Eastern Province Travel Guide

A comprehensive tour guide for Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. Discover the best places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and more. Plan your trip now!

Introduction to Eastern Province

Eastern Province is a region located in the eastern part of Saudi Arabia, in the Middle East, Asia. It is the largest province in the country and covers an area about the size of the state of West Virginia in the United States.

The region is known for its oil reserves and is home to some of the largest oil refineries in the world. However, there’s more to Eastern Province than just oil - it’s a treasure trove of cultural, natural, and historical attractions that are waiting to be explored.

From hiking and biking routes to museums and historical landmarks, Eastern Province offers a unique and fascinating travel experience that will leave you awestruck. In this comprehensive tour guide, we’ll take a deep dive into the region and highlight some must-see places, activities, and local customs that will help you plan your trip to Eastern Province.

List of Places to Visit in Eastern Province

Here are some of the top places to visit in Eastern Province:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  1. Al-Ahsa Oasis: Located in the Al-Ahsa region, this UNESCO World Heritage site is the largest oasis in the world and has a history dating back more than 7,000 years.

  2. Al Khobar Corniche: This beautiful waterfront area offers stunning views of the Persian Gulf and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

  3. Qatif Historical Village: This 400-year-old village offers a glimpse into the region’s history and culture, with traditional architecture and a vibrant marketplace.

  4. Tarout Castle: Located on Tarout Island in the Persian Gulf, this historic castle dates back to the 16th century and offers stunning views of the surrounding area.

Natural Attractions of Eastern Province: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  1. King Fahd Causeway: This 25-km bridge connects Saudi Arabia to Bahrain and offers breathtaking views of the Persian Gulf.

  2. Half Moon Bay: This crescent-shaped bay is one of the region’s most popular tourist destinations and offers crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, and a variety of water sports.

  3. Jabal Qarah: Located in the Al-Ahsa region, this mountain offers stunning views of the surrounding desert and is a popular spot for hiking and camping.

  4. Uqair Beach: This secluded beach is located in the Uqair region and offers crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, and a variety of outdoor activities such as fishing and boating.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Eastern Province

Here are some of the top Hiking/Biking routes of Eastern Province:

  1. Wadi Al-Shaitan: Located in the Al-Ahsa region, this trail offers stunning views of the desert and is one of the most challenging hikes in the region.

  2. Al-Hofuf Oasis: This oasis located in the Al-Hofuf region is a popular spot for cycling and offers stunning views of the surrounding area.

  3. Jubail Mangrove Forest: Located in the Jubail Industrial City, this forest offers a unique biking experience and is home to a variety of wildlife.

  4. Al Khobar Corniche Walkway: This beautiful waterfront walkway is a popular spot for jogging, cycling, and walking and offers stunning views of the Persian Gulf.

Best Things to Do in Eastern Province: Activities and Tours

Here are some of the top things to do in Eastern Province:

  1. Visit a traditional souq: Al-Qaysariya Souq in Al-Ahsa, Al-Khobar Corniche Souq, and Qatif Souq are some of the must-visit souqs in the region where you can shop for local handicrafts, spices, and much more.

  2. Attend a traditional festival: The region hosts several traditional festivals throughout the year, such as the Al-Janadriyah Festival and the Al-Ahsa Date Festival.

  3. Go on a desert safari: The region’s vast deserts offer a unique and thrilling experience. You can take a guided tour and experience the thrill of dune bashing, camel riding, and traditional Bedouin meals.

  4. Explore the underwater world: The Persian Gulf is home to a variety of marine life, and scuba diving or snorkeling is a popular activity in the region.

Week-Long Itinerary for Eastern Province

Here is a week-long itinerary to make your Eastern Province trip memorable:

Days Itinerary
Day 1 Discover the Al-Ahsa Oasis
Day 2 Explore the Jubail Mangrove Forest
Day 3 Visit the Qatif Historical Village
Day 4 Go on a desert safari
Day 5 Relax on Half Moon Bay
Day 6 Visit the Al Khobar Corniche and Souq
Day 7 Take a trip to Tarout Castle

Food and Drink Scene of Eastern Province

Here are some of the must-try dishes and local beverages of Eastern Province:

Must-Try Dishes

  1. Kabsah: This traditional Saudi Arabian dish is made with rice, meat, and vegetables and is flavored with a variety of spices.

  2. Jareesh: This savory soup is made with cracked wheat, chicken, and a blend of special spices.

  3. Thareed: This dish is made with layers of bread soaked in a spicy sauce and topped with meat, vegetables, and yogurt.

  4. Luqaimat: This dessert is made from small deep-fried dough balls soaked in a sweet syrup.

Local Beverages

  1. Arabic Coffee: This traditional coffee is made with roasted arabica beans and is served with dates.

  2. Vimto: This fruity punch is a popular drink during Ramadan and other festive occasions.

  3. Laban: This refreshing drink is made from yogurt, water, and spices such as mint and cardamom.

Where to Stay in Eastern Province: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Here are some of the best places to stay in Eastern Province:

  1. Park Hyatt Jeddah Marina, Club & Spa: This luxury hotel in Jeddah offers stunning views of the Red Sea and world-class amenities.

  2. InterContinental Al Jubail: This hotel in Jubail is a popular spot for families and offers a variety of amenities, including a kids’ club and multiple swimming pools.

  3. Park Inn by Radisson Al Khobar: This budget-friendly hotel in Al Khobar offers clean and comfortable rooms and is located close to the city’s many attractions.

What to Buy in Eastern Province: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Here are some souvenirs and local products to bring home from Eastern Province:

  1. Dates: The Al-Ahsa region is famous for its dates, and you can find a wide variety of dates in the local markets.

  2. Handicrafts: Traditional handicrafts such as pottery, woven rugs, and silver jewelry make excellent souvenirs.

  3. Spices: The local souqs offer a wide variety of spices, including saffron, cardamom, and cumin.

Local Culture and Customs of Eastern Province

Eastern Province is a conservative region, and visitors should dress modestly and show respect for local customs and traditions. Women are expected to cover their heads and wear loose-fitting clothing. Alcohol is strictly prohibited in the region, and visitors should also refrain from public displays of affection.

Best Time to Visit Eastern Province

The best time to visit Eastern Province is from November to February, when the climate is mild and comfortable. Summers in the region can be scorching hot, with temperatures exceeding 50°C, which can make outdoor activities challenging.

Do’s and Don’ts of Eastern Province


  1. Respect local customs and traditions.
  2. Dress modestly.
  3. Ask for permission before taking photographs of locals.
  4. Be respectful when visiting mosques and other religious sites.


  1. Drink alcohol.
  2. Engage in public displays of affection.
  3. Eat or drink in public during Ramadan.
  4. Use your left hand to eat or shake hands.

Safety and Health

Safety in Eastern Province

Eastern Province is generally a safe destination for travelers. However, visitors should always take basic precautions such as avoiding deserted areas and staying alert while traveling at night.

Health in Eastern Province

Visitors to Eastern Province should be up to date on all routine vaccinations, including measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), varicella (chickenpox), and the seasonal flu. Travelers should also be aware of the risk of camel-related diseases, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and take appropriate precautions when visiting camel markets or interacting with camels.

Getting to Eastern Province: Transportation Options and Logistics

Here are some ways to get to Eastern Province:

Airports Near Eastern Province

  1. King Fahd International Airport (Dammam)
  2. King Abdulaziz International Airport (Jeddah)

Bus Stations Near Eastern Province

  1. SAPTCO Bus Station (Jeddah)
  2. Al Hofuf Bus Terminal (Al Hofuf)

Other Options

  1. Car rental
  2. Private Driver

How to Get Around in Eastern Province

The most efficient way to get around Eastern Province is by car. Visitors can rent a car or hire a private driver. Public transportation is also available but limited.

Where to Go Next from Eastern Province: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Here are some nearby destinations and excursions from Eastern Province:

  1. Riyadh: The capital city of Saudi Arabia is a short flight away from Eastern Province and offers a unique travel experience with its rich history and cultural attractions.

  2. Dubai: This bustling city in the United Arab Emirates is a popular tourist destination and offers many leisure and entertainment options.

  3. Bahrain: This small island nation is located just a short distance from Eastern Province and is known for its beautiful beaches.


Eastern Province is a unique and fascinating destination that offers a range of attractions and experiences. From the rich history and culture of the region to the stunning natural beauty of the desert and the sea, Eastern Province has something to offer every type of traveler. Use this comprehensive guide to plan your trip and make your visit to Eastern Province a memorable one.