Dammam

A city in Eastern Province

Places to Visit in Dammam

A city in Eastern Province

Administrative hub of the oil industry

Dammam is a spectacularly modern city. It is not only the capital of the Eastern Province but also the sixth most populous city in Saudi Arabia. After the discovery of oil in 1938, the city rapidly transformed from a traditional coastal village into a contemporary metropolis with state-of-the-art infrastructure and all the modern amenities.

 

With striking views of the Arabian Gulf, the city offers peaceful waterfronts, lush green parks, and spotless beaches. Dammam is home to a sizable population of expatriates. It is not just the administrative hub of the Saudi oil industry but is also reinventing itself as a hub for sports, art, science, and entertainment. Visitors will find plenty to do and plenty of places to visit in Dammam, including street art exhibitions which are quickly becoming one of the city’s leading attractions. 

 

History

The area that is now Dammam used to be a fishing village that was settled by the Dawasir tribe around 1923 with permission from King Ibn Saud. After the discovery of oil from the famous Dammam Well No. 7, the city saw an overnight transformation into an administrative centre for the Saudi oil industry. The urban housing, infrastructure as well as industry also developed in parallel to the oil infrastructure.  

 

During its 50 years of rapid growth, Dammam ranked as the world’s 10th fastest growing city in terms of population. Even today, Dammam is growing at an exceptionally fast growth rate of 12% a year. This makes it the fastest growing city in Saudi Arabia as well as the Arab world.

 

Geography

The geography of the region is similar to the rest of the Eastern Province. Harsh desert conditions and temperatures persist throughout most of the year, making the climate mostly arid. Rainfall occurs very sparsely, only in the winter months only and hailstorms have also been recorded in the region. 

 

Despite the overall extremely hot weather, the proximity to the Arabian Gulf offers visitors and tourists a respite from the heat. The beaches are immaculate. Walkways on the coastline allow visitors to benefit from the wonderful views while also enjoying the sea breeze.

 

Cultural Life

The rapid growth and expansion of the city have been supported by the latest infrastructure development. New roads and highways connect Dammam to other major cities in the country. The city is served by the largest airport in the world in terms of land area, the King Fahd International airport. Dammam also boasts the second largest and second busiest seaport in Saudi Arabia, King Abdul Aziz Sea Port.

 

The oil industry, as well as the rapdily-evolving infrastructure and amenities, attracted not only locals from other areas of the country but also foreign nationals from a host of different countries. This has led to a truly diverse and rich culture. You can hear different languages being spoken by expatriates and experience the best of all cultures in Dammam. The city also has different entertainment facilities, including new amusement parks that are being built. Sports fans will discover that the city loves football and plays host to different football events and tournaments at the Prince Mohammed bin Fahd Stadium. Additionally, South Asian expatriates have also brought cricket with them to the city.

 

Popular Attractions

One of the best places to visit in Dammam is Murjan Island. This artificial island is also known as Coral Island. It offers a great escape from the crowds of the city and tourists can enjoy a fun weekend on the island. Some popular activities on the island include boat trips, fishing, and a visit to the zoo. Tourists also love walking on the scenic promenade of the island.  

 

Dammam Corniche is another popular place to go in Dammam for tourists. This waterside promenade is full of greenery and people enjoy going for relaxing strolls there. Fishing is also a fun pastime for visitors. The food trucks of Dammam Corniche offer a variety of different culinary delights for you to enjoy, from traditional street food to the latest innovations in fast food.

 

King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture - Ithra, is an initiative by Saudi Aramco as part of their campaign to promote cultural development. It includes a purpose-built auditorium, cinema, library, exhibition hall, museum, and archive. The King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture organizes different activities and events with the aim of promoting learning and cross-cultural development. In 2019, it attracted over 1 million visitors. Time Magazine rightfully ranked it as one of the world’s top 100 places to visit, making it one of the leading Dammam attractions.