Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia

Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia
Eastern Province
—  Province  —
Map of Saudi Arabia with the Eastern Province highlighted
Capital Dammam
 – Governor Prince Muhammad bin Fahd
 – Total 710,000 km2 (274,132.5 sq mi)
Population (2004)
 – Total 3,360,157
 – Density 4.73/km2 (12.3/sq mi)
ISO 3166-2 04

The Eastern Province (Arabic: الشرقية Ash-Sharqīyah‎) is the largest province of Saudi Arabia, located in the east of the country on the Persian Gulf coast, and has land borders with Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Yemen. It has an area of 710,000 km² and a population of 3,360,157 (As of 2004 census). Its capital is Dammam, and its governor is Prince Mohammed bin Fahd bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud.



Adjacent to Ad-Dammam is Al-Khobar, a commercial center and a vibrant seaport. The King Fahd Causeway, completed in 1986, links the Eastern Province to neighboring island country of Bahrain.

The gateway to the province is King Fahd International Airport, the largest airport in the world in terms of land area.

The southern part of the province, with more than half of the area, belongs to the largely uninhabited Rub' al Khali (Empty Quarter) desert.


The Saudis 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 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.


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 oilfield 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.

Administrative divisions

List of Cities

  • Al-Ahsa (Arabic: الأحساء‎); in addition to the traditional oasis, the region also includes the giant Empty Quarter desert, making it the largest region 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)

Major cities

See also

External links

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