Ad-Dammam is a Red Sea cruise port, a major cargo port and Saudi Arabia's 6th-largest city by population (over 1,25 million) - following Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, Medina, Khamis Mushayt, as well as the capital of al-Mintaqah ash-Sharqiyah (Emirate of the Eastern Province/Kingdom's Eastern Region). King Abdul Aziz Port (Dammam) serves as the cargo port/seaport for Riyadh (the Kingdom's capital city) located approx 390 km (245 mi) to the east.
Dammam City is best-known as a major center for Saudi Arabia's oil industry (natural gas and petroleum exports) as well as the Kingdom's fastest-growing city (~12% a year). Dammam Metro (aka Greater Dammam) comprises three cities - Dammam, Dhahran, Khobar. By Metro population (over 2,15 million) and area (1471 km2 / 568 mi2), Greater Dammam is the 4th largest in the Arabian Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar).
The city's area was first settled in the early-20th-century (1923, as a small fishing village) and started to develop progressively after 1938 when large oil reserves were discovered in the region. Greater Dammam (and the entire Eastern Province) are served by King Fahd Airport (aka Dammam Airport). The 1999-opened airport is approx 20 km (32 mi) northwest of the city (31 km/19 mi from downtown) and by land area (776 km2 / 300 mi2) is currently ranked the world's largest.
In April 2021, MSC and Cruise Saudi (fully-owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund) announced a partnership for launching Red Sea cruises (2021-2022 winter season) with the homeporting in Jeddah of the ship MSC Magnifica.
- Magnifica was scheduled to operate 7-day voyages (November 2021 through March 2022) visiting 3 Saudi ports - including weekly calls to Port Al-Wajh (gateway to the UNESCO site Hegra in Al-Ula).
- In addition to Magnifica's itineraries, MSC Virtuosa had scheduled Arabian Gulf 2021 winter program (December 2021 through March 2022) with visits to Prot Dammam and the Al-Ahsa Oasis.
- With the two MSC liners, Cruise Saudi expected ~170,000 tourists during season 2021-2022.
- MSC's Saudi Arabia voyages were also offered as fly-cruise deals with fares inclusive of direct flights between Europe and Jeddah (King Abdulaziz Airport) provided by Saudia (fka Saudi Arabian Airlines). As part of the agreement, Saudia's flight schedules were modified to fit the two MSC cruise ships' homeport times (departure and arrival).
King Abdul Aziz Port (Dammam)
By annual cargo shipping traffic, Dammam Port (locode SADMM, officially named "King Abdul Aziz Sea Port") is currently the Persian Gulf's largest (followed by Jeddah Islamic Port) and the Middle East's 3rd-busiest.
The Port covers land area approx 190 km2 (73 mi2). King Abdul Aziz Port serves mainly Saudi Arabia's oil export, but also handles various cargoes for major inland cities, including Riyadh (interlinked with Dammam via a railway).
Dammam Port has a modern ship repair complex (with two drydocks), a training center, dedicated terminals for TEU-containers, bulk cargoes, cold and frozen cargoes (mainly foods). The Port was expanded in the late 1970s, and in 1975 its import volumes reached 2,486 million cargo tons (~40% of the Kingdom's total imports).
King Abdul Aziz Port has two container ship terminals.
- The older IPS Terminal is a joint venture between MACNA (Maritime Company for Navigation, Saudi Arabia) and International Port Services Co Ltd (subsidiary of Hutchison Ports). IPS Terminal has 3x rail tracks. At a dedicated rail-stacking area, all TEUs for Riyadh's Dry Port are loaded on to freight trains.
- The second container terminal's construction started in October 2012 and was completed/inaugurated in April 2015.
In 2008, at IPS Terminal were imported 19,36 million tons of cargo (a 15,72% increase over 2007's 16,73 million tons) and handled around 1,3 million TEUs (25% of Saudi Arabia's entire shipping trade/cargo imports and exports).
King Abdul Aziz Port and Riyadh Dry Port are the termini of the SRO (Saudi Railways Organization) - one of the Kingdom's two rail networks (together with Saudi Railway Company). The railroad has total length 556 km (346 mi) and also interlinks the cities Al-Ahsa, Abqaiq, Al-Kharj, Haradh and Al-Tawdhihiyah.
Dammam Port's berths 4 to 13 are also rail-connected and utilized mainly for general cargoes.
Port Dammam cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Dammam, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|4 October, 2021|
|15 October, 2021|
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