A city in Eastern Province

Places to Visit in Saudi Arabia

A city in Eastern Province

The Administrative Hub of Saudi Aramco

City of Dhahran emerged on the map after the discovery of oil in the region. For over 80 years it has continued to serve as the major administrative hub of the Saudi oil industry. The headquarters of Saudi Aramco are located in Dhahran and over 50,000 employees of the company reside in the city. Employees of Aramco (often called Aramcons), refer to Dhahran as the Aramco Camp. The nearby cities of Khobar and Dammam are known as the areas outside the camp. 

The three cities of Dhahran, Khobar, and Dammam are also collectively known as the greater Dammam or the Dammam Metropolitan Area. Being situated next to the Arabian Gulf, the city offers some great views and beaches. You can also find a maritime museum, a water park, resorts, and parks in the city.  

 

 

History

The discovery of the first commercial oil field of the Kingdom occurred in 1938 in Dhahran. After this the city rapidly developed and infrastructure like roads, railways, and a sea port were constructed. One of the three International airports of Saudi Arabia is located in Dhahran. The King Fahd International Airport is a wonder of modern engineering as well as traditional Islamic architecture. It is located between Dammam and AI Khobar, while a new International Airport is also set to open near Jubail.

 

Geography

The Eastern Province sprawls is a large area that constitutes around 36% of the kingdom. It borders Kuwait to the north, Bahrain and Qatar to the east and UAE and Oman to the south. The city of Dhahran is located approximately 10 km west of Khobar. Dhahran, with Dammam and Al Khobar, forms the Dammam Area. The area is a flat desert plain, along the Rub'Al Khali which is the largest desert in the world. The Kingdom of Bahrain is also within easy driving distance to the east, across the King Fahd Causeway that passes from Khobar.

Daytime temperatures from the months of April to October regularly rise above 40°C. The climate is also humid, especially in August and September. During the winter months of December and January, the temperatures drop to around 18°C during the day and around 10°C at night. Rainfall is pretty negligible throughout the year.

 

 

Cultural Life

The population of Dhahran consists mainly of Saudis. You will also find a number of expatriates from countries like Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Nepal, and Indonesia. Other than this people from the United States, Canada, European Union, New Zealand and Australia are also residing here. Most of the residents of the city are associated with Saudi Aramco, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) , or the King Fahd International Airport.


The city has both public as well as private schools. Most of the communities are gated and the city is well connected to other areas of the country via a great road network. Public transport is often limited to company operated buses or taxi services. Some residential areas even operate their own fleet of buses.

 

 

Popular Attractions

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) is a world-famous tourist attraction. It is not just an icon but a whole new experience that fuses science, literature, and innovation in a perfect blend. The facilities at Ithra include an Idea Lab, Library, Ithra Theater, Cinema, Ithra Museum, Children’s Museum, Energy Exhibit, The Great Hall, and the Ithra Tower. You will need a whole day to explore all the wonders that this place has to offer.

Mall of Dhahran is one of the biggest malls of the Eastern Province. Department stores such as Next, Royal Doulton, BHS, Oasis and Sony, can be found inside this mall. You can buy virtually anything at this place. A few new shopping malls have also opened near the Gulf Meridien Hotel. For fast food you can visit the Fouad Center. It also offers mixed seating. Al Jumah City Centre mall is known for carpets, clothing, jewelry and souvenirs. King Khalid Street is famous for its gold shops and Prince Bader Street is a famous shopping point for ladies clothing.

King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) is also situated in the city. It is a magnificent complex and offers world class education. The KFUPM clock tower is a well known landmark of the city. Saudi Aramco's Al-Midra Tower is another famous attraction of the city. The tallest building in Dhahran is the Al-Abdel Kareem Tower.