Though it might take the backseat to the more popular destination in the region, like Riyadh, Jeddah or the nearby Bahrain and Qatar, Dammam still has plenty to offer, not least in the stunning desert scenery that surrounds the city. The city itself also offers fantastic shopping opportunities and an increasing number of high-end international restaurants, making it a great place for business and pleasure. There is also a surprising amount of parks and green spaces where visitors and locals alike can find tranquility and enjoy the evening breeze. The Dammam metropolitan area is actually a conglomeration of three cities: Dammam, Dhahran and Khobar, and also includes nearby areas such as Tarout Island. Tourists tend to prefer the Khobar area, as its seaside location, abundance of pedestrian walkways and amenities make it generally more pleasant than its neighbours, the Corniche being the highlight of the area. Restrictions on women (in terms of wearing a hijab) tend to be more relaxed there, as well.