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Up until oil was discovered in the 1930's, Al Khobar was a sleepy fishing village. Yet today, there's a great deal of commerce that flows into the city, with many residents employed by the Aramco oil company. With such a bustling economy, there are a number of gleaming skyscrapers and air conditioned shopping malls composing Al Khobar's city centre. Top sights like Al-Azizia beach and Al Rashid Mall are listed in Al Khobar tourist information guides.The prime location along the sun-drenched Persian Gulf makes it a top destination for scuba diving and fishing. Restaurants in Al Khobar are widely regarded as some of the best in Saudi Arabia. Don't miss local specialties like Chicken Shawaya, accompanied by steamed rice.
One of the most pleasant things to do in Al Khobar is visit the picturesque Corniche, which is often crowded with families due to the multiple children's playgrounds and picnic areas. A short drive to the southeast of Khobar, Half-Moon Bay is another popular beach destination where you can enjoy a dip in the shallow, warm waters and clean golden sands. Shopping is a major pastime in wealthy Al Khobar, and its air-conditioned malls provide not only a breath of fresh air but also a wealth of attractions. In addition to the usual array of shops, you'll find amusement parks and gourmet food halls in major centres like the Mall of Dhahran. If you want to get up close and personal with peacocks, camels, and monkeys, take a trip to Castle Park. For traditional things to see in Al Khobar, pay a visit to Al Khobar Traditional Village Madhina. It is decorated in authentic Saudi style with vintage cars, clothing, and accessories. As you wander the Corniche, don't hesitate to stop into the Sultan bin Abdulaziz Science and Technology Centre, consisting of seven halls displaying a range of scientific models and artefacts.
The closest airport to Al Khobar is King Fahd International Airport in Dammam, which is a driving distance of 55km outside of the city centre. Many travellers also choose to fly into Bahrain. Dammam's train station is only 15 minutes away from central Al Khobar, and there are daily buses to Bahrain departing from Dammam's city centre. Al Khobar is quite sprawling, particularly if you wish to visit Half Moon Bay or take a drive into the desert. Renting a car is ideal for getting to these far-flung sights, although taxis are also a possible form of Al Khobar transport.