Skip to main content

Hasa, al-


An area in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province noted for agriculture and oil resources.

Originally, al-Hasa was the name given to a series of oases about 40 miles inland from the Persian Gulf in eastern Arabia; its largest town and capital was al-Hufuf. It later denoted a province of Saudi Arabia stretching from Kuwait in the north to Qatar in the south, separated from Najd by the al-Dahna sand belt, and including the other important oasis region on the coast around Qatif. Today the region is called the Eastern Province.

As the largest groundwater-fed oasis in the world, al-Hasa historically has been an important agricultural region, noted for dates, grains, fruits, vegetables, and its famous white donkeys. It also has been a center for administration and trade, with a population divided evenly between Sunnis and Shiʿa. One of the region's few strategic and economic prizes even before the oil era, al-Hasa has been controlled from al-Hufuf in the past two centuries by Ottomans, Egyptians, the Bani Khalid tribe, and the Al Saʿud family.

With the discovery of massive oil fields in the region, large-scale economic development and dislocations followed, sometimes resulting in labor unrest. Although agriculture suffered when field workers left to work in the oil industry, new revenues eventually were used to improve irrigation systems, prevent sand encroachment, and improve technology.

See also al saʿud family; arabian american oil company (aramco).


Vidal, F. S. "Al-Hasa." In Encyclopedia of Islam, New Edition, vol. 3, edited by B. Lewis, V. L. Ménage, C. Pellat, and J. Schacht. Leiden: Brill, 1971.

Vidal, F. S. The Oasis of al-Hasa. Dhahran, Saudi Arabia: Aramco, 1955.

malcolm c. peck
updated by anthony b. toth

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Hasa, al-." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . 23 Mar. 2018 <>.

"Hasa, al-." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . (March 23, 2018).

"Hasa, al-." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Retrieved March 23, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.