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Open map of Saudi ArabiaFlag of Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia / Cities and Towns /
Arabic: 'al-hufūf

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Hofuf, Saudi Arabia.
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Hofuf, Saudi Arabia.

Old Hofuf, Saudi Arabia.
Old Hofuf, Saudi Arabia.

City in central-eastern Saudi Arabia with 320,000 inhabitants (2003 estimate), situated in the al-Hasa Oasis, in the Eastern Province, 65 km from the Persian Gulf.
Being the centre of a great oasis, Hofuf thrives both from agriculture and the processing of its produce, especially dates and rice. There are also industries producing cement and carpets. Hofuf is renowned for its royal horses. The city also benefits from activities with the large Ghawar oil field further southeast.
Hofuf is linked to other urban centres by excellent highways and by railroad from Riyadh to Dammam.
Hofuf has a campus of King Faisal University, with agricultural, veterinary, education and management faculties. Saudi women also receive instruction in medicine, dentistry and home economics.
The population is largely Twelver Shi'i Muslims, although immigration from other parts of Saudi Arabia has resulted in almost 50% Sunnis.
The main points of interest in al-Hasa are from the Ottoman period, specifically, the Qasr Ibrahim Fortress of early 19th century (pictured here), and the Samoud Palace.

The history of Hofuf largely corresponds with that of al-Hasa Oasis.

By Tore Kjeilen