Located at the heart of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and west of downtown Al-Khobar is Dhahran, the Saudi oil industry major administrative center. In 1931, huge oil reserves were found in the area and in 1935, the first feasible oil well was drilled by the Standard Oil of California (known as Chevron Corporation today) in the area.
Dhahran rests in a piece of desert which is rocky and hilly. Its climate is characterized by extreme heat especially during summers. Temperature could reach an outstanding 50 °C during this season, and could be made worse by the extreme humidity due to the district’s proximity to the Persian Gulf. The area, in fact, is the record holder of the highest temperature in Saudi Arabia which is 51.1 °C. The Shamal winds visit the city at the onset of the summer season with dust storms that could last up to six months. During winter, temperature hardly ever drops to below 2°C. Rain comes in the area between November and May.
The headquarters of Saudi Aramco is situated in this district. This company is considered as the biggest and widest oil company as it has the most robust oil reserves in the world. It is so large that it could generate up to 10 million oil barrels on a daily basis. The company also has its own airport called Saudi Aramco Aviation where all of the company’s flights originate.
Being at the frontline of global oil manufacturing industry, Dhahran benefits from first-rate transport resources locally and internationally as well. As early as the 1970’s, the nation’s topmost highway infrastructure was expansively modernized. There were also National Guard checkpoints scattered over strategic locations. Airports such as the King Fahad International Airport are also operating efficiently. This particular airport replaced Dhahran International for cargo and commercial services and now provides these services to the metropolitan district of Dhahran.
Public transport is very limited in the area though. Taxis are preferred over buses. And if you want to get to the capital city, Riyadh, you could also take the industrial railway linked to the city still exists.