The King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives (Darah) has documented the history of the port of Uqair in Al-Ahsa governorate, the first seaport in the Arabian Gulf.
When the Kingdom was established, Uqair was its economic gateway, and the main port through which to access the east and the middle of the country. Its historic position was strengthened due to the political agreements established during the reign of King Abdul Aziz.
The foundation reviewed the political, commercial, military and intellectual impact of the port, which was the site of numerous historic meetings between the founding king and foreign diplomats and the place in which he conducted negotiations with international political forces in the region.
With the transformation of commercial routes after the discovery of oil in Abqaiq and Dhahran, Uqair’s importance declined as modern paved roads and more-modern ports close to the oil fields and commercial markets in the Eastern Province were developed.
According to the foundation, Uqair’s importance started to diminish in 1957, when the construction of the port in Dammam and the railway began, and routes began to open up through which it was easier to transport workers to oil sites.
However, as a tourist destination, Uqair is one of the most beautiful coastal locations in the Kingdom. Uqair boasts a diverse range of geographical features, and several important islands, including Zakhounia and Al-Futtaim.
Moreover, the beach of Uqair, which is about 65 kilometers from the city of Hofuf, attracts a lot of visitors from different regions of the Kingdom, especially from Al-Ahsa, the Eastern Province and the Riyadh region.
The customs building at the port of Uqair has been registered in the national antiquities register, and the warehouses, customs and port buildings have been restored.