Khobar is a new city. It does have older buildings, more traditional areas and was a small port but it has only really been around since the mid 1930s. It was very simple and definitely not as modern or built up as many other Middle Eastern cities. It is changing every day at the moment though! Just in the four years that we have been here, new skyscrapers have been built, new restaurants open every week and the food truck scene has exploded. One of the other things that has been developing at a fast rate is the art scene. Promotion and advertising can still be a bit hit and miss here. You have to find out about a lot of things by word of mouth or following the right accounts on Instagram. One example of this is the street art on Aqair Street (click here for Google Maps location).
This art project opened in February 2018 and no one I know had ever heard about it. I looked at Instagram account @zazahardytravels by chance, after being tagged by another friend on the gram because I was after an easy to reach desert location. On her grid was a photo of an amazing mural, right here in Khobar. After some googling, I managed to find the location!
We went very early in the morning on a Friday. This is the best time to go as the area is not an art gallery: people are living and working there so it gets busy and more cars are parked on the street as it gets later in the day.
It is only a small area. The murals are mostly on the main stretch on Aqair Street, with a few on side streets, so make sure to look around. The art is wonderful. We parked right by a beautiful circular Arabic calligraphy piece by @wafico and then walked along past murals of seascapes, women on mobile phones, more calligraphy, crystal whales… Amazing!
Here are some our favourites. I have included the handles of as many of the artists as I can. Many of them are active in other projects here in Khobar and also sell their own art. Check them out! You can also always find great exhibitions and information about local art at Desert Designs and Ithra.