Location & Geography
The largest oasis in Saudi Arabia, Al-Ahsa is an area that extends from the Arabian Gulf from Kuwait in 29 20' N. to the south
point of the Gulf of Bahrain in 25 10' North, a length of about 360 km bounded by the Al-Dahna and the Al-Daman 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.
On the West it is bounded by Nejd and on the S.E. by the peninsula of El Katr which forms part of Oman.
The coast is low and flat and has no deep-water port along its whole length with the exception of Kuwait;
from that place to El Katif the country is barren and without villages or permanent settlements, and is only occupied by nomad tribes,
of which the principal are the Bani Hajar, Ajman and Khalid. The interior consists of low stony ridges rising gradually to the inner
plateau. The oases of Hofuf and Qatif, however, form a strong contrast to the barren wastes that cover the greater part of the district.
Here an inexhaustible supply of underground water (to which the province owes its name Hassa) issues in strong springs, marking,
according to Arab geographers, the course of a great subterranean river draining the Nejd highlands. The municipality of Al-Hassa
constitutes the largest administrative area in the Kingdom.
Muhariz is celebrated for its hot spring, known as Urn Saab or mother of seven, from the seven channels by which its water is distributed.
Beyond the present limits of the oasis much of the country is well supplied with water, and ruined sites and half-obliterated canals show that it has only relapsed into waste in recent times. Cultivation reappears at Qaatif; a town situated on a small bay some 35 m. north-west of Bahrain. Date groves extend for several miles along the coast, which is low and muddy. The district is fertile but the climate is hot and unhealthy; still, owing to its convenient position, the town has a considerable trade with Bahrain and the gulf ports on one side and the interior of Nejd on the other. The fort is a strongly built enclosure attributed, like that at Hofuf, to the Carmathian prince Abu Tahir.
Al-Hasa has a dry, tropical climate, with a five month summer and a relatively cold winter.
It enjoys the benefit of copious reserves of underground water which has allowed the area to develop its agricultural potential.
Nevertheless, Al-Hasa has to deal with tons of sand which the wind carries and deposits over the land. To counter this problem,
the Kingdom has planted large barriers of trees to prevent the wind-borne sand from damaging inhabited and agricultural areas.