From magnificent views of the sea to indulgent cultural and culinary experiences, the Eastern Province offers a treasure trove of secrets waiting to be discovered.
Saudi Arabia has been making waves in the world of tourism, and it’s not holding back. With some of the world’s biggest events happening across the Kingdom, Saudi Arabia is becoming a top tourist destination. While Riyadh and Jeddah have seen the most footfall, don’t overlook the Eastern region. With cities like Dammam, Dhahran, and Khobar seamlessly connected, it’s the perfect spot for a quick weekend getaway.
The Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia holds a special place in the hearts of locals. Residents from Riyadh often hit the road for a weekend coastal getaway. You can spot these weekend warriors on Thursday evenings as they rush to escape the hustle and bustle of the capital.
When to visit
If you’re seeking beachside fun, plan your visit during the summer months. But consider visiting in late October through November for a more comfortable and enjoyable experience. The weather is cooler during this time, and you can relish the sea breeze without breaking a sweat. Chilly sunrises and sunsets add a touch of magic to your stay.
From the UAE, several flights go to Dammam’s King Fahd International Airport, including Emirates, flydubai, flynas, and Saudia Airlines, offering daily travel options. If you prefer road trips, Dammam is just an eight-hour drive from Dubai or a four-hour journey from Riyadh.
Where to stay
Just like Riyadh and Jeddah, the Eastern Province boasts some of the best hospitality brands for a comfortable stay. The enormous Grand Hyatt Al Khobar Hotel And Residences, conveniently linked to Rashid Mall, is perfect for families. Additionally, Le Méridien Al Khobar, InterContinental Al Khobar, and voco Al Khobar are all close to prime entertainment spots, ensuring easy accessibility, especially if you’re keen on avoiding traffic. Plus with Nobu Hotel Al Khobar and The Ritz-Carlton Khobar opening soon, the Eastern Province will likely become a form favourite — if it isn’t one already.
Given the limited public transportation options, we recommend either taking a taxi or renting a car for convenient travel within the region.
Where to eat
For a sushi lover’s paradise, make a beeline to Nozomi. It’s where Japanese cuisine reaches its peak. Just nearby, Hellenika sets the stage for a delightful Greek dining experience that feels like a Mediterranean escape. But that’s not all – brace yourself for a sea-view dining adventure at Oriya, where the waves dance to your meal. If your taste buds crave a fusion of Asian flavours, Takara is the spot you don’t want to miss. And for all Instagram enthusiasts, Rosalie Cafe, nestled within the Grand Hyatt Al Khobar Hotel And Residences, is a visual feast.
Head over to Ajdan Walk, which is Khobar’s answer to Dubai’s City Walk. Here, you’ll stumble upon a food lover’s paradise with an abundance of dining options and cosy coffee shops to satisfy your every craving. An Em Sherif Cafe will open here very soon, giving you another reason to visit this beautiful waterfront locale.
What to do
There’s no shortage of things to do in the Eastern region. Spend your day at the beach, followed by a barbecue in the park. Explore the Heritage Village in Dammam, a prominent tourist attraction that offers insights into Saudi civilization, both past and present.
Alternatively, immerse yourself in culture and creativity at Ithra, the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture. With a museum, theatre, library, idea lab, cinema, academy, and dining spots such as the Greek restaurant Otko, you might not want to leave. Don’t forget to bring a book. You can exchange it for a new one at Ithra’s kiosks, free of charge.
While day trips to nearby cities or villages are common, did you know that another country is just a 30-minute drive away? That’s right, Bahrain is a causeway away from Khobar, making for a unique international day trip experience due to its small size.
Discovering Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province is an adventure waiting to happen. Whether you seek relaxation on the beach, cultural enrichment, or delectable dining experiences, this vibrant region has it all.
GO: Visit www.visitsaudi.com for more information.