|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2008)|
|• Mayor||Sulaiman Althunayyan|
|• Provincial Governor||Saud bin Nayef AL Saud|
|Dammam Municipality estimate|
Al Khobar (also spelled Khobar or al-Khubar; Arabic: الخبر) is a large city located in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the coast of the Persian Gulf. It is one of the largest cities in the Gulf Cooperation Council, with a population of 941,358 as of 2012. Al Khobar is a part of the Dammam metropolitan area along with Dammam and Dhahran, which together forms part as the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Saudi Arabia having an estimated combined population of over 4,100,000 as of 2012. Greater Dammam also includes many other smaller cities such as: Al Qatif, Safwa, and Ras Tanura which form an overall population of 5,212,000 as of 2012. All three urban centers are served by the King Fahd International Airport which is the largest airport in the world. The distance to the airport terminal from Khobar is about 50 km (31 mi). Together, Al Khobar, Dhahran and Dammam are often known as "The Triplet Cities" by many natives and locals. Since Dammam, Dhahran and Al Khobar are less than 15 km (9.3 mi) away from each other, they essentially form one metropolitan area, the fifth largest in the kingdom and sixth in the Gulf Cooperation Council referred to the GCC, or "Al-Khaleej/Gulf" by many GCC citizens.
The Dammam metropolitan area, or mainly known as greater Dammam, is the metropolitan area associated with the city of Dammam and its suburbs. It is the area that is closely linked to the city through social, economic, and cultural ties. The Dammam metropolitan area is the largest metropolitan area in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, formed by three main neighboring cities: Dammam, Dhahran, and Al Khobar. As a major metropolitan area, it is known for its fishing and pearl diving heritage, oil industry, arts, entertainment, popular music and sports legacies. The area includes a variety of natural landscapes, parks, and beaches with a recreational coastline to the Persian Gulf.
Many of Al Khobar's residents work for Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil company, Al Khobar also hosts and is preferred by many of the most important regional and international companies as its base. Traditionally, Khobar has also been a city of shopkeepers and merchants, and the city today has many modern malls and boulevards with shops run by international franchises and restaurants.
Al Khobar today is a bustling economic centre with many skyscrapers built and others under construction. The nearby city of Dammam has the second-largest port in Saudi Arabia and embodies the administrative departments of the Eastern region.
In earlier days, Khobar was a small port on the Persian Gulf coast, a fishing village inhabited mainly by Al Dossary tribe members. With the discovery of oil in the 1930s, it was transformed into a major commercial and shopping center and an industrial port. In modern times, the larger port of Dammam has taken over most commercial shipping activities for the Eastern Province, and oil is exported via the dedicated Saudi Aramco port of Ras Tanura. As a result, Khobar has transformed and extended its water front along the Persian Gulf into a scenic Beirut-like corniche with parks, eateries, and family beaches, thus making it one of the most iconic features of the city.
Al Khobar is connected with the major highways in the region including Dhahran-Jubail Highway, Dhahran-Dammam Highway as well as Khobar-Dammam Highway, which links Khobar with Dammam directly and links them both to Dammam Airport. Al-Khobar hosts King Fahd Causeway, which links Saudi Arabia to Bahrain.Al Khobar also features the Water Tower which is a famed landmark situated in a man made peninsula in the al khobar water front.
The first school in Khobar was established in 1942. Today, Khobar is home to more than 100 public and private educational institutes. The International Indian School, Dammam (CBSE) is one of the world's largest Indian schools, with more than 17000 students. Countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh also operate their own schools and curriculum. Al Khobar is also home to several Western-oriented schools such as the International Philippine Schools, British and American Schools, which serve a significant number of students from various expatriate communities. Examples include Dhahran Ahliya Schools, AlFaisaliah Islamic School, Saad National School, Jubail Academy International School, KFUPM Schools, Pakistan International School, Al-Khobar, Khobar French School, International Programs School, BISAK(British International School Al-Khobar, International Schools Group (which has multiple schools across the country), Al-Andalus International School, and International Philippine School in Al Khobar. PAKISTAN International School. Each school provides its own bus services.
Al-Khobar is a vibrant city with multiple lifestyle centers and shopping malls, The city also is famed for the Corniche (Prince Turki St.) which is lined with several international and local chain of restaurants, coffee bars and boutiques of all kinds. Al Khobar has a large number of expatriates who usually come for jobs. The expatriates have their own living units, compounds, that make them have unique community-like areas in the country.
The city hosts several shopping centers including: Alissa Souk, Rahmaniah Center, Al Gosaibi Center, Khobar Mall, Fanar Mall and Al Rashid Mall, which is the largest and fanciest in Al-Khobar. There are also several commercial streets downtown which are populated by local shops, with the most prominent street being Prince Bandar St. (locally known as Suwaiket St.). Al Khobar also benefits from being close to the city of Dhahran, which hosts several malls such as Dhahran Mall, Ikea and Amwaj Center. The Half Moon Beach and Khobar Corniche are the major tourist attractions in Khobar. People from the neighboring GCC states and Riyadh frequently visit the city to do activities such as fishing, scuba diving and other water sports.
Its average annual temperature is 33 °C (91 °F) during the day and 22 °C (72 °F) at night. In the coldest month – January, the temperature typically ranges from 12 to 22 °C (54 to 72 °F) during the day to 3 to 18 °C (37 to 64 °F) at night. In the warmest month, June, the typical temperature ranges from 36 to 50 °C (97 to 122 °F) during the day to about 33 °C (91 °F) at night. Generally – the summer / "holiday" season lasts about six months, from May to October. Two months – April and November – are transitional; sometimes the temperature exceeds 48 °C (118 °F), with temperatures ranging from 37–50 °C (99–122 °F) during the day and 24–36 °C (75–97 °F) at night. December, January and February are the coldest months, with average temperatures around 11 °C (52 °F) during the day and 5 °C (41 °F) at night. Large fluctuations in temperature are rare, particularly in the summer months.
- Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia
- King Fahd Causeway
- Al Rashid Mall
- 2004 Khobar massacre