Exploring Dammam The Vibrant Metropolis of Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province

Dammam is a thriving city located in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. As the capital of the province and one of the country's largest cities, Dammam plays a significant role in Saudi Arabia's economic, cultural, and social landscape. This bustling metropolis is known for its modern infrastructure, diverse population, and numerous attractions. Let's delve into the details of Dammam and discover what makes it a remarkable destination. While it is necessary for most foreigners to have a eVisa to Saudi Arabia, there are certain exceptions and visa exemptions that allow foreigners to enter the country without an eVisa.

Exploring Dammam The Vibrant Metropolis

Geography and Location:

Dammam is situated on the Arabian Gulf coast, in the northeastern part of Saudi Arabia. It is positioned at the heart of the Dammam Metropolitan Area, which also includes the cities of Khobar and Dhahran. The city's strategic location serves as a major gateway to the rest of the Eastern Province, connecting it to other important cities such as Riyadh and Bahrain.

Economic Hub:

Dammam has emerged as a thriving economic hub in the region, primarily due to its rich oil reserves. The city is home to the headquarters of Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil company. This presence has attracted numerous international businesses, making Dammam a significant center for commerce and industry. Additionally, the King Fahd International Airport, located in Dammam, serves as a major aviation hub, connecting the city to various domestic and international destinations.

Modern Infrastructure:

The city boasts impressive infrastructure, characterized by modern road networks, well-planned neighborhoods, and state-of-the-art facilities. Dammam features an extensive transportation system, with a network of highways, bridges, and tunnels facilitating seamless connectivity. The city's waterfront promenade, known as the Corniche, offers breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf and serves as a popular recreational area.

Cultural Melting Pot:

Dammam embraces a diverse population, consisting of both Saudis and expatriates from various countries. This multicultural blend has contributed to the city's vibrant atmosphere, making it a melting pot of different cultures and traditions. Residents and visitors can experience a rich tapestry of cuisines, languages, and customs while exploring the city.

Attractions and Leisure:

Dammam offers an array of attractions and leisure activities for both residents and tourists. The city is home to numerous shopping malls, including the popular Dhahran Mall and Marina Mall, where visitors can indulge in retail therapy. The Half Moon Bay, located a short drive from Dammam, is a picturesque beach destination renowned for its clear waters and stunning landscapes.

For history enthusiasts, the Tarout Castle provides a glimpse into the region's ancient past. This UNESCO World Heritage Site showcases the remnants of a historic fortress and is a testament to Dammam's rich cultural heritage. The city also hosts various cultural festivals and events throughout the year, including the Dammam Summer Festival, which attracts visitors from all over the kingdom.


Dammam is a city that seamlessly blends tradition with modernity, offering a dynamic and cosmopolitan lifestyle to its residents and visitors. With its thriving economy, modern infrastructure, and diverse population, Dammam continues to evolve as a key player in Saudi Arabia's development. Whether it's for business or leisure, Dammam's charm and numerous attractions make it a must-visit destination in the Middle East.

Best Places to Visit in Dammam

Dammam, located in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, is a vibrant city that offers a blend of rich history, cultural heritage, and modern attractions. From stunning beaches to impressive museums, Dammam has a range of places to explore. Here are some of the best places to visit in Dammam:

1. Half Moon Bay (Khobar):

Half Moon Bay

  • Located about 45 minutes away from Dammam, Half Moon Bay is a stunning stretch of coastline with clear turquoise waters and golden sandy beaches.
  • It's a popular spot for picnics, swimming, and various water sports activities like jet skiing and sailing.
  • Visitors can relax under beach umbrellas, rent beach cabins, or indulge in delicious seafood at the local restaurants.

2. King Fahd Park:

  • King Fahd Park is a vast green oasis in Dammam, spread across an area of around 3 million square meters.
  • The park features beautifully landscaped gardens, walking paths, lakes, fountains, and children's play areas.
  • It's an ideal place for families to spend a leisurely day enjoying the serene surroundings and participating in recreational activities.

3. Coral Island:

  • Located near Half Moon Bay, Coral Island is a popular tourist destination and a great spot for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts.
  • The island is known for its colorful coral reefs and diverse marine life, making it a perfect place for underwater exploration.
  • Visitors can take a boat ride to the island, rent snorkeling gear, and witness the captivating underwater world.

4. Dammam Corniche:

Dammam Corniche

  • Dammam Corniche is a beautiful waterfront promenade that stretches for several kilometers along the Arabian Gulf coast.
  • The Corniche offers stunning views of the sea, landscaped gardens, recreational facilities, and numerous food stalls.
  • Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll or rent bicycles to explore the area, while enjoying the cool sea breeze.

5. Dammam Regional Museum:

  • For history and culture enthusiasts, a visit to the Dammam Regional Museum is a must.
  • The museum showcases artifacts, artworks, and exhibits that depict the rich heritage and traditions of the region.
  • From ancient archaeological finds to traditional costumes, the museum provides insight into the history and culture of Dammam and the Eastern Province.

6. King Fahd Causeway:

  • The King Fahd Causeway is a remarkable architectural marvel that connects Saudi Arabia to Bahrain.
  • This 25-kilometer bridge allows travelers to easily visit the neighboring island nation of Bahrain.
  • The causeway offers stunning views of the Arabian Gulf and provides a convenient gateway for exploring Bahrain's attractions.

7. Alkhobar Corniche:

  • Located in the nearby city of Alkhobar, the Alkhobar Corniche is another picturesque waterfront promenade.
  • It offers a variety of recreational activities, including waterfront dining, bike rentals, and evening cruises along the coast.
  • Visitors can also enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, bustling markets, and stunning views of the iconic King Fahd Bridge.

These are just a few of the top attractions in Dammam. The city also boasts modern shopping malls, traditional souks (markets), and a lively food scene offering a range of international and local cuisines. Whether you're interested in natural beauty, cultural heritage, or recreational activities, Dammam has something to offer for every traveler.

Things to Do in Dammam

Dammam, located in Saudi Arabia, offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. From adventurous outdoor experiences to cultural explorations and entertainment options, here are some of the top things to do in Dammam:

1. Paintball Battle

Location: 6255 Dammam 32235, Saudi Arabia

If you're an adventure enthusiast, head to the Paintball Battle in Dammam for an exhilarating experience. Engage in thrilling paintball battles with your friends, equipped with protective vests and toy guns. The arena also offers other interesting games to keep you entertained. It's a great way to bond with friends and enjoy some friendly competition.

2. Cobra Amusement Park

Cobra Amusement Park

Location: Al Basatin, Dammam 32235, Saudi Arabia

Cobra Amusement Park is a popular theme park in Dammam that guarantees a fun-filled day for visitors of all ages. Explore a wide range of rides, playgrounds, green spaces, swimming pools, and water sports activities. The park also features a theater where you can catch movies and several aesthetic cafes where you can relax and enjoy delicious food.

3. Scuba Diving

  • Half Moon Bay: Explore the underwater world of Half Moon Bay, known as one of the top places for scuba diving in Dammam. Dive into the Persian Gulf waters guided by certified scuba diving professionals.
  • Bateel Diver: Another excellent option for scuba diving in Dammam is Bateel Diver. This authorized diving center emphasizes safe diving practices and provides a memorable diving experience with trained professionals.

Both locations offer the opportunity to capture incredible moments with corals and fish through underwater photography.

4. Seiko Market

Seiko Market, one of the busiest streets in Dammam, offers a glimpse into the city's daily life and vibrant culture. This bustling market is a paradise for shoppers, featuring a wide range of items such as fabrics, spices, furniture, jewelry, handicrafts, and authentic sweet shops. While exploring the market, don't miss the chance to interact with shop owners and locals to learn more about the place. Tripty hotels and other fine restaurants in the market offer authentic local cuisine for a delightful dining experience.

5. Othaim Mall

Location: Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd Branch Rd, Al Shifa, Othaim Mall, Dammam 32236, Saudi Arabia

Othaim Mall is a splendid shopping destination in Dammam, known for its remarkable architecture that resembles an ocean liner. Indulge in a fantastic shopping experience, with designer outlets and high-end international brands to choose from. The mall's food court offers a variety of cuisines from different continents, ensuring a satisfying dining experience. Additionally, the mall provides entertainment facilities such as gaming arenas for indoor games like bowling and video games.

6. Desert Camping in Dammam

Desert Camping in Dammam

Location: Bedouin camp, Dammam

For a unique experience, venture into the Saudi Arabian desert and indulge in desert camping near Dammam. Spend an evening at a Bedouin camp surrounded by sand dunes, enjoying traditional hospitality. The camping experience often includes bonfires, dance performances, and music, providing a glimpse into the local culture. Top chefs prepare a delightful barbecue dinner, and you can admire the Arabic skies from inside your tent or participate in cultural events. In the morning, enjoy camel rides to explore the desert further.

7. Boating around Marjan Island

Location: Cornish Rd, Al-Hamra'a, Dammam 32421, Saudi Arabia

Marjan Island, an artificial coral island near Dammam, offers exciting boating experiences. Take a boat ride around the island, enjoying the scenic views where the desert meets the sea. Speed boating, jet skiing, and waterboarding are popular activities for visitors. The island is a great place to spend quality time with family and friends. To return to Dammam, you can also consider taking a ferry ride.

8. Hiking in Sand Dunes

Location: Dammam deserts, Saudi Arabia

Dammam is surrounded by majestic Saudi Arabian sand dunes, offering an excellent opportunity for hiking enthusiasts. Whether you're a solo traveler or with family, hiking in the sand dunes allows you to explore the desert's beauty and learn about the local culture and people. Engage in dune bashing or go fossil hunting for added excitement. Don't forget to capture stunning pictures against the backdrop of fiery red sunsets.

9. Yellow Lake

Exploring the beauty of Yellow Lake is a unique experience near Dammam. Located near Al Hasa, this shallow water lake is surrounded by majestic sand dunes and desert flora and fauna. Accessible by SUV due to the dunes, the lake attracts many tourists and serves as a hotspot for migratory birds. Enjoy off-roading adventures in the dunes and end the day with a barbecue dinner before returning to Dammam.

10. Heritage Village Restaurant

Location: Corniche Street, Dammam, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

If you're a food enthusiast, be sure to visit the Heritage Village Restaurant in Dammam. This restaurant not only offers authentic local cuisine but also immerses you in the rich history and traditions of the place. Upon arrival, you'll be greeted with dates and traditional gahwa (Arabic coffee). Choose to dine in traditional rooms that provide insights into the local culture. The relaxed and pleasant atmosphere of the restaurant is perfect for winding down after a busy day, and it provides an excellent backdrop for capturing lifelong memories.

Adventure Activities To Do In Dammam

Here are the adventure activities to do in Dammam, Saudi Arabia:

1. Desert Safaris:

  • Experience the thrill of a desert safari in Dammam, where you can venture into the vast sandy landscapes and witness the beauty of the Arabian desert.
  • Enjoy an exhilarating dune bashing session, where skilled drivers take you on an adrenaline-pumping ride over the sand dunes in a 4x4 vehicle.
  • Engage in sandboarding, a popular activity where you glide down the slopes of the dunes on a board, offering a unique and exciting experience.
  • Immerse yourself in the Bedouin culture by visiting a traditional desert camp, where you can enjoy traditional Arabian hospitality, indulge in a delicious barbecue dinner, watch belly dance performances, and even try riding a camel.

2. Scuba Diving and Snorkeling:

  • Explore the underwater world of the Red Sea by engaging in scuba diving or snorkeling adventures.
  • Discover vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life, including colorful fish, turtles, and even dolphins.
  • Dammam offers various diving sites suitable for all levels of experience, from beginners to advanced divers, ensuring everyone can partake in this thrilling activity.
  • Professional diving centers and instructors are available to guide you through your underwater journey and ensure your safety.

3. Jet Skiing and Water Sports:

  • Enjoy the thrill of riding a jet ski on the azure waters of the Red Sea.
  • Dammam offers rental services for jet skis and other water sports equipment, allowing you to indulge in high-speed adventures and experience the adrenaline rush.
  • Other water sports available in the area include parasailing, water skiing, wakeboarding, and kayaking, providing a range of options for adventure seekers.

4. Rock Climbing and Bouldering:

  • Explore Dammam's rugged landscapes and indulge in rock climbing and bouldering activities.
  • The region offers various cliffs and rock formations suitable for climbers of different skill levels.
  • Whether you're a beginner or an experienced climber, you can find routes and challenges that cater to your abilities.
  • Safety precautions, such as the use of harnesses and ropes, should be followed, and it's recommended to climb with experienced guides or join local climbing clubs.

5. Off-Roading and ATV Adventures:

Off Roading and ATV Adventures

  • Take your adventure to the next level by embarking on off-road excursions in the outskirts of Dammam.
  • Rent an ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) and navigate through sandy trails and rugged terrains, providing an exhilarating off-road experience.
  • Join guided off-roading tours, where experienced drivers lead you through challenging tracks and showcase the region's natural beauty.
  • This activity allows you to witness stunning desert landscapes, picturesque valleys, and maybe even spot wildlife along the way.

6. Skydiving:

  • For the ultimate adrenaline rush, consider skydiving in Dammam.
  • Experience the thrill of freefalling from an airplane and enjoy breathtaking views as you descend with a parachute.
  • Tandem skydiving is available for beginners, where you are securely harnessed to an experienced instructor.
  • This adventure offers a unique perspective of the city and the surrounding landscapes, providing a truly unforgettable experience.

7. Camping and Hiking:

  • Dammam and its surrounding areas offer picturesque camping and hiking opportunities.
  • Discover scenic trails, wadis (dry riverbeds), and mountains, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.
  • Set up a campsite and spend the night under the starry sky, creating unforgettable memories with friends or family.
  • Some camping areas also offer facilities for barbecues, bonfires, and stargazing activities, enhancing the overall camping experience.

When engaging in adventure activities in Dammam, it's essential to prioritize safety by following instructions from experienced guides or instructors, wearing appropriate gear, and being aware of any local regulations or restrictions. Enjoy your adventures in Dammam and make the most of the diverse outdoor opportunities the region has to offer!

Famous Food in Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Dammam, located in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, offers a vibrant culinary scene that showcases the rich flavors of Arabian cuisine. From traditional dishes to international flavors, Dammam has a variety of food options to satisfy every palate. Here are some of the famous foods you must try when visiting Dammam.


Mandi is a traditional Arabian dish that is widely popular in Dammam. It consists of tender and flavorful meat (usually lamb or chicken) that is marinated with a blend of spices, including cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. The meat is then slow-cooked in a tandoor (a clay oven) to perfection, giving it a unique smoky flavor. Mandi is typically served with fragrant rice, mixed vegetables, and a side of tangy tomato sauce. It is a must-try dish for meat lovers visiting Dammam.


Kabsa is another iconic Saudi Arabian dish that is widely enjoyed in Dammam. It is a flavorful rice dish cooked with a combination of aromatic spices, such as saffron, black lime, and bay leaves. The rice is usually mixed with meat (chicken, lamb, or goat) and served with a variety of accompanying condiments like yogurt, salad, and pickles. Kabsa is a staple in Saudi cuisine and represents the rich cultural heritage of the region.


Shawarma is a popular street food that has gained immense popularity in Dammam. It consists of thinly sliced layers of marinated meat (typically beef or chicken) that are slow-roasted on a vertical spit. The meat is then carved and wrapped in a warm flatbread, accompanied by a variety of toppings such as tahini sauce, garlic sauce, pickles, and vegetables. Shawarma is a flavorful and satisfying choice for a quick and delicious meal in Dammam.

Samboosa (Samosa):

Samboosa, also known as samosa, is a beloved snack in Dammam. It is a triangular pastry filled with a savory mixture of spiced potatoes, onions, peas, and sometimes minced meat. The pastry is deep-fried to a crispy golden brown, creating a delightful contrast of textures. Samboosa is commonly enjoyed as an appetizer or a snack during gatherings and is often served with chutneys or sauces for added flavor.


Mutabbaq is a popular street food item in Dammam that has its roots in Indian cuisine. It is a savory stuffed pastry that comes in various fillings, such as minced meat, vegetables, cheese, or a combination of these ingredients. The pastry is folded into a square shape and then fried until crispy. Mutabbaq is often enjoyed as a quick and flavorsome snack, perfect for satisfying cravings on the go.


Dammam offers a delightful culinary experience with its famous traditional dishes and diverse food options. Whether you're indulging in the aromatic flavors of Mandi and Kabsa, enjoying a quick Shawarma or Samboosa, or savoring the crispy Mutabbaq, the food scene in Dammam is sure to tantalize your taste buds. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the local cuisine and immerse yourself in the flavors of Saudi Arabia during your visit to Dammam.