KAUST’s terrestrial landscape can be broadly divided into three areas: developed, undeveloped, and natural. The natural landscape at KAUST is covered by mangrove forest and a mix of halophytic (salt-tolerant) vegetation, sabkhas (salt-flats just above the water table) and sandy gravel plains with scattered vegetation. This natural habitat has been supplemented by extensive man-made parks and gardens, including a golf course, and with a wide variety of exotic plants.
Around 26 plant species native to the area have been recorded at KAUST. In addition to native flora, there are approximately 1.3 million square meters of landscaped area including over 523,000 square meters of public parks, the golf course, lawns, and a large number of non-native plants totaling 165 species.