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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 May, 2004, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Hostage compound 'for top bosses'
Oasis villa (Courtesy of Oasis Resorts)
The Oasis luxury villas house company executives
A hostage siege in the Saudi Arabian city of Khobar was centred on the Oasis residential compound.

It is the most expensive in the city, and houses company executives.

Its restaurants, ice rink, spas, swimming pools, pastry shop and landscape gardens with fountains provide a supposedly safe environment.

Foreigners living nearby have described Oasis as a luxurious place which is too expensive for ordinary oil workers to live in.

Its 200 villas, 48 apartments, 195 studio apartments plus a hotel and luxury suites sit on 1.3 million square feet.

Benefits

For companies with large numbers of employees to look after it makes sense to use a compound for accommodation, says security analyst Kevin Rosser from Control Risks Group.

"Companies have to consider a range of factors, including cost, security and effect on operations, but most traditionally find it easier to work with a compound," he told BBC News Online.

He said generally clients would be advised not to live outside a compound.

"The benefits [of compound living] are that they are able to consolidate people and put more extensive security arrangements in a compound as opposed to people living individually in flats."

Mr Rosser said such arrangements could include a wall, concrete barriers to deter suicide bombers and clear blast film on windows to minimise damage - "there are a range of physical measures, as well as having guards to make it more secure".




SEE ALSO:
Saudi commandos rescue hostages
30 May 04 |  Middle East
Eyewitness reports from Saudi city
29 May 04 |  Middle East
In pictures: Khobar gun attack
29 May 04 |  In Pictures
Timeline: Saudi attacks
29 May 04 |  Middle East
Saudi Arabia's 'war on terror'
29 May 04 |  Middle East


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