By Mohammed Mirza
Skilled guide, intuitive geographer and long-time employee of Aramco, Khamis Bin Rimthan is credited to have helped with the discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia.
Born during the early 20th century in Jubail, Khamis hailed from the Ajman tribe. He was renown for his ability to assess geographical distances precisely and was soon employed by the government as a guide. Initially, he led trade caravans from Jubail to Dharan and then from Dharan to Abqaiq.
In 1938, Bin Rimthan guided an American exploration team through the Eastern Province. He guided a group that eventually help set up the largest oil company in the world. Then in 1942 he served as chief guide for Aramco’s Exploration parties.
He served as more than just a guide for the exploration team; he introduced them to Bedouin life and its rich traditions. He was consequently considered the guide of all guides.
Khamis knew the geography of Saudi Arabia like the back of his hand. It is said that on numerous occasions his knowledge of the country proved to be more accurate than the maps of his time.