Oasis and region in northeastern Saudi Arabia, the region named after the oasis. Both the region and the oasis are administered as part of the Eastern Province.
The oasis lies 65 km from the Persian Gulf and is the largest in the country and one of the largest in the world, with an area of about 120 km² and a population of 600,000 (2003 estimate). It is bounded by the ad-Dahna and ad-Daman deserts.
The central economic activity of the oasis is agriculture, fed by more than 60 artesian wells. Around 3 million date palms produce a variety of date. Additional products are rice, corn, citrus and other fruits. There is also intensive raising of sheep, goats, cattle and camels. Egg farms add to the variety, making al-Hasa one of the major Saudi food producers. Wind carrying sand is a great problem for the oasis, but in modern times the government has planted protective tree barriers.
Al-Hasa also has some industries producing cement and plastics, in addition to more traditional small-scale industries.
More than 50% of the population of the oasis are Twelver Shi'i Muslims. Hofuf (320,000, 2005 estimate) is the only city here, embracing the southwestern part of the oasis. There are around 50 traditional Arabian villages spread around the oasis. (i-cias.com)