Hofuf, with an estimated population in 1993 of 226,000, is located in eastern Saudi Arabia. It lies in the large Al-Hasa oasis and on the route from Riyadh to Ad-Dammam. When the Ottoman Turks seized eastern Arabia, they chose Hofuf as their headquarters from 1871. Hofuf was taken from the Turks in 1913 by Abdul Aziz bin Saud (Ibn Saud). Abdul Aziz retained control of Hofuf thereafter, until it became part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932.

Hofuf is now an agricultural market centre. It is well-placed for the processing of agricultural produce (dates and rice); for textile industries; and for cement manufacture. It is also the site of royal horse-breeding stables.

King Faisal University, with its agricultural, veterinary, education, and management faculties, is located near Hofuf.

For its population, Hofuf provides a number of souqs (which are particularly noteworthy for gold and textiles) and a large network of stores. Half Moon Bay is close enough for visits to the beach.

Hofuf's local museum is housed in a government building near the Department of Education. Modern in design, the museum contains antiquities, folklore exhibit halls, and photographic records.

Hofuf is also the site of the early 19th-century domed mosque of Ibrahim Pasha.

To the west of Hofuf is one of the world's largest oil fields.

Dhahran, Al-Khobar and Dammam are one and a half hours away. Bahrain and Qatar are two hours away. Riyadh is two and a half hours by train or four hours by car.

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Profile of Saudi Arabia

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