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Qatif City Profile



Qatif City Profile


An oasis city, Qatif is the center of one of the most important fishing and agricultural areas in the north-eastern Kingdom. Since the development of the oil fields in the late 1940s, Al-Qatif has lost its status as an important port to Ad-Dammam. In addition to several oil wells, Al-Qatif has oil-gas separator plants, pipelines, and large residential quarters for workers. Its inhabitants are mainly fishermen, farmers, businessmen and government employees.

Geography of Qatif


  • Location
    Qateef City is located in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It lies on 50 N, and 26 E. Qatif is 20 kms north to Dammam - the capital of the eastern province-and 40 kms north to Dhahran, the capital of Saudi oil industry. It lies along the Persian Gulf, over Al-Qatif petroleum field and is bounded by the Bayadh Desert to the north. Qatif extends from Ras Tanura and Jubail in the north to Dammam in the south. It contains the city of Qatif, as well as several other towns and villages.

  • Topography
    Qatif is a green oasis with rich agricultural soil. Qatif itself is surrounded by a jungle of palm trees. Springs are abundant in the Oasis of Qatif. On the East, there lies the Persian Gulf. Its warm and calm waters are rich of marine life; fishes, shrimps, and pearls. Also, some springs are found in the midst of its waters. On the west lies, Al-Dahna Desert with its golden sands intermingled with little rocky heights.

  • Climate
    Hot, very hot in summer. Temperature can easily go to 44 degrees centigrade, and humidity can reach 90%. In winter, the weather becomes more temperate. Temperature averages 19 degrees. Rains are few and scattered during the months of December, January and February.

  • Cities and villages
    Qatif oasis consists of: Qatif City, Saihat, Safwa, Al-jish, Um Al-hamam, Al-Qudaih, Al-Awamiya, Island of Tarut, Anak, Al-Mallaha, Hillat Mihaish, Al-Jarudiyah, Al-Khwaildiyah, Al-Tawbi, Al-Ajam, Al-Nabyah, and Um Al-Sahek.



The Qatif area contains a population of 300,000 people scattered over distinct regions. The villages are inhabited by farmers, and the coastal areas by fishermen. There are vast desert expanses that are sparsely inhabited. The city contains more than thirteen schools for boys and girls, a 300-bed general hospital, health centers and a 40-bed specialist hospital. There is a Health Institute for boys and nursing institute for girls. Fishing is dominant: Qatif is the main supplier of fish to the Eastern Province. The agricultural section produces dates, wheat, barley, vegetables, fruit and poultry. Business and oil also figure into the area's accounts.

The history of Qatif dates back to 3500 BC in the late Bronze Age. Known by other names, such as the most famous "Al-Khatt", the area has been inhabited by a great diversity of people. Its location in the midst of one of the largest oases in the world, famous for its springs and palm trees, has ensured work in farming and government service. After the discovery of oil, many residents sought employment with Saudi ARAMCO.

Accumulation of the archaeological evidence points to the probability that Eastern Arabia play a decisive role in cross-cultural contracts during the third millennium B.C. The small island of Tarut of the coast of Qatif, appears to have boasted a very active seaport, which was involved in wide spread trading network. Eastern Arabia coastline could well control a far- flung traffic in the trade among the civilizations, which existed 5000 years ago. During the last century, Qatif was the inland oasis supporting the fishermen villages of Al - Khobar and Dammam, now full-fledged towns.

Fish Market

Qatif fishing port attracts catches from all ports of the Arabian Gulf. The Fish Market opens after sunset prayer and closes at 10:30 pm.

Khamee's Market

Every Thursday morning, Qateef bustles with the transactions of Khamee's market, where stands are placed among regular stores and peddlers roam. A wide range of goods is available, with folkloric handicrafts, made during the week, displayed side-by-side modern imports.

Qasr Darin

Qasr Darin (also known as Qasr Abdul Wahhab Pasha) is an impressive structure overlooking the Arabian Gulf. In 1884, the wealthy Muhammed ibn Al 'Abdul Wahhab Al Fayhani came to the area from Qatar and built the castle over settlements which date to the dawn of Islam. He traded in pearls, which were exported to many countries at that time.

Tarut Citadel

Few origins of Tarut Citadel are not known for certain, except that it was built over 5000-year old settlements.

Legends envisage a variety of historical images. One story is that the Citadel was built between 1515-1521 A.D. by the people of Qatif or Tarut for protection against Portuguese attackers. Another is that the Portuguese built it for protection against Turkish attacks. After being forced to surrender in 1559 A.D., the Portuguese fled Tarut for the Island of Awal.

Tarut Citadel is surrounded by a wide wall of terracotta material, gypsum, and stones. Crab-shaped in its totality, the 9-meter-high wall from bottom to top ranged between 1-2.5 meters in width. Bridges, over the entire length of the wall and connecting 11 high towers and abutments, were used as secret passages during wartime.

There are many discoveries that go back to 3000 B.C; the most important one is Al-Rafea archaeological dig.

The Al-Rafea dig is 1.5 km south-east of Taroot town. It contains many cemeteries. A Denmark mission made some surveys in 1964 in TAROOT and found some early tools. Some of them date back as early as 3000 B.C, such as some unscripted pots. Scripted stones show Samarian art, and some stamps were also found.






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