City - Hail
Hail is an oasis city—located south of the harsh Nafud Desert—in the Shammar mountain region of northwestern Saudi Arabia. It is known for its agricultural products, including vegetables, fruit, wheat, and barley. As the capital of the Hail Province, it is the headquarters for the governor and various governmental departments. Historically significant as a transit point for pilgrims heading to Makkah from Iraq and Syria, Hail is a city that blends ancient history with modernity. While Hail contains historic palaces, fortresses, and wells dating as far back as the Ottoman era, it has been transformed into a modern city. Today, the city is linked via expressway to Riyadh, Makkah, and Jeddah, and it has two large modern hospitals, a modern educational system, an impressive cultural center, and more than thirty gardens.
The city’s palaces are among its cultural attractions. The Barzan Palace was built in 1808 and completed in the mid-nineteenth century; it spans a thousand square feet. Qishlah, a two-floor mud palace built in the 1940’s, has walls that are 28 feet high, eight watch-towers, and two main gates. Also of interest are the historic Zubaida Route and a number of historic wells and lakes. Near the Barzan Palace is the Barzan Souq, which has become more of a modern shopping plaza than a souq. The city of Hail has a cultural center which includes a museum, a public library, and several halls for art exhibits, performances, and meetings. The Hail Desert Life Festival is held annually in the city. In addition to its countless gardens, Hail has several public parks: Al Rasuf, Ugdah, Janeiri, and Ghar Al Majma, and Mashar Park, with its artificial lake and thousand foot high waterfall.
The Hail Regional Airport is served by three airlines. A new international airport is scheduled to be built in Hail because of its strategic location; it takes only one hour by plane to reach eleven Arab capitals. Hail is connected to three main highways: the Madina, Buraydah, and Jouf Highways, which link it to the northern borders of Saudi Arabia. As in all Saudi Arabian cities, women are required to wear the abaya, a long black overgarment, and men cannot wear shorts
Hail has a university, a few colleges, vocational training institutes, and hundreds of nursery, primary, and secondary schools. Hail is a city with opportunities for Western teachers who are eager to live in a growing city with rich historical significance.