The Eastern Province is the largest province in the country, with up to 36% of the total land area stretching across the entire Gulf coast as well as parts of the vast Empty Quarter. This easternmost part of Saudi Arabia used to be home to the ancient Dilmun civilization in pre-Arab times and was a thriving trade hub located at the crossroads of the Levant, Mesopotamia and Indian civilizations. Today it is one of the most economically important regions in the country with its oil and gas production and export operations. The three main cities - Dammam, Dhahran, and Khobar - are all tightly clustered together along the coast, while the UNESCO designated Al-Ahsa oasis sits just inland. A large part of the province is covered by the Empty Quarter, the largest sand desert in the world.
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The largest city in the eastern province, Dammam is a major administrative center for the Saudi oil industry, the main industry of the region. It sits along the Arabian Gulf and has many lush green parks, airy waterfronts, and sandy beaches. It also has a burgeoning arts, sports, and entertainment scene.
Al Ahsa Oasis
The largest oasis in the world with more than 2.5 million palm trees, Al Ahsa Oasis is a UNESCO-designated heritage site recognized for its oasis agriculture traditions, large cultural landscape that includes archaeological sites of early settlements, and is an outstanding example of how humans settled in a desert environment and adapted to the environment. This fertile land was a hub for traders and caravans crossing the ancient trade routes as well as a stop for early pilgrims en route to Mecca. Visitors can tour the verdant landscape and see the artesian springs, wells, and canals, as well as the commercial areas that offer handicrafts, dates and homemade products, and local cuisine.
Also known as Rub’ al Khali, this expansive sand desert encompasses most of the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula, stretching over Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE, and Yemen. A daunting landscape, the hyper arid climate and large swathes of virtually impassable wasteland make it almost uninhabitable, with exception of hardy tribal settlements that have connections to the area’s few water resources. The adventurous can head to this wild expanse for a day trip packed with thrilling off-road driving, sand dune bashing, camel riding, and sand boarding. It is also possible to camp overnight beneath the stars the way the Bedouins do.
Al Khobar sits right on the coast of the Arabian Gulf and is one of the ‘Triplet Cities’ of Dammam metropolitan area, serving as the main residential district of the region. Starting out with small shops, eventually the city became a hotspot for shopping malls. In recent times, it has also grown into a resort town and hosts serval beaches, entertainment facilities, and beach resorts, with Half Moon Bay the primary area just south of the city.
Saudi Arabia Regions
Explore in-depth information, experiences and highlights by navigating to specific regions using the links below on the right.
Saudi Arabia Goes Well With
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
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