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الدمام ad-Dammām
Coral Island, Dammam
Coral Island, Dammam
Official seal of Dammam
Dammam is located in Saudi Arabia
Location in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Coordinates: 26°17′N 50°12′E / 26.283°N 50.200°E / 26.283; 50.200Coordinates: 26°17′N 50°12′E / 26.283°N 50.200°E / 26.283; 50.200
Country Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg Saudi Arabia
Province Eastern Province
 • Mayor Dhaifallah Al-'Utaybi
 • Provincial Governor saud bin nayef Al saud
 • City 800 km2 (308.9 sq mi)
Population (2012)
 • City 1,033,597 [1]
 • Urban 4,140,000
  Dammam Municipality estimate
Postal Code 314XX
Area code(s) 013
Website www.e-amana.gov.sa

Dammam (Arabic: الدمامad-Dammām) is the capital of Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. The judicial and administrative bodies of the province, plus several government departments, are located in the city. Dammam is the largest city in the Eastern Province, and the fifth largest in Saudi Arabia[citation needed], after Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, and Medina. It is the center of the Dammam metropolitan area, which together forms part as the third largest metropolitan area in Saudi Arabia, with an estimated combined population of over 4,100,000 as of 2012. The Dammam metropolitan area, or Greater Dammam, is the metropolitan area associated with the city of Ad Dammam, the Eastern Province, 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; it is formed by three main neighboring cities: Dammam, Dhahran, and Khobar. These three cities are sometimes referred to as the "Triplet Cities". Greater Dammam also includes many other smaller cities such as Al Qatif, Safwa, and Ras Tanura, with a total population of 5,212,000 as of 2012. The city is growing at an exceptionally fast rate of 12% a year - the fastest in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the Arab world - and has a Sunni Muslim majority population.

The Dammam metropolitan area, and the rest of the Eastern Province, is served by the King Fahd International Airport (KFIA), the largest airport in the world in terms of land area (approximately 780 km2), about 20 km to the northwest of the city. Dammam's King Abdul Aziz Sea Port is the largest on the Persian Gulf. Its import-export traffic in is second only to Jeddah Seaport in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).


The origins of the name "Dammam" are disputed. Some say that it is onomatopoeic and was given to the area because of a drum positioned in a nearby keep, which was sounded (in a pattern called "damdamah") to alert the residents of returning fishermen's ships. Others say that the name comes from the Arabic word "dawwama" (whirlpool), which indicated a nearby sea site that dhows usually had to avoid.


Aerial view November 2014

Dammam was first inhabited by [Al Bin Ali]] is from the original trib "Al Utabi" descendent from " Bani Sulaim" the tribe that conquered Bahrain and fought against the British Empire. This tribe is of Al Maadeed known for their courage, strength and generousity. The origin of this tribe is Najid and are spread into Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and UAE. in early 1923 The Albinali family, led by Sheikh Nasir Ahmad Albinali, were invited by HRM the late King Abdul Aziz from Bahrain to come back and inhabit Dammam.. While Al-Dousary clan settled in Al-Khobar location was chosen for its vicinity to the island of Bahrain as the clan hoped to head back there soon, but the British rule in the region made it very hard for them to move in every sense ("divide et impera") so they finally realized they had to settle there for good which by that time was already inhabited. However this tiny episode gave to Khobar a population boost and close ties with the bigger city of Dammam.

When the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932, the area was the site of several hamlets that depended on fishing and pearls for their survival. Over a span of a little more than half a century, the area has developed into a thriving hub of industry, commerce and science, and home to more than half a million people. The area's transformation was launched with the discovery of oil in commercial quantities. The Eastern Province sits atop one of the largest oil fields in the world, and it was here in Dhahran in 1936 that Aramco, the predecessor of the national oil company of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Aramco, dug the famous Dammam No. 7 well that proved beyond doubt that the Kingdom possessed a large supply of hydrocarbons.

The discovery of new oil fields to the south, west and north of Dammam in the 1940s and 1950s, which now account for a quarter of the world's proven oil reserves, triggered a building boom. The Albinali Family, led by Sheikh Muhammad Nasir Albinali and Brothers played a crucial role in the development of the city of Dammam and the Eastern province in various fields. This company was the first Saudi construction company to develop Aramco, the roads from connecting the new industry's roads necessary for the economical development of the country. To name a few are: Dammam to the pertrolum wells to the north, Dammam to Riyadh, Dammam Port Expansion so tankers can load up ( multiple expansions), the first covered Shopping Center in 1953 in the city of Dammam know as Ayal-Nasir (Sons of Nasir . This in turn led to Expatriates and technicians from throughout the Kingdom and the world gathered to help search for new oil fields and bring them on-stream. New pipelines had to be installed, storage facilities built and jetties constructed to handle tankers. The growing number of experts working in Dhahran required the building of housing, hospitals, schools for their children and other amenities. Before long, Dhahran, the corporate headquarters of Saudi Aramco, the largest oil company in the world, was spilling out into the desert in all directions.

Dammam Highway

The growth of the oil industry in the region had a similar impact on the small fishing village of Dammam and the hamlet of Al-Khobar. Within two decades of the discovery of oil, the mudbrick huts of the fisherman that crowded the shore and which constituted the only permanent dwellings in the area had given way to concrete buildings, modern housing, highways and landscaped streets. Located to the east of Dhahran on the Persian Gulf coast, Al-Khobar briefly became the shipping point for Saudi Arabian crude oil to the refinery in Bahrain. In the years leading up to World War II, Saudi Arabian oil production was very limited, and since the company had no refinery of its own, most of the oil was sent by small tankers to Bahrain. With the construction of a pipeline to Bahrain and the subsequent expansion of the oil industry in the post-war years, the focus of the shipping and oil industries shifted away from Al-Khobar northward to Dammam and Ras Tanura, one of the largest oil storage and shipping centers in the world, located 25 km to the north of Dammam. As a result, Al-Khobar gradually found a new role as the commercial center for the entire region.

In the early 1980s Dammam, the capital of the Eastern Region, was a separate city but so close to Al Khobar and Dhahran that the traveler could pass from one to the other in a few minutes. The discovery of oil in Dhahran and nearby fields and the growing importance of the entire region affected Dammam more than any other city in Saudi Arabia. Within three decades, the sleepy little fishing village had become the capital of the Eastern Province. The simultaneous growth of Dammam, Dhahran and Al-Khobar brought the three jurisdictions into physical contact, the three towns inevitably merged into one, creating a single municipality known as the Dammam metropolitan area, referred to simply as the Dammam Area. Each of the three towns which compose the Dammam Area retain their own character and some local administrative functions but, in terms of its place in the Kingdom, the Dammam Area forms a single administrative entity.

The growth of the Saudi Arabian oil industry into the largest in the world brought about the rapid development of the region. As oil production increased, so did the number of people required to run the industry. The growing population needed more housing and services. First-rate hospitals and schools provided further incentives for people considering a move to the area. Service industries sprouted up to support the oil industry and meet the needs of people living in the Dammam Area. As a result, a region which had several hundred inhabitants some sixty years ago now boasts a population of well over 1.5 million, growing at a pace of over five percent a year.

The key to the success of the Dammam Area is that unlike oil towns in other parts of the world, it has developed in all spheres. It is now a modern urban and industrial center which happens to be the headquarters of the Saudi Arabian oil industry. As this sector was growing in the early years, the Saudi Arabian government took steps to facilitate the evolution of the Dammam Area. New roads and highways connected the area to other urban and industrial centers in the Kingdom. A railway line connected Dammam to the agricultural center of Al-Kharj and on to Riyadh. Dhahran International Airport was established between Dhahran and Al-Khobar to connect the region to other parts of the Kingdom and the world.

Dammam and Khobar

To encourage the growth of non-oil industries, an industrial city was established in the open space between the three cities. Now home to more than 124 factories, the industrial complex is completely engulfed by an urban mass. As a result, a second industrial city was established further away from the Dammam Area along the highway to Riyadh. Located on nearly 6,000 acres (24 km2) of land, the Second Industrial City is already home to 120 factories, with 160 others under construction. These plants manufacture a variety of consumer and industrial products that are marketed throughout the Kingdom and are exported to other countries around the world. Handling such exports, as well as imports from abroad, is the domain of shipping agents and commercial companies located in Dammam and Al-Khobar, making the Dammam Area not only a major oil producing and exporting area, but also a commercial and shipping center.

The growth of the region has necessitated the construction of a larger and more modern airport to replace the Dhahran International Airport which is now cramped for space. The new King Fahd International Airport, located 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the northwest of Dammam, serves not only the Dammam Area but also the Jubail Industrial City, some 60 kilometres (37 mi) to the north.

As it has in other parts of the Kingdom, the Ministry of Health has established several modern hospitals and a network of health care centers in the Dammam Area. These are supplemented by hospitals and clinics set up by the private sector.

Having been built from the ground up, the Dammam Area was designed from the outset on the principles of modern urban planning. Residential areas are separate from commercial sections, roads are broad and straight and buildings conform to a master plan. One of the main features of the development of the area is land reclamation. Vast stretches of the shallow Persian Gulf waters have been filled, with hotels and office buildings occupying what were once marshes. Water for household, urban and industrial use is provided by desalination plants that supply approximately seven million cubic feet of treated water to the area each day. The availability of water underpins the urban and industrial growth of the Dammam Area, and provisions have been made for expanding existing desalination facilities to meet future growth.

The Dammam-Dhahran-Khobar area is a major hub for shipping, oil, commerce and industry. Tankers take on oil at the terminal in Ras Tanura. The Dammam Area is also famous for the wide variety of recreational facilities it offers residents and visitors alike.

In many ways, the Dammam Area has evolved as the link between Saudi Arabia and the outside world, exporting the Kingdom's products and importing its needs and thriving on the interaction between Saudi Arabia and other countries.[2]

Geographical districts[edit]

Ghornata area
  • Abdallah Al-Fouad
  • Ad Dawaser
  • Al Ada
  • Al Ahmadiyyah
  • Al Amamrah
  • Al Amir Talaal
  • Al Anoud
  • Al Arifi
  • Al Aziziyah
  • Al Badee
  • Al Badia
  • Al Eskaan
  • Al Faisaliah
  • Al Hamra
  • Al Itisalat
  • Al Jalawi
  • Al Jalawiyyah
  • Al Jam'iyyin
  • Al Khaleej
  • Al Khalidiya North
  • Al Khalidiya South
  • Al Khalidiyah Al Janubiah
  • Al Khalidiyah Al Shamalia
  • Al Marjan Island
  • Al Mazroeiah
  • Al Mohamadiah
  • Al Mubarkiyyah
  • Al Mutlaq
  • Al Nakheel
  • Al Naseriah
  • Al Qazzaz
  • Al Rakah al Shamalia
  • Al Rabee
  • Al Safa
  • Al Shatie Al Garbi
  • Al Shatie Al Sharqi
  • Al Shiraa
  • Al Souq /Al Souk Nasir's Sons سوق عيال ناصر(Shieko)
  • Al Tubayshi
  • Al Wahah
  • Area 91
  • An Nakhil
  • Ash Shati
  • Corniche
  • Faisaliyat Ash Sharq
  • Ghannam
  • Ghurnata (Area 75)
  • Ibn Khaldoun
  • 1st Industrial City
  • 2nd Industrial City
  • King Abdul Aziz Sea Port
  • King Fahd District
  • Muhammad bin Saud
  • Muhammadiyah
  • Madinat Al Ummal
  • National Guard
  • Qadisiyah
  • Tarot Island[3]
  • Al Rayyan (Andalusia)
  • Al-Manar
  • Anoud
  • Bader
  • Dana (حي الدانة)
  • Ether (الاثير)
  • Faiha (حي الفيحاء)
  • Flame (Alfajrip)
  • Hussam
  • Marina (Fanar)
  • Nawras (Petromin)
  • Palace
  • Ulaymaniyah
  • Yamama
  • Safa
  • Zahra


Dammam has a hot desert climate under the Köppen climate classification (BWh).[4] The winter temperatures range from mild to warm, but regularly drops to as low as around 8 °C (46 °F) some days. Summer temperatures are extremely hot, typical to most of west Asia and usually exceed 40 °C (104 °F) for about five months.

Rainfall in Dammam is generally sparse, and usually occurs in small amounts in December. However, some winter rainfall has been comparatively heavy, resulting in water logged roads. There have also been several notable incidents of hail. Heavy thunderstorms are not uncommon in winter. The thunderstorm of December 2008 was the largest in recent memory, with rain reaching around 3 inches (76 mm).

Some unusual events often happen during the year, such as dust storms in summer, coming from the Arabian Peninsula's deserts or from North Africa.

The highest record temperature was 50.3 °C (122.5 °F) on June 20, 2010, while the lowest record temperature was 0.8 °C (33.4 °F) on January 16, 2008.[5]

Climate data for Dammam (1985–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 31.3
Average high °C (°F) 21.1
Daily mean °C (°F) 14.8
Average low °C (°F) 9.5
Record low °C (°F) 0.8
Average rainfall mm (inches) 19.5
Average rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 9.3 4.5 6.0 6.7 0.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 4.7 6.6 38.8
Average relative humidity (%) 59 54 41 36 26 20 23 34 37 48 53 59 41
Source: Jeddah Regional Climate Center[6]


Saudi Aramco airplanes parked in the general aviation terminal in King Fahd International Airport in Dammam, Saudi Arabia


Dammam is served by the King Fahd International Airport, the largest airport in the world in terms of land area. The terminal is about 20 km to the northwest of the city and is connected by an three-lane highway. All other cities of the Eastern Province share this airport. Dammam is well connected by air with other cities in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe.


Dammam's King Abdulaziz Sea Port, located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, is the second largest port of Saudi Arabia. It was founded in the late 1940s. It has large equipment that allows it to receive various types of vessels. The most important equipments are 56 multi-purpose hoist, 8 container cranes, and 524 tanker containers. There are a number of berths for ships and fishing, as well as ship repair yard.

Road to Dammam


Eastern Province cities like Abqaiq, Dhahran, Hofuf, Jubail (Dhahran–Jubail Highway), Khafji, Khobar (Dammam-Khobar Highway), Ras Tanura, Sihat and Qatif (Gulf Road (Saudi Arabia)), as well as many cities in other parts of the Kingdom are linked with Dammam by 8-lane highways. Dammam is connected to the Saudi capital, Riyadh and Jeddah on the west coast by Highway 40. It is also linked to Bahrain by the 28 km long King Fahd Causeway. Dammam also has highways to other Middle-Eastern countries such as Kuwait (Abu Hadriyah Highway), Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.


The headquarters of the Saudi Railways Organization (SRO), Saudi Arabia's sole railway operator, is in Dammam.[7] The passenger terminal in Dammam was the first in Saudi Arabia and was built in 1981. It is considered to be a major terminal in the Saudi railway network. SRO operates a 449 km passenger line that connects Dammam to Riyadh through Hofuf and Abqaiq. It also operates a 556 km cargo line starting at King Abdul Aziz Sea Port in Dammam and ending in a dry port in Riyadh, passing by Hofuf, Abqaiq, Al-Kharj, Haradh and Al-Tawdhihiyah. In addition, some 373 km of auxiliary lines branch from SRO's main lines to connect some industrial and agricultural areas and military sites with export ports and residential areas.[8]

Two future railway projects connecting Dammam with Jeddah via Riyadh and Mecca in the western region and connecting Dammam with Jubail have been proposed.



Dammam residents are a mix of several different ethnicities and nationalities. This mixture of races has made a major impact on Dammam's traditional cuisine.

The Kabsa is popular among the people of Dammam, often made with chicken instead of lamb meat. The Yemeni Mandi is also popular as a lunch meal. Hejazi cuisine is popular as well and dishes like Mabshoor, Mitabbak, Foul, Areika, Hareisa, Kabab Meiroo, Shorabah Hareira (Hareira soup), Migalgal, Madhbi (chicken grilled on stone) Madfun (literally meaning buried), Magloobah, Kibdah, Manzalah (usually eaten at Eid ul-Fitr), Ma'asoob, Magliya (Hijazi version of Falafel), Saleeig (Hijazi dish made of milk rice), Hummus, Biryani, Ruz Kabli, Ruz Bukhari, Saiyadyia, can be acquired in many traditional restaurants around the city.

Grilled meat has a good market in Dammam such as Shawarma, Kofta, and Kebab. During Ramadan Sambousak and Ful are the most popular meals during Dusk. These meals are almost found in Lebanese, Syrian, and Turkish restaurants.

International food is also popular in the city. American chains such as Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Burger King, Domino's Pizza and KFC, among others are widely distributed in Dammam, as are more upscale chains like Chili's, Applebee's and TGI Friday's. Due to the large number of South Asian immigrants, Indian, Pakistani, Filipinos, Chinese, Japanese, and other Eastern/Asian food are also popular. European restaurants, such as Italian and French, are also found throughout the city.

There are also local fast food chains such as Abu Nawas (serving mainly broasted chicken), Fillfilah and several others.


TV and radio[edit]

In Dammam, the building of the television and radio station are each registration programs and meetings in the eastern region and in the sky Mainzawi information and send it to the main station in Riyadh for broadcast on Channel One.


Also be found in the city offices of several newspapers in Saudi Arabia and some other publications such as Al-Riyadh newspaper, Okaz, home, life, sun, her journal, Layalina.


Dammam has a large number of schools, universities and colleges. Schools teaching various syllabus and in several different languages of instruction can be found.


  1. Dhahran Ahliyyah School
  2. Al Jazeera International School Dammam
  3. Al-Bassam Group of Schools,Dammam
  4. Pakistan International School, Al-Khobar
  5. Bangladesh International School, Dammam
  6. Gulf International School
  7. International Indian School, Dammam
  8. Orbit Academy, Al-khobar
  9. International Schools Group Dammam
  10. Dunes International School
  11. Al Khozama international school
  12. Manarat Al-Sharkia International School, Al-Khobar
  13. International Programs Schools Khobar, Al-Khobar
  14. Sunshine International School, Dammam
  15. Al Muna International School(Indian), Dammam
  16. Al Majd International School, Dammam
  17. Victory International School Dammam
  18. Execllence International School, Dammam

Universities and colleges[edit]

  1. University of Dammam (Branch of King Faisal University previously)
  2. Arab Open University
  3. Technical College for students
  4. Community College (King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals)
  5. Tomorrow International College for Health Sciences
  6. Academy of ports for maritime studies and technical assistance
  7. Academy of Health Sciences
  8. Academic education
  9. Scientific Institute (University of Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud)
  10. Health Institute
  11. Technical Institute, the Saudi Petroleum Services
  12. Institute of Beauty Specialist, Science and Technology (girls)
  13. Higher Institute of Engineering and Petroleum
  14. Training Institute, the main electricity company in Saudi Arabia
  15. Services Institute of Petroleum and natural gas
  16. Institute of Public Administration (a branch of the eastern region)
  17. Technical Institute of Naval Studies (RSNF-TINS)
  18. Amal Institute for Deaf Girls
  19. Vocational training institute
  20. Institute of Education property
  21. Industrial Secondary Institute
  22. Al-Ghad International Medical Science Colleges
  23. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals
  24. Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University

Hospitals and Medical Centers[edit]

Dammam medical complex

Government Hospitals[edit]

Private Hospitals[edit]

  • Al Mana General Hospital
  • Al Mouwasat Hospital
  • Al Rawdah General Hospital
  • Gama Hospital (Formerly Astoon Hospital)
  • Tadawi General Hospital

Private Medical Centers / Polyclinics[edit]


Dammam serves the home ground for Saudi First Division and Saudi Second Division football clubs which include:- 1.→Ettifaq FC 2.→Al-Nahda Club (Saudi Arabia)

Sign to Dammam

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]