Instagram: @ibrahim_86

Covers: Khobar, Dammam, Bahrain

9. M63mi_

Instagram: @m63mi_

Covers: Khobar, Dammam, Bahrain

10. Saudi Fooodie

Instagram: @saudifooodie


Book Review: Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation

By Manal Al Dabbagh

This book is a must read for any foodie or culinarian. Journalist and food writer, Michael Pollan, the author of “The Omnivore Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food”, brings us another fascinating and informative book.

In “Cooked” Pollan writes about the evolution of cooking and how mankind transformed raw ingredients into delicious and wholesome meals through the four element; fire, water, earth and air. He explores the use of fire in grilling, water in stewing, air in baking and earth in fermentation.

I personally love all of Pollan’s books, and this one’s no different. Combining history with his personal experience in learning to cook with renowned chefs, we are presented with an easy to read story of how the simple act of cooking can affect how we interact with the world arounds us. He begins his book with a simple question “Why Cook?” and goes into exploring the paradox of how much time we spend cooking versus how much time we spend watching other people cook on TV.

Cooked was recently released on Netflix as a mini-series. But I wouldn’t miss out on reading excellent writing and the eloquence of a great food writer. I suggest reading the book and then watching the series.

One of my favorite quotes from the book speaks to my relationship with cooking as a way to connect and share the love with others.

Quote Screen Shot 1437-11-06 at 2

“Cooked” is available to read electronically on Amazon Kindle.


You’ve Got to Try: The 7 Most Chilled Drinks in Sharqiya

This steaming weather means we are almost always hot and bothered, so when sitting directly in front of the AC is not an option, try these extremely chilled drinks

Oreo Frappe - Jar Bakery

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We’ve talked about this before but it doesn’t get old. It’s cold, it’s creamy and it’s topped with Oreos and a splash of coffee.

Location: Hafith Ibrahim Street, Olaya Dist. Khobar

Tel: 013 8810255

Instagram: @jarbakery

Popcorn Frappe - L’avenue Cafe

Popcorn Frappe - Lavenue Cafe Screen Shot 1437-11-06 at 1

We’ve been popcorn obsessed for a while now, so we put together this crazy popcorn spread featuring L’avenue Cafe’s frappe.

Instagram: @lavenue.sa

Caramel Milkshake - Petite Paris

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This is one of those things you almost want to grab out of the picture! We know you want to try this.

Tel: 013 8957700

Instagram: @petitparisksa

Viola Cafe

viola Screen Shot 1437-11-06 at 1

This milkshake is topped with popcorn, cake, chocolate AND ice-cream. For your most extreme sugar cravings.

Location: Al Khobar Al Shumaliya

Tel: 0500166977

Instagram: @viola_cafe

Nutella Shake - Mama Joys

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Mama Joys is one of the newer cafes in town and judging by this milkshake, it’s awesome!

Location: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Road, Khobar

Tel: 013 894396

Instagram: @mamajoysksa

Rose Latte - Gulf Terrace

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The layers are too perfect! Acoustic Tea Lounge does a hot version of this but this one’s perfect for the summer.

Location: Prince Turki Street, Khobar

Instagram: @gulf_terrace_cafe


@saudifooodie’s Dining Pick of the Month

Vive la France

Madeleine has always been known as the ultimate French dining experience in Khobar, thanks to its tranquil Parisian atmosphere and admirable personal attention mixed in. It is a place where the passion for food is transferred from the owners through the chefs to the people. The food is wholesome, comforting, innovative and, most importantly, delicious. From the macarons to the pistachio lamb chops, you will sing Vive la France all the way home.

New sister outlets and a branch in Bahrain are testaments to their culinary mastery in a much needed-market.

Location: King Fahd Rd. near Prince Faisal bin Fahd St., Khobar

Instagram: @madeleineksa


7 Online Clothing Boutiques From the GCC Every Girl Should Bookmark

By Norah Al Eisa

Tell us your favorite online boutiques @destinationshrq or email us at social@destinationksa.com.

Chic on Edge

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This online destination prides itself in being a hub for new and exciting emerging talents in the fashion world. From 3D printed leather goods brand Exocet Paris, to the minimalistic cool-girl brand Bedouin Studios; this boutique’s selection keeps growing to deliver us cutting edge fashion for the everyday woman.

Website: chiconedge.com  

BySymphony Boutique

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In a genius business move, our favorite Dubai based boutique has launched a website where you can shop all your favorite luxury high-end brands. Here, you’ll be able to find pieces from brands such as Stella McCartney and Gucci, to Razan Alazzouni and Madiyah Al Sharqi.

Website: saudi.bysymphony.com


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Another Dubai-based luxury boutique on our list, Boutique1 houses an extensive list of the world’s most sought-after designer labels, such as Giambattista Valli, Elie Saab, and Victoria Beckham.

Website: boutique1.com 


vanilla Screen Shot 1437-10-28 at 11

An affordable one-stop lifestyle destination, where you’ll find everything from makeup, coffee mugs, coloring books, and of course, clothing. They even have a special category for small Saudi owned businesses.

Website: Vanilla.sa  

The M Project
Founded by two Saudi sisters, this online boutique carries an impressive selection of eclectic contemporary designers, from high-end swimsuit designer Lisa Marie Fernandez, to Kuwaiti designer Najeeba Hayat’s shoe line.

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Website: mprojectstore.com 

Lamb & Lu

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Founded by two Saudi girls, Lamb & Lu has made it their mission to bring sentiment back daily jewelry. What started out as a pop-up boutique quickly formed into an online destination for everyday fine jewelry lovers. This pop-up/online boutique houses both international and local designers such as Maria Tash, Finn Jewelry, and Lillian Ismail.

Website: lambandlu.com  


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This Jeddah based online boutique has a very simple yet effective concept, delivering the latest fashion at reasonable prices. From effortless summer dresses, to beach-side rompers, this site is definitely worth a visit if you’re a frequent beach go-er.

Website: craze.com.sa 


6 Awesome Designs from Papermoon

Recently, one of the Kingdom’s most loved gift-wrapping companies, Papermoon, hosted a design competition where participants were invited to send in their designs for specific categories. Here are the winning designs of the six chosen winners. Head to your closest Papermoon today to get your hands on one of these!

Hend Saleh


Instagram: @hendasems

Website: Hendasems

The inspiration behind this design came from a previous Arabic Typography project I designed, featuring Arabic letters wrapped around everyday objects. Because Papermoon is a gift wrapping company, I decided to apply the interaction between the type and its surroundings which, in this case, is the flowers. (camperlife) Also, weddings are all about bonding souls together in harmony and eternal love so I wanted to reflect that in my design. Finally, reflecting how two in love complement one another, I went with purple and mint green as the complementing prominent colors of the card.

Nour Bashiti

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Instagram: Nour Bashiti

Website: noorbashit733e

I wanted to design a card that made a birthday girl feel like a princess, as well as creating a design that reflected local culture. To combine the old and the new, simplicity and complexity. I also thought it would be fun to write the birthday wish in colloquial Egyptian Arabic. So it was only appropriate to model the design of the tiara in the illustration after the Egyptian Queen Nazli’s 1938 Van Cleef & Arpels Tiara.

Aalaa AlRefaei

Instagram: Shrimp.toast

My inspiration is from my childhood at elementary school where Troll Dolls were a must have. We did wonders to their fuzzy hair and it kept us entertained for ages. The bare-ness of this troll represents the purity of a child once they are born. As for the rainbow fuzzy hair in my illustration, it represents the colors and joy that a newborn brings into the worlds of their loved ones as well as unity in gender and race.

Abrar Abdullateef

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It’s wedding season, so naturally I chose to design a wedding greeting card. Also, I can be more creative and add in my personal taste with the bride’s dress, veil, jewelry and flower bouquet. I know I’m good with illustrations and I feel like my style is unique in the local market, so I wanted to better showcase my work using this competition.

Yasmeen Islam

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Instagram: @jazzislam

The inspiration behind this illustration was my craving for cake. I tried to draw the deserts instead of eating them.

I ended up doing both.

Laila Alhatlani

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Instagram: @laila_hhh @babyzoostudio

What inspired me was my work at Baby Zoo Studio where I’d been assisting with newborn photography. Dealing with new infants and seeing how they behave and react physically and emotionally gave me a wealth of ideas to work with.