town, northeastern Saudi Arabia. It is located in the Dammam oil field, just south of the Persian Gulf port of Al-Dammam and near the site of the original discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia in 1938. It now serves as the administrative headquarters of Saudi Aramco (Arabian American Oil Company). A major U.S. Air Force installation (now King 'Abd al-'Aziz Base) was built there in 1945, and a number of other U.S. military installations were later established in the area. It was one of the main marshaling and deployment points for U.S. troops during the Persian Gulf War, and in 1996 a terrorist attack on a U.S. troop barracks there killed more than a dozen soldiers
Learn more about Dhahran with a free trial on Britannica.com.