By Noura Al Joaib
Let’s be tourists this weekend!
The Eastern Province is known as the hub of the Kingdom’s oil industry. Sadly, that means it’s generally considered nothing more than an industrial area. However, there is so much more it has to offer, which is what the organizers of the Eastern Coast Tourism Route want visitors and residents alike to discover.
Under the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, this initiative launched late last year as the first tourism route project in the country and has seen rapid success and popularity since then. It runs every weekend on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings, lasting around five hours. Passing through prominent attractions, the route is a great way to experience Sharqiya, accompanied by informative tour guides whose love for our nook of the country overflows as they gush about the details of the region.
The Saturday tour starts out with a delicious traditional breakfast at Rashid Mall’s Cultural Café where you are surrounded by culture and tradition with a modern twist. Whatever you do, don’t miss their amazing karak tea.
The first attraction on the Friday route is the renowned Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Science and Technology Center (SCITECH), located in Khobar’s Corniche area. It boasts seven main halls illustrating a wide-range of technologies and hosting more than 350 scientific displays, an IMAX theater and an astronomy observatory.
A popular attraction on the route is the Al Amer Gallery, located in the heart of Rakkah area. Al Amer Gallery is the once private collection of owner Mohammed Al Amer that, thanks to the Tourism Route, has been opened for all to enjoy. The gallery comprises more than 20 diverse halls full of archeological, educational and technological artifacts, along with so much art in all its forms. With each visit you discover something new buried within this treasure trove of culture and heritage.
One delightful component of the tour is a visit to Coral Island, located off the coast of Dammam. The trip to the island includes a cruise along the shoreline, considered the first of its kind in the region.
The trip always ends with a delicious meal at a traditional restaurant, where visitors can enjoy a wide variety of Saudi and Gulf dishes, served in one of the private rooms designed in various styles from Najd, Sharqiya, Asir or Hijaz.
The Eastern Coast Tourism Route is a great experience for anyone visiting the region, or even residents themselves who’d like to try something new with family or friends over the weekend. Check them out and sign up for the next trip!
Location: Booth at Gate 4 Entrance, Rashid Mall, Khobar / Al Fifa Offices in Gulf Center, Khobar