|• Mayor||Bin Jalawi|
|• Provincial Governor||Muhammed Bin Fahd|
|Hofuf Municipality estimate|
|Postal Code||(5 digits)|
The city proper has a population of 1,200,000 (2009 census} and is part of a larger populated oasis area of towns and villages of around 600,000. It is located inland, southwest of Abqaiq and the Dhahran-Dammam-Al-Khobar metropolitan area on the road south to Haradh. It is the closest city to the famous Ghawar oil field, one of the world's largest conventional (land-based) fields.
Hofuf is one of the major cultural centers in Saudi Arabia. A lot of well known families live there. The faculties of agriculture, veterinary medicine and animal resources for King Faisal University are located in the city (the others being in Dammam). The Hofuf campus also has facilities where Saudi women can study medicine, dentistry and home economics.
Legend places this as the burial place of Laila and Majnoon, the star-crossed pair of the most popular love story in the Arab and Muslim world. The Queen of Sheba is also fabled to have visited this city from her kingdom in Yemen.
The city of Hofuf–one of the largest in the traditional Ahsa district after the city of Qatif, is historically one of the primary centers of Shia Islam in the modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia. However, in view of the suppression of Shiism by the Wahhabi religious authorities who dominate most aspects of political and administrative life of the Saudi state, no Shia was openly allowed to practice his/her beliefs or confess to being a Shia. Only after 2003 invasion of Iraq and the rise of the Shia fortunes has the Saudi government allowed for some local, but subdued expressions of Shia identity in the region. As such, the Shia cities like Hofuf, Mubarraz, Qatif etc. are listed as having Wahhabi or Sunni Muslim majorities. This is of course an error. A quick review of the British colonial sources, such as J.G. Lorimer (Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, 1915, vol. 8, Oman and Central Arabia, pp. 642-679), imparts to the reader city and village-level ethnic and religious statistics taken at the time that the area was still an Ottoman district (until 1912-1914) and free of religious suppression that follows with the Saudi takeover. Like the rest of the Ahsa oasis, Hofuf city boasts to a Shia majority, although thanks to the discovery of the largest oil deposits in the world–the Ghawar Field in this Shia region, a very large numbers of outsiders with various religious affiliations have now settled the primary cities of Ahsa, such a Hofuf.”
Although the city has two airports, it is served by King Fahd International Airport which is 130km away in Dammam. Of the local airports, the old one is abandoned, and the new one, Al-Ahsa Domestic Airport, is being used primarily by Saudi Aramco. It offers limited service to the general public, with only two weekly flights to and from Jeddah offered by Saudi Arabian Airlines.
The town has a railway junction where the direct line from the Persian Gulf to the capital splits from the indirect line.
- Al-Ahsa - or Al-Hasa - Oasis
- "Al-Hofuf Travel Information and Travel Guide - Saudi Arabia". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
- Prothero, G.W. (1920). Arabia. London: H.M. Stationary Office. p. 99.
- Hofuf on www.The-Saudi.net
- Qarah Caves of Hufuf, Splendid Arabia: A travel site with photos and routes
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