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Discover the region: Al Khobar

From cultural hubs to malls and scenic spots, Al Khobar is a dynamic destination in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province

Once a small fishing village on the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, the city of Al Khobar began to transform in the early 1900s following the discovery of oil in the kingdom. Initially serving as a commercial and industrial port for petroleum export, it later developed into a residential community, complete with facilities for those who called it home.

Today, Al Khobar is a prominent hub in the Eastern Province's 'Triplet Cities' area, together with Dammam and Dhahran. It boasts numerous leisure avenues, including verdant parks, malls, cultural zones and beaches, making it an all-encompassing destination for business and leisure travellers.

Cultural gems

Perhaps the best place to begin is the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture also known as Ithra. Its location is of immense significance as it is situated where the first commercial Saudi oilfield was found in 1938. Designed to resemble the internal structure of oil-bearing rocks, this 80,000-square-metre cultural hub houses a museum, library, cinema, theatre and exhibition hall that showcases contemporary art, Saudi heritage, Islamic civilisation, natural history and human ecology.

To dive deeper into the kingdom's rich history and traditions, the Heritage Village in neighbouring Dammam showcases how everyday life once was in the kingdom. This time capsule recreates a traditional marketplace, mosque and village, all depicting life in the desert.

Another fascinating museum in Al Khobar is Al Taybeen, which features more than 10,000 items collected from the last century, including antiques, games, sporting equipment, popular beverages, snack boxes, kitchen utensils, vintage television sets, old cameras and more. Visitors will also find a hand-written 400-year-old Quran.

Along the Arabian Gulf, the Khobar Corniche Mosque stands surrounded by calm waters and a lush park featuring six-metre-tall palm trees. Inspired by Ottoman and Mamluk architecture, it features 37 arches and 14 domes, making it an ideal place to visit.

Scenic sights

One of the most visited locations in the city, Al Khobar Corniche boasts a stunning shoreline with breathtaking views and lush greenery. It's a great spot for photos, picnics, evening strolls and bicycle rides.

To the north of the Corniche, visitors will find the Khobar Water Tower. This three-story building sits on its own island and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. It makes for striking photo opportunities.

The city is also known for its lush parks, with Prince Ibn Jalawy Park standing out as a prime example. Spanning 87,000 square metres, this park boasts approximately 28 different types of trees, including 400 palm trees. Additionally, it offers a designated play area for children and a beautiful fountain at its centre.

Along the Corniche, visitors will also find Prince Faisal bin Fahad Sea Park. Stretching over 3.5 kilometres, it features a dedicated walkway, ideal for long strolls while taking in the scenic views. Dotted with verdant spaces, fountains and sculptures, it provides an escape within the bustling city.

Family entertainment

Spread over 32,000 square metres, Ajdan Walk, situated along the Khobar seafront, offers an array of attractions for families. With abundant green spaces, playgrounds for junior visitors, pedestrian walkways for leisurely strolls, shopping outlets and an AMC Cinema, it presents an all-encompassing experience that appeals to all ages.

Welcoming both budding young geniuses and adults with a curious scientific inclination, the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Science & Technology Centre (SciTech) is a place for visitors of all ages. Across six immersive halls, guests can delve into various realms of technical science, from the living world on planet Earth and the depths of the oceans to the vast expanses of space. The centre is equipped with a telescope at its observatory, allowing astronomy enthusiasts an up-close look at the surface of the moon, other planets, comets and meteors. It is also home to a 190-seat IMAX dome, showcasing the latest science films and documentaries – making it the first of its kind in the Middle East.

Finally, exclusive to female visitors, Loopagoon Water Park is the first waterpark in the world dedicated solely to women. Offering an array of thrilling water slides and attractions, visitors can drift along a lazy river, lounge on a private beach and take on a variety of exhilarating rides.

Fashionable finds

Shoppers looking for retail finds or souvenirs to take home can head to Al Khobar's neighbourhood malls. Khobar Mall on King Fahd Road features a variety of international and local brands, offering a wide range of items from clothing to homeware and accessories. Meanwhile, at Al Rashid Mall – one of the largest in Saudi Arabia – a premium shopping experience awaits visitors across 650 stores. It also features entertainment areas with arcade games and rides, ensuring that the whole family is entertained.

Seaside adventures

Once a popular spot among local fishermen, Half Moon Beach now attracts beach lovers and residents looking to spend the weekend enjoying activities such as horse riding, picnicking and barbequing on the shore. Water sports are also available, while snorkelling and scuba diving experiences off the coast allow adventurers to explore the colourful marine life beneath the waves.

Check out our newly-opened property in Al Khobar - Dar Rayhaan by Rotana and click here to book your stay at the hotel.


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