he Eastern Province, known as Asharqia in Arabic, is the largest province in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a land of startling contrasts. Featuring 500 kilometers of dramatic coastline and beautiful beaches, the Province also includes portions of the world’s biggest continuous sand desert, the Rub’ al Khali, as well as the lush greenery of the world’s largest palm tree oasis. In addition, the Eastern Province is home to the majority of oil production in the Kingdom, and includes Ghawar, the most extensive oil field in the world.
Major cities of the Eastern Province include Dammam, site of Asharqia Arabian Horse Festival, Dhahran, Al Khobar, Jubail, and Hofuf.
The Region is rich in history, and contains numerous historical sites, including several that include tombs from an ancient Bronze age civilization that is one of the oldest in the region. Numerous trading routes have also existed in the province during history, from pre-Islamic times, to the coming of Islam, to the present day’s commerce in oil.
Visitors enjoy the region’s many attractions, including historic forts, beautiful corniches along the sea, and verdant oases. Today, the bold architecture of the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, located in Dhahran, has become an icon of the Province as it promotes it vital mission of cross-cultural engagement emphasizing knowledge and creativity.
Plan Your Trip
Airport: The nearest international airport is King Fahd International Airport, Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (DMM) which is served by many international airlines.
Weather: The weather in the Eastern Province is gradually warming during the month of February, with highs ranging from 21-14 Celsius (70-76 Fahrenheit) and lows from 15-17 Celsius (59-63 Fahrenheit). Temperatures drop rapidly after sunset and because of proximity to the Arabian Gulf, expect breezes and higher humidity. Light jackets and wraps are recommended for evening events.
Transportation: International guests are kindly requested to provide their arrival and departure flight information so that they may be met at the airport and provided transportation to the Festival hotel. Please be advised that transportation to and from Festival Events will be also be provided for guests.
Cultural Considerations: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is proud of its tradition of hospitality towards guests. In return, guests to the Kingdom are kindly requested to respect our cultural traditions. Modesty in dress is customary for both men and women. For men this means that long sleeves and full-length pants, while female visitors to the Kingdom generally wear an abbaya over their clothing, accompanied by a head scarf. For those female visitors who do not have an abbaya, once you complete the visa process you will be contacted for measurements and an abbaya will be provided upon your arrival. However, it is still important to be dressed modestly for arrival at the airport – in general this means long sleeves, high neckline, and covered legs. As when visiting any country, it is important to know what goods are permitted entry. Remember that no alcohol or products containing alcohol are permitted in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and all medications must be accompanied by their original prescription label. For a complete list of prohibited items, you may visit the Saudi Customs website.