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  • Overview

    Dammam is the capital of Saudi Arabia's oil-rich Eastern Province, and the country's fifth-largest city. Serviced by the King Fahd International Airport 12 miles (20km) to the northwest and the King Abdul Aziz Sea Port, Damman is a travel hub for the eastern part of the country and Saudi Arabia's gateway to the Persian Gulf.

    Travellers coming from the airport get a true taste of the desert as they drive past sand dunes, camels, and Bedouin tents clearly visible. Once in the city, visitors can have a picnic on the Dammam Corniche, take a walk on Al Morjan Island, and eat dinner and tour the cultural museum at the Heritage Village.

    Located about 19 miles (30km) from the city, Half Moon Bay is a popular recreational spot and weekend excursion from Dammam. Known for excellent scuba diving, fishing, and sailing, the area has several public beaches, as well as entertainment areas, King Fahad Coastal City, and Palm Beach Resort.

    Dammam is a shopper's paradise, as the city is home to several excellent shopping malls that offers plenty of stores and restaurants to suit all palates, as well as the opportunity to beat the heat. A few of the most popular are the Al Waha Mall, Al Bilad Mall, Green Shopping Centre, and Al Danah Mall.

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    Dammam has a hot desert climate. Temperatures remain high all year round and the city experiences little annual rainfall. Summer temperatures (April to October) average from around 77°F (25°C) to 113°F (45°C), and can reach as high as 122°F (50°C). Dust storms occur in the summer months, with sand sweeping over the city. Not only does this cause travel disruptions but it can adversely affect those with respiratory conditions. There is a marginal amount of rainfall in the winter (December to February) and this is the best time to visit, as temperatures are more bearable.

    King Fahd International Airport
    Location: King Fahd International Airport is located about 30 miles (50km) northwest of Dammam, in eastern Saudi Arabia.
    Time: Local time is GMT +3.
    Getting to the city: Public buses run to Dammam from the airport, leaving every 30-60 minutes.
    Car Rental: Various car hire companies operate from the airport, including Budget and Avis.
    Airport Taxis: There are numerous taxis avaliable. The trip from downtown to the airport takes around 30 minutes by car.
    Fascilities: The airport offers duty-free shops, restaurants and cafeterias, banks and currency exchange facilities, a mosque, and smoking areas.
    Parking King Fahd International Airport has a multi-storey parking garage with short and long-term facilities.

    Useful Contacts:

    Dammam does not have an extensive public transport system and the easiest way of getting around the city is by car. It's relatively easy to rent a car and a number of well-known international car hire companies are located at the airport and in the city centre.

    Public buses are available, but are mostly used by foreign workers for travel within the city. There are plenty of taxis and 'dubbabs' in Dammam, which can be hailed from the street or pre-booked by telephone. Taxis charge between 10-20 SR for trips within the city. These offer the best means of transport for those not wanting to hire a car. Single women travelling alone should avoid taking a taxi on their own.

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