oasis in Saudi Arabia, Al-Ahsa is an area that extends from the Arabian Gulf to the Dahwa
and Oman deserts, and forms the border with Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the
Sultanate of Oman. Covering an area of 2,500 kilometers in the southern part of the
Eastern Province, it is home to more than 600,000 people, who mainly inhabit Al-Ahsa's
four major cities: al-Hofuf, Al-Mobarraz, Al-Oyoun, and Al-Oman. It also contains fifty
scattered villages which nestle among its palms. King Faisal University was established in
this area in 1974 91494H), and it contains a general hospital, a number of government and
private hospitals as well as a sports complex. Its central oasis, Al-Ahsa, boasts two
million palm trees. The Ministry of Agriculture has set up a factory to process its rich
output of dates, amounting to five tons daily. There is varied agricultural production in
this area, including rice, corn, citrus and other fruit. Springs and brooks that abound in
the region serve as an ample source of irrigation. There is also heavy livestock activity
here, with 200,000 head of sheep, 50,000 head of goats, 12,000 head of cattle and 15,000
head of camels. There are more than 15 extensive poultry farms that produce more than 100
million eggs and 30 million table chickens annually.
Industry in Al-Ahsa
Petroleum is the main industry in the region, absorbing twenty percent of the work force.
Factories turn out cement, plastic as well as the long Arab coat, or "mislah."
There are various small industries as well. Because of its massive industrial and
agricultural development, commerce has thrived here. Employment in markets, hotels and
government and private banks absorbs sixty percent of the population.
Archeological riches in Al-Ahsa
In the long history of this region, inhabitants have included the kanoomites, Jun
Hermites, Tasmis and Banu Abdul Qais.
An impressive number of historical sites give witness to the area's importance:
1.The Juwana mosque is considered to be the second mosque
build under Islam, the first being the mosque of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
2.Al-Aqeer Seaport is situated on the Arabian Gulf in
eastern Al-Ahsa. It has lost its focal role as a fishing and transport site, and is now an
outing place for people of the region.
3.Al-Kabeer Mosque was built by Imam Faisal bin Turki
Al-Saud, the great-grandfather of King Abdulaziz, the founder of the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia. It was built on the pattern of the Cordova mosque in Southern Spain.
4.Qasr (Castle) Ibrahim was built during Ottoman rule. It
is located prominently in Al-Hofuf
5.Al-Oyan (springs), like those in Umm Sabaa and Najran (in
other parts of the Kingdom), provides curative mineral water at a steady rate.
6.Qarah mountain in the village of the same name offers
visitors cool air in the summer months.
7.Samoud Palace was built during Ottoman rule in the city