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"El Obeid" redirects here. For the prehistoric Mesopotamian culture, see Ubaid period.
الأبيض (Arabic)
Camels in Al-Ubayyid (early 1960s)
Camels in Al-Ubayyid (early 1960s)
Al-Ubayyid is located in Sudan

Location in Sudan (North Kurdufan state highlighted)
Coordinates: 13°11′N 30°13′E / 13.183°N 30.217°E / 13.183; 30.217Coordinates: 13°11′N 30°13′E / 13.183°N 30.217°E / 13.183; 30.217
Country Flag of Sudan.svg Sudan
State North Kurdufan
Elevation 609 m (1,998 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Total 418,280

Al-Ubayyid (Arabic: الأبيضAl Ubayyiḍ), also spelled El Obeid,[1] is the capital of the state of North Kurdufan, in southern Sudan.


In 2008, its population was 340,940. It is an important transportation hub: the terminus of a rail line, the junction of various roads and camel caravan routes, and the end of a pilgrim route from Nigeria. It was founded by the pashas of Ottoman Egypt in 1821 but was subsequently destroyed by the Mahdists in 1883. It was then rebuilt in 1898 following the fall of the Mahdist empire.

The population of this town is majority Muslim with a small Christian presence. The town today is the site of an international airport and an oil refinery. Al-Ubayyid is home to the University of Kordofan, established in 1990. The United Nations Mission in Sudan has established its Logistics Base there.[2]

In recent years transport has become easier between the town and the Sudanese capital Khartoum, owing to the repair and paving of roads, and the emergence of several private bus companies. The 500 km journey now takes about nine hours by tourist coach.


As of 2015, the Sudanese Premier League team Hilal Obayed plays in Al-Ubayyid.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The word "Obeid" has three pronounced syllables Uh-bay-id.
  2. ^ UNMIS homepage