Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia

May 28, 2024

المنطقة الشرقية في السعودية

Eastern Province

The Eastern Province combines rich cultural heritage with modern developments, making it a key area for both economic activities and tourism. It is renowned for its oil and gas industries, which form the backbone of the national economy. Additionally, its beautiful beaches and tourist facilities attract visitors from around the world.

Area and Population

The Eastern Province spans approximately 540,000 square kilometers, representing 25.1% of Saudi Arabia's total area. Despite its size, it is one of the most densely populated regions in the Kingdom.

The population of the Eastern Province is about 5,125,254 people. Saudi nationals constitute a significant portion, with 2,949,854 Saudis (57.6% of the population), while the non-Saudi population is 2,175,400 (42.4%).


The climate in the Eastern Province is characterized by hot summers and mild weather during the rest of the year. The average annual temperature is around 27°C. Temperatures rise significantly in May and peak in June, July, and August, often exceeding 50°C.

In contrast, temperatures drop considerably in January and February, averaging around 8°C. The region also experiences high humidity, which intensifies the heat during the summer months.

Cities and Governorates of the Eastern Province


Dammam is the capital of the Eastern Province and a major city on the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia. Known for its oil wealth, Dammam has transformed from mud houses into a modern city and is now the third-largest city in Saudi Arabia after Riyadh and Jeddah. It houses the largest port on the Arabian Gulf and the second-largest in the Kingdom after Jeddah. The current population exceeds 1,033,597 people.


Al-Ahsa is known for its diverse natural landscapes and unique climatic conditions. Covering an area of approximately 375,000 square kilometers, Al-Ahsa represents about 18.75% of Saudi Arabia's total land area.

Historically known as "Hajr," Al-Ahsa is one of the oldest human settlements in the Arabian Peninsula. It is situated between latitudes 22° and 25° N and longitudes 48° and 51° E, on the southern coastal part of the Eastern Province. It is about 40 kilometers from the Arabian Gulf, 150 kilometers south of Dammam, and 320 kilometers east of Riyadh.

Hafar Al-Batin

Hafar Al-Batin is located in the northeastern part of Saudi Arabia, situated between latitudes 28-30° N and longitudes 15-45° E. Its capital is the city of Hafar Al-Batin, which is about 500 kilometers from Riyadh. The governorate covers an area of 144 square kilometers.

Hafar Al-Batin serves as a crucial transportation hub, intersecting several major routes, making it a vital center for trade and travel. It is also a popular spring tourist destination known for its natural beauty and moderate climate.


Jubail, one of the governorates of the Eastern Province, boasts a rich history and cultural heritage. It is divided into Jubail Industrial City, established in 1975 and now the world's largest industrial city on the Arabian Gulf coast, and Jubail City, home to its original inhabitants. Jubail Industrial City includes large industrial complexes and contributes about 7% of the Kingdom's GDP.

Located north of the Eastern Province's coastline, Jubail borders the Governorate of Khafji to the north and the Governorate of Nairiyah to the west, with Ras Tanura, Qatif, and Buqayq to the south, and Dammam further to the south.


Qatif is located in the Eastern Province, approximately 17 kilometers north of Dammam. It covers about 800 square kilometers and has a population of 552,442 according to the 2022 Saudi census, making it the third-largest governorate in the Eastern Province by population. Geographically diverse, Qatif features coastlines along the Arabian Gulf and sandy plains from the west and north.


Khobar is one of the 12 governorates in the Eastern Province, classified within Category (A). It is situated on the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, adjacent to Dammam to the north and northwest.


Khafji is one of the least populated governorates in the Eastern Province, with a population of approximately 84,316 according to the 2022 census. Despite its lower population density, Khafji remains an important part of the region.

Ras Tanura

Ras Tanura, formerly known as "Rahima" after a local water source, is a governorate in the Eastern Province. It is classified within Category (B) and forms a peninsula surrounded by the Arabian Gulf on three sides. Ras Tanura is located 51.8 kilometers from Dammam and covers an area of about 290 square kilometers with a population of 62,314.


Buqayq is another significant governorate in the Eastern Province, home to the largest crude oil processing plant in the world. Classified within Category (B), Buqayq has a population of about 64,632, making up 1.30% of the region's total population.


Al-Ula is one of the governorates in the Eastern Province, classified administratively within Category (B). It is one of the smallest in terms of population in the region. The governorate includes 22 centers and historically served as a water source for nomadic tribes.

According to the 2022 census, Al-Ula's population is about 21,788, representing only 0.4% of the region's total population.

Al-Ula is located 307 kilometers northwest of Dammam, bordered by Khafji to the north, Hafar Al-Batin to the north and west, Al-Ahsa and Riyadh to the south, and Oman to the southeast.


Al-Udeid is a strategically located governorate in the southeastern part of the Eastern Province, near the borders with the UAE and Qatar. This location emphasizes its strategic importance, as part of Al-Udeid also lies within Qatari territory.


Al-Bayda is a newly established governorate in the Eastern Province, created in April 2022. Its borders are defined by the National Center for Documents and Archives. Al-Bayda stretches from south of the Riyadh road to Buqayq to the west, Jubail to the north, and the Abu Hadriyah road to the east.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the governorates of the Eastern Province?

The Eastern Province comprises nearly 12 governorates, including:

  • Dammam
  • Al-Ahsa
  • Hafar Al-Batin
  • Khobar
  • Khafji
  • Ras Tanura
  • Buqayq
  • Al-Ula
  • Al-Ahdeed
  • Al-Bayda

What is the Eastern Province known for?

The Eastern Province is the heart of Saudi Arabia's energy sector, home to the world's largest onshore and offshore oil fields by reserves, namely Ghawar and Safaniya. The region's rich natural resources and advanced industrial infrastructure drive the growth of competitive industries such as oil, gas, and petrochemicals.

Who are the residents of the Eastern Province?

The population of the Eastern Province includes various tribes and communities such as:

  • Bani Khalid
  • Hawajir
  • Ajman
  • Al Murrah
  • Za'ba
  • Awazim
  • Dawasir
  • Dhafir


المنطقة الشرقية
امارة المنطقة الشرقية
امارة الشرقية

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