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About Sharqia

Sharqia Land of Prosperity

With its unique charm and beauty, authenticity blends seamlessly with modernity. Along its shores, soft sands meet clear waters, while its land embraces diverse sources of energy

Sharqia Development Journey

1932
1960
1970
1980
2000
2016
2018
2020
1932
Foundation and Inception
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded by King Abdulaziz Al Saud, marking the beginning of a unified Saudi state. This historical era laid the groundwork for comprehensive future development. During this period, Saudi Arabia signed an oil concession agreement with Standard Oil of California (now Saudi Aramco), which paved the way for the exploration and production of oil.

Several oil fields were discovered during this time, such as the Ghawar field in the Eastern Province, which is the largest oil field in the world. Refineries were built to process oil and produce petroleum products, and an extensive network of pipelines was developed to export oil and gas to global markets.

In 1947, King Abdulaziz entrusted Aramco with the construction of the Dammam Port, a 10-kilometer-long gateway for trade and oil exports. This marked a turning point in the region's economy and established it as a global hub for the oil industry.
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1960
Expansion and Growth
With the beginning of the 1960s, rapid development took place throughout the Kingdom, benefiting from the emerging oil economy. The Eastern Province, in particular, witnessed the establishment of a resilient infrastructure. Roads, schools, and hospitals were built, and development efforts also included the construction of ports, roads, and the expansion of oil production facilities.

In 1963, the Jubail Industrial Port Development Project was launched, which is one of the largest projects that contributed to transforming the region into a global industrial hub. The first oil refinery in Jubail began operations in 1967, resulting in accelerated industrial growth in the area.
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1970
Economic and Social Recovery
The Kingdom witnessed significant development in various fields during this period, which was one of the most prominent periods of economic and social development in the country's history. Development efforts during this time focused on achieving progress and prosperity for citizens and enhancing productive capacities.

In 1975, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University was established. It is one of the leading government universities in the Kingdom, aiming to provide higher education and promote scientific research in various fields.

In 1977, King Khalid bin Abdulaziz laid the foundation stone for Jubail Industrial City, which became the largest industrial city in the world.
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1980
Infrastructure Enhancement
The region witnessed a massive expansion in the infrastructure for oil and gas, with the development of petrochemical industries that greatly contributed to diversifying the economy.

During this decade, construction of the King Fahd Causeway began. It is considered one of the most important engineering and construction landmarks in the region, connecting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Kingdom of Bahrain. This enhances communication, economic and social ties, and serves as a vital passage for trade and tourism between the two countries.

In 1999, King Fahd International Airport was opened, which is the third-largest international airport in the Kingdom in terms of passenger numbers.
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2000
Diversification of Income Sources
During this decade, the Eastern Province became more closely integrated with the global economy, thanks to technological advancements, trade openness, and the development of communication infrastructure and information technology.

The Kingdom launched several economic cities and industrial projects with the aim of diversifying income sources and relying on non-oil sectors of the economy. The Eastern Province hosts numerous economic projects.

In 2014, Hafar Al-Batin University was established in the Eastern Province to integrate with other Saudi universities in serving the educational process and implementing ambitious development plans in the Kingdom.
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2016
Vision 2030
The Kingdom's Vision 2030 was unveiled by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with the aim of achieving a diversified economy. The vision included strategic plans for the development of the Eastern Province, with a focus on innovation, tourism, and sustainable energy.

In 2018, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, launched the Khobar Desalination Plant as part of Vision 2030. The plant became a significant milestone in desalinating seawater into clean drinking water and generating clean energy for the Kingdom.
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2018
Establishment SDA and sustainable development
The Eastern Province Development Authority was established following the issuance of Council of the Authority's Resolution No. 1/1/M/1441H. The authority aims to promote sustainable development in the Eastern Province in all economic, social, cultural, and environmental aspects. It works on implementing infrastructure improvement projects, encouraging investments, enhancing various economic sectors, and improving the quality of life in the region.

During this year, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, inaugurated King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) to become a leading global hub for the energy sector in the region. It provides an integrated set of solutions to support companies in the Kingdom.
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2020
Development and Innovation
Ongoing projects under Vision 2030 continue, including expanding green energy initiatives and developing high-tech recreational and cultural facilities, contributing to transforming the Eastern Province into a future center for economic and social activities.

In 2021, the Public Investment Fund announced the launch of "The Edge" project to become an attractive destination for those seeking challenge and adventure. It features three hotels, international restaurants, helipads, and a wide range of adventures.

In February 2022, His Royal Highness Prince Saud bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz, the Governor of the Eastern Province, inaugurated around 21 new development projects with a cost exceeding 1.5 billion Saudi riyals. These projects fall within various sectors and fields.
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Sharqia in Numbers

The Eastern Region is the largest region in the Kingdom. Learn about its key figures.

530,000
Area in sq.km
It stretches along the eastern coast of the kingdom, giving it direct access to the Arabian Gulf. It also includes a range of major cities, vital industries, and massive infrastructure.
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856
Heritage sites
9
Industrial Cities
5,125,254
Population (2022)
13
Governments
It reflects the diversity of economic, cultural, and social activities in the region, bringing together modern industry, traditional culture, and stunning nature, making it a multi-faceted destination.
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17
Logistics centers
2411
Factories
5
Ports
Note: All numbers include Al-Ahsa Governorate