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Al Khobar City Profile

 

 

Al-Khobar City Profile

Introduction

Al-Khobar is one of the three main cities in the Eastern Province, the others being Dammam and Dhahran. These three cities form a closely joined triangle which has existed for centuries. In the past, Al-Khobar was a small port on the Arabian Gulf, inhabited mainly by fishermen. With the discovery of oil, it was transformed into an industrial port. In time, it has become the commercial hub of the Eastern Province. Based on a city plan dating back to 1942 (1361H), the city is neatly divided into residential squares evenly transected by roads. Such careful organization is indicative of its important role in the national economy. Along with its industrial port, the city still serves small ships carrying passengers and goods. It is the center of the area's export-import activity, and is a transit point for goods that are distributed throughout the Kingdom. It contains branches of all the country's major banks as well as fine hotels, some along its picturesque Corniche. It is developing into an important industrial city, with factories turning out industrial gas, dairy products, carbonated water, tissue paper and ready-made garments.

Al Khobar is the favored residential area for expatriates. The shopping area is mainly confined to the area around King Khaled Street and there is an extensive selection of goods and materials available. Many expatriate compounds are located near to AI Khobar varying in sizes from a few hundred houses to 6 or 8 houses.

Although a relatively new city, Al-Khobar's strategic location has resulted in its emergence as a leading business and residential center in the Province. Situated between Dammam and Dhahran, Al-Khobar caters to the needs of all expatriates, from various day-to-day needs through major shopping of international goods. In addition to first-class shopping malls, plazas and supermarkets, Al-Khobar boasts exquisite tourist spots, entertainment centers, and a lush, widespread beach.

The municipality of Al Khobar was founded in 1942, prompted by the discovery of oil and the ensuing development of commercial activity.

The modern city of Al Khobar is a flourishing centre of international trade, with many examples of both contemporary Arabic and western architecture.

Al Khobar has developed to become one of the most beautiful cities in the Kingdom, with exceptional recreation and leisure facilities.

 

Climate

Desertic, very hot and humid. Saudi summer is one of the worst climates: in the country the months of June, July and August are called "the 90 days of the Devil". Summer starts in the month of March, when the daily temperature is around 35; April and May can get as hot as 40; in July and August I saw the thermometer reach 52 and at night it never went below 42/43. From November to February temperatures are milder and it rains sporadically: this is the best period to live outdoors and enjoy the sea. The humidity of the coast makes the heat even more unbearable: during the 90 days of the devil people live indoor with air conditioning, similar to what happens during the toughest periods of winters in Europe.

Historical Overview

The Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia is a low desert plain with an area of approximately 778,500 sq km. and has common borders with Kuwait in the north, Qatar and Bahrain in the East and UAE and Oman in the South. Evidence of early settlement of the Eastern Province can be traced back approximately 5000 years, to the influence of the Ubaids. Subsequently the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was influenced by the Mesopotamians, Indus Valley civilization, Greek, Hellenistic, Persian and more recently the Ottoman cultures, which still retain a mute presence in the culture of the Eastern Province through jewelry designs, ancient stone structures and more modern statues and architectural remnants.

On the 8th May 1913 His Majesty King Abdulaziz Ibn Abdul Rehman Al Saud captured the Ottoman garrison at Al Hasa, which surrendered the following day. King Abdulaziz subsequently recaptured Qatif and having guaranteed their safe passage deported the Ottoman Governor and occupying forces.

The modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was born and has flourished under the wise and benevolent rule of His Majesty King Abdulaziz Ibn Abdul Rehman Al Saud and his heirs.

Oil discovery operations date back to 1935 when Standard Oil of California (then SOCAL now Chevron) started to drill the Dammam No.1 well. On the 3rd of March 1938 Dammam well No.7 struck oil at a depth of 1441m.

His Majesty King Abdulaziz during his visit to the Eastern Province on the occasion of the loading of the first shipment of crude oil on 1st May 1939 from Ras Tanura.

 

  • The King Fahad Causeway
    Probably the most spectacular road construction project of all has been the building of the King Fahd Causeway, connecting the Saudi Arabian mainland with the island of Bahrain. On 11th November, 1982, the cornerstone of the bridge was jointly placed by King Fahd and the then ruler of Bahrain, Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa. This is a four-lane highway, 25 meters (82 feet) wide and about 16 miles (26 kilometers) long. Building works, costing US $ 1.2 billion, financed entirely by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, were completed in 1986 (1406/07 AH) and the Causeway was opened to traffic at the end of that year.
    It is one of the most expensive bridges in the world. A man-made island at the midway point of the causeway provides fantastic views of the surrounding ocean.
    In 2001, 2.7 million cars, carrying over 10 million passengers, had used this causeway.
    The Ministry of Communications is currently completing a number of dual carriageways linking various cities.
    Equipped with all necessary facilities, the causeway serves to facilitate the flow of traffic between the two countries and to strengthen relations between them.

  • Health services in Al-Khobar
    The city has numerous hospitals, the most prominent being King Fahad University Hospital (500 beds) and the Al-Khobar General Hospital (50 beds). It is also served by private hospitals, government hospitals and quarantine centers.

  • Tourism in Al-Khobar
    With its gardens, picnic spots and kilometers of beaches, Al-Khobar has become a vacation center. Among its attractions are Half Moon Bay, Sunset Beach, and Al-Azizia beach, five kilometers from the city center. The King Fahad Coastal Town consists of gardens, amusement halls, zoological gardens, and a manicured Corniche.

  • Alrashid Mall
    Alrashid Mall is the biggest mall in Saudi Arabia in the city of Alkhobar. A commercial mall designed to typify traditional Saudi palaces from the exterior. It offers modern comfort and commercial services for 380 shops and department stores with parking for 3,000 vehicles.

  • Half Moon Beach
    A major recreational area for tourists and locals, Half Moon Beach resembles a semi-lunar shape. Within the expanse of the beach are Prince Mohammad bin Fahd Recreational City and Alhukair Amusement Center. Both draw large crowds, especially on weekends. These parks offer a variety of entertainment and restaurants.

  • Kid's Castle
    Kids' Castle brings back the world of fairies, kings and queens. Delightful to children and just as many adults, the Castle creates a dream world of fantasy and fun.

  • King Fahd Coastal City
    Famous for its recreational and amusement centers, King Fahd Coastal City features a marina, restaurants and a variety of sports facilities and games. There are indoor courts for basketball, handball, tennis, squash and volleyball and an arena for wrestling training and competition.
    The Gulf Sindibad City Park lays adjacent at the beach corner to the Gulf Center. Children delight in the fun of games and rides.
    Famous for its gold market, textiles, gifts, and shops for women.

  • Recreational Facilities
    The unique sight of the Dammam-Al Khobar Corniche project is the brainchild of Prince Mohammed bin Fahd, the Governor of the Eastern Province. Extremely popular among visitors and locals for its picturesque recreational facilities, the long miles of coastal development covers the beach from Half Moon Beach and Aziziyah, including Al-Khobar, all the way to Tarot Island, including the beaches of Dammam.
    The entire project has been well planned, landscaped and maintained. Massive symbolic art installations of various forms and colors are interspersed along the project.
 

 

 

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