It’s where the country’s wells of black gold were first discovered and where the world’s largest oil company was born. It’s where a small fishing village grew into one of the Middle East’s largest ports and where Arabia’s biggest and most impressive cultural centre was forged. It’s a region rich in diversity, heritage and quiet drive that – slowly but surely – is coming into its own. Here are some of the Eastern Province’s top cultural draws, for visitors of all ages.
King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture (Ithra)
Rising 295ft from the desert, Ithra’s sculpted form dominates both the Dhahran skyline and the region’s cultural scene. Built close to the site where oil was first tapped in 1983, Ithra is a world-class cultural centre that – regionally at least – has no equal. Future meets past in this futuristic building, which spans 85,000sq m and includes a vast library, theatre, cinema, ideas lab and knowledge tower, along with a range of curated galleries and installations designed to inspire, enthral and engage. Little ones will particularly love the children’s museum.
Look up the centre’s packed programme of events, workshops, talks and performances to see what's scheduled. Entrance to Ithra is free, but events and the cinema are ticketed.