Dhahran is the headquarters of the Saudi oil company Saudi ARAMCO. Most of the people living in the city are employees or relatives of employees of ARAMCO, with the exception of some contract workers who work for ARAMCO. Saudi ARAMCO’s compound is a contained town much like a military compound. It is a fenced in, access controlled area.The compoundis totally self contained with its own recreation facilities (pools, tennis courts, raquetball courts, weight rooms, golf course, arcade, movie theatre playing out of date movies, putt-putt golf, incredible SCUBA in the Red Sea, private beach, BMX track, youth center and tons of desert for motorcycle riding).
Saudi ARAMCO’s compoundis split into two sections, main camp and the Rolling Hills. Main camp is the older portion built in the 1950’s while the Hills was built during the 1980’s when Saudi ARAMCO was hiring like crazy. Actually, Dhahran looks a lot like parts of Arizona.
Also in Dhahran is King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals and the US consulate.
Outside of Dhahran lies the Saudi city of Khobar where you can experience some Saudi culture, but American fast food places and stores have popped up everywhere there too.