I feel like Saudi Arabia is a country where a culture of outdoor grilling really makes sense. The weather is great for a good chunk of the year, most people have decent yards in their villas or homes, and you get a lot of quality family time on weekdays and weekends. While finding a basic outdoor grill isn’t difficult here, it can be harder to find a large variety of grills or the accessories you’re used to using when BBQing in North America. Luckily, that is about to change… There is an up-and-coming one stop shop for BBQ and grilling in the Middle East, and it exists in… Al-Khobar!
I, myself, am not an “active” BBQer, which means that I just watch people cook the food… but I’d really like to be one! I’ve always liked the idea of it, but am hesitant since I have no clue how to do it. When I visited the Backyard to speak to Mohammed Al Hindas and Waleed Al Suwaigh, two of the five Saudi guys behind this incredibly innovative business, I was truly inspired by their passion. They not only made it sound easy, but convinced me that they had everything in store to make BBQing easier! They made me want to start grilling a steak right then and there. I’m not kidding.
Mohammed was studying Finance in the States when he first discovered his love for all things BBQ. After finishing up, he came back to Saudi and taught his friends how to grill like a North American. They were hooked! But they soon came to realize that there were very few places in Kingdom (if any) that sold the right kind of grilling items for their needs, so they decided to open up a store in 2012 where they could introduce and expand the concept of outdoor living to the local market.
We wanted people to enjoy the family experience of a BBQ and the social aspects of it
The owners spoke passionately about how they wanted to help the local population find different ways of entertaining, by themselves, without always having to go to a restaurant. To help people embrace the concept of an outdoor lifestyle, they designed a store where you could pick up anything related to grilling and could then customize your outdoor living space as much or as little as you wanted.
They want to help you create the right ambiance for a real BBQ.
When you walk into the store, you immediately realize you’re in BBQ heaven. There are a variety of grills, charcoals, wood, fire pits, outdoor lights, spices, utensils, cooking books, and whatever else you can think of related to outdoor décor and entertaining! It feels a lot like a North American store where the staff greets you with a big smile on their face and can answer any odd question you have about the products in the showroom. As a consumer, you actually don’t need to know too much, they can help you with pretty much everything!
To make it the ultimate one stop shop, Backyard also offers a range of other services beyond the products in their store…
The Backyard’s Website & Blog
Backyard’s website not only discusses the range of their outdoor living services, but also has pictures of their products with PRICES. It’s a simple concept, but so important in this country. I have a hard enough time convincing my husband to take me to the markets, and then it’s almost a slap in the face when you realize it was a total waste of time because the prices are way over anything you can justify spending.
The store’s blog, “The Knowledge Center,” is an amazing section that helps amateurs and/or experts find information and answers to all sorts of grilling questions. You can even ask them to answer something you don’t see on the site by calling them! Check out some of their current articles like “Which Wood Flavor to Use for Your Cookout” or “Tips for Best Results When Smoking Your Food” to see what I mean.
Outdoor Living Customization
We’re giving our customers the chance to customize what they want and match their own style
In store, you can buy fire pits, mulch, lamp posts, storage bins and any other decorative items to personalize and jazz up your outdoor living space. In addition, Backyard’s outdoor living services include consultations and installation of custom outdoor kitchens, fire tables/pits, lighting and structures. You can even pick up a DIY demo lighting kit with low voltage (aka, safer) outdoor lights instead of the high voltage lights you find in the local market.
A BBQ Competition
Think your grilling skills are worthy? Backyard has an annual or bi-annual, grilling competition! Previous competitors met at a local hotel, were given a gas & charcoal grill, veggies & meat, and were then judged by a local chef. Check out the pictures below!
They’re expecting their next cook-off to be at the end of January or in February, so give them a call for more information!
The Backyard Reward Program
I hate how many receipts I get when I buy something here. Eventually, my purse gets so stuffed with paper that I spend at least 5 minutes sifting through the receipts to get to my chapstick. If you’re like me or can relate, then you’ll be happy to know that Backyard emails you your receipt, and keeps records of everything you’ve ever bought from their store! Additionally, if you enroll in their Reward Program you can start accumulating points to use towards purchases. You get a point for every SR 1 you spend. You even get points for visiting the store (20 points), referring a friend (50 points), or for being active through social media (20 points)! I wonder how many you get for a blog post? 🙂
Visit the store to sign up and for more information on this fabulous program.
And, if that’s not enough for a BBQ enthusiast, Backyard will be opening a bigger store in 6 months with even more services!
The new store will have…
This concept is one of my Backyard favorites and is very much needed in the Eastern Province. “The Market” will be the food section of the store, where you can buy specialty cuts of raw meat – brisket, chuck roast, flank steak, etc. – that are specifically for grilling and BBQing. This is the kind of meat that’s hard to find in Kingdom! Marinated meat from Canada as well as products from the States such as spices, frozen doughs, and others will also be a part of this section. So exciting!!
Backyard for Kids
This new section of the store will have products catered to the young aspiring BBQer! There will be lots of items that you can buy so that your kids can enjoy being outside and enjoy the grilling experience. It’s supposed to be a family affair so Backyard has thought about something for everyone!
Still hesitant to set it all up in your home?
Visit the store! The staff will talk you through their products, their custom designs, and if you want to learn how to grill and/or BBQ, they can start you off with a basic SR 600 or SR 700 grill to help you settle into the outdoor living experience.
If you’re a more seasoned BBQer, I seriously think you need to check this place out to believe it!
Backyard provides services for customers living in: Khobar, Dhahran, Riyadh, Jeddah, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait, or Oman.
Al Sehamiya Tower, Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Road
P.O.Box 30267, Al Khobar 31952
Tel: +966 13 845 6798[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m14!1m8!1m3!1d3575.7133035741244!2d50.19363253117373!3d26.335781483494184!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x0%3A0x912d64d1d9a98c0f!2zQmFja3lhcmQgTWlkZGxlIEVhc3QgfCDYrdiv2YrZgtipINin2YTZhdmG2LLZhA!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1420924283027&w=600&h=450%5D
Sunday – Thursday
10:00 am – 10:00 pm
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm
9:00 am – 10:00 pm
New store location (COMING SOON)