HAIL City

Hail City is the provincial capital of Hail Province in northern Saudi Arabia, which covers a land area of about 120,000 square kilometres, about 6% of the total land area of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Hail is located 700 kilometres northwest of Riyadh, 400 kilometres northeast of Medina, 300 kilometres southwest of the settlement of Rafha near the border with Iraq, 600 kilometres south of the settlement of Qurayyat near the border with Jordan. Sakakah and Buraydah, the capitals of the nearby provinces of Jouf and Qassim respectively, are located between 250 to 300 kilometres away.

Hail city lies between the peaks of Aja (about 1,400 meters) and Salma (about 1,100 meters), two mountain ranges at the northern end of the Nejd plateau of the Arabian Peninsula.

The southern edge of Hail City, located near the Aja Mountains, are at an elevation of about 1000 meters, while the northern edge of the PABMEC site is at roughly 870 meters. The sparsely inhabited An-Nafud Desert lies about 30 kilometres north of the PABMEC site and covers the entire northern third of Hail Province.

Hail city experiences typical arid desert climate, but given its altitude, it has more pleasant climatic conditions than most other areas in Saudi Arabia. Mid-day summer temperatures reach up to 45°C, but in winter months, the average temperature drops below 20°C. Humidity is very low, with average rainfall of less than 125 millimetres per year. Most of the rain falls in March, with occasional flash floods occurring.

Hail lies on the edge of the Saq aquifer, a large reserve of ground water that stretches over northern Saudi Arabia down to Qassim Province. The availability of water has spurred the development of agriculture in the region.

The population of Hail Province is estimated at about 600,000 persons in 2006, whom slightly more than 300,000 live in Hail City.

Historically, Hail was an important stop in the pilgrimage caravan route to Mecca. Historical relics and buildings can still be found in the existing city of Hail.

“Being at the crossroads with its ideal location will make it the transportation hub of the Kingdom, serving all routes to the north, east and west of the Kingdom”.

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