Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia
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Map of Saudi Arabia with the Eastern Province highlighted
|• Governor||Prince Saud bin Nayef|
|• Deputy Governor||Prince Jiluwi bin Abdul Aziz bin Musaed|
|• Total||672,522 km2 (259,662 sq mi)|
|• Density||6.1/km2 (16/sq mi)|
The Eastern Province (Arabic: الشرقية ash-Sharqīyah ) is the largest province of Saudi Arabia. The province's capital is the city of Dammam, which hosts the majority of the region's population and its government. The current governor of the region is Prince Saud Bin Naif.
The Eastern Province is home to most of Saudi Arabia's oil production. The region is also home of the City of Jubail, which hosts the Jubail Industrial City, a global hub for chemical industries. It is also a tourist area because of its location on the coast of the Persian Gulf and the variety of entertainment activities available across the region. Most of the tourists who visit the region are from the nearby states of the GCC, and the Riyadh Region.
The Eastern Province borders the Persian Gulf, which contains the province's only maritime boundary (which is with Iran, located within the Persian Gulf) and borders 5 countries on land. Apart from this water border, the majority of the countries that the Eastern Province borders are on land, and those are: Iraq (partially), Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. The Eastern Province also borders Yemen, but that is, unfortunately, disputed, which is why the map on the top of this article doesn't show the Eastern Province's true border with Yemen.
The primary airport in the region is King Fahd International Airport, the largest airport in the world in terms of land area. The King Fahd Causeway, completed in 1986, links the Eastern Province to neighboring island country of Bahrain.
The Saudis of Najd gained control of the area after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The inhabited areas had been known as Al-Ahsa (الأحساء) under Ottoman rule, and the entire region of Eastern Arabia was mostly known as Bahrain (البحرين) from pre-Islamic times until 1521. Many Saudi history books/articles call the Eastern Province Hasa and Qatif (الأحساء و القطيف) because the most famous ancient cities in it are Qatif and Al-Hasa. Most other cities—notably Dammam and Khobar—were built in the 20th century.
Of the 4.1 million inhabitants 1.2 million are foreigners, making up about 29%.
Governors of the Eastern Province
- Abdul Muhsin bin Abdullah Al Jiluw (?-1985)
- Muhammad bin Fahd (1985-2013)
- Saud bin Nayef (2013-present)
Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil producing company of Saudi Arabia, is based in Dhahran, which is located in the Eastern Province, and most decisions on oil policy and production that affect the global economy are made there. The kingdom's main oil and gas fields are mostly located in the Eastern Province, onshore and offshore. Notable among these are the Ghawar oil field and the largest crude increment in the world. Petroleum from the fields is shipped to dozens of countries from the oil port of Ras Tanura and is also used as feedstock in numerous industrial plants in Jubail.
Saudi Arabia's second major product, dates, also forms a large part of Eastern Province's economy. Every year thousands of tonnes of dates are harvested from the date palms in the giant oases of Al-Ahsa and Qatif.
List of cities
- Al-Ahsa (Arabic: الأحساء); in addition to the traditional oasis, the governorate also includes the giant Empty Quarter desert, making it the largest governorate in Saudi Arabia in terms of area.
- Abqaiq (بقيق)
- Jubail (الجبيل)
- Ras Tanura (رأس تنورة)
- Qatif (القطيف)
- Khobar (الخبر)
- Dhahran (الظهران)
- Dammam (الدمام)
- Hafar Al-Batin (حفر الباطن)
- Khafji (الخفجي)
- No'ayriyah (النعيرية)
- Qariat Ulya (قرية العليا)
- Dammam: Capital of Eastern Province, the main seaport and the fifth largest city of Saudi Arabia (after Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca and Medina).
- Al-Ahsa : Largest oasis in the world. It should be noted that Al-Hasa is sometimes considered by the people of the province to be a province by itself, since it does have it own annual budget and its own local government, unlike the other areas in the province. The local government is formally known as the Al-Ahsa Governorate, a division of the Government of the Eastern Province. In addition, Al-Hasa has a mayor who has a power of a governor, although not "officially" considered as a governor because the province's governor still can control the operation of Al-Hasa Governorate and its mayor's office. Nonetheless, the Eastern Province's governor is still considered the head of the province government in any local occasion that occurs in Al-Hasa.
- Khobar: Major center for commerce, part of the Dammam Metropolitan Area.
- Dhahran: Oil industry center, site of Saudi Aramco headquarters. Its home to a major base of Royal Saudi Air Force and the most prestigious Saudi university, KFUPM. Dhahran is part of the Dammam Metropolitan Area.
- Qatif: Large oasis on the coast of the Arabian Gulf
- Jubail: Largest industrial city in the Middle East.
- Abqaiq: Home for major and largest oil and gas processing plants
- Ras Tanura: Major petroleum refining center, home for the largest oil refinery in the world, and many offshore oil platforms. Also main oil exporting seaport
- Udhailiyah: Major oil producing and processing plants
- Shayba in the Rub' al Khali (Empty Quarter), close to the border with the United Arab Emirates
- Khafji: Main industrial city, very close to the border with Kuwait. Occupied by the Iraqi forces during the Gulf War. Saudi Forces aided by United States Marines victoriously engaged in the Battle of Khafji during Operation Desert Storm to free it from Iraqis
- Hafar Al-Batin: The largest city in the North-East of Saudi Arabia, it is 90 km near Kuwait and it has more than 35 villages. King Khalid Military City is 60 km South to it.
- Wahab, Siraj (5 May 2012). "A story of courage, conviction and determination". Arab News. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
- "Riyadh most populous Saudi city, Makkah most populous province". Arab News. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
- Regions of Saudi Arabia
- Hafar Al-Batin
- Bahrain (historical region)
- Saudi Aramco
- Empty Quarter
- King Khalid Military City
- Shi'a Islam in Saudi Arabia
||Al Muthanna Governorate, Iraq
Northern Borders Region
|Al Jahra and Al Ahmadi governorates, Kuwait||Arabian Gulf|
|Riyadh Region||Jariyan al Batnah, Qatar
Abu Dhabi, UAE
|Najran Region||Hadhramaut Governorate, Yemen||Ad Dhahirah, Al Wusta, and Dhofar governorate, Oman|