Theme Week Saudi Arabia – Dammam

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  9 minutes

Dammam street market © flickr.com - edward musiak/cc-by-sa-2.0

Dammam street market © flickr.com – edward musiak/cc-by-sa-2.0

Dammam is the capital of the Eastern Province of 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 sixth largest in Saudi Arabia, after Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, Medina and Taif. Like the other 12 regional capitals of Saudi Arabia, Dammam is not included within any governorate; instead, it is governed as a “municipality” headed by a mayor. 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.

Dammam is a major administrative center for the Saudi oil industry. Together with the nearby cities of Dhahran and Al Khobar, Dammam forms part of the Dammam Metropolitan Area, which is commonly known as greater Dammam and has an estimated population of 4,140,000 as of 2012. Dammam and its suburbs form the center of the Dammam metropolitan area, also known as Greater Dammam, which is closely linked to the city through social, economic, and cultural ties. 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. As of 2016 Greater Dammam is the 4th largest area in both size and population in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The Dammam metropolitan area and the rest of the Eastern Province are 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).

Dammam street market © flickr.com - edward musiak/cc-by-sa-2.0 Dammam medical complex © Abhijitvarghese/cc-by-sa-3.0 Dammam at night © flickr.com - NASA/Tim Kopra Central Dammam © Jpatokal/cc-by-sa-4.0 Ghornata area © Abhijitvarghese/cc-by-sa-3.0 Dareen Mall © Zmaassarani/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Dammam street market © flickr.com - edward musiak/cc-by-sa-2.0
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. 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.

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. Filipino fast food chain like Jollibee and 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 foreign workers in the city, Indian, Filipino, Chinese, Indonesian, Pakistani and other Asian food is 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.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on SaudiTourism.sa – Dammam, Wikitravel Dammam and Wikipedia Dammam. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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