On his arrival at Hofuf, Sadlier found that Ibrahim had already left Deraiya, but still hoping to intercept him before quitting Nejd, he followed up the retreating Egyptians through Yemama, and Wushm to Ras in Kasim, where he caught up the main body of Ibrahim's army, though the pasha himself had gone on to Medina.
North of Katif it is desert and only inhabited by nomads; at Katif, however, and throughout the district to the south bordering on the Gulf of Bahrein there are ample supplies of underground water, welling up in abundant springs often at a high temperature, and bringing fertility to an extensive district of which El Hofuf, a town of 15,000 to 20,000 inhabitants, is the most important centre.
Midhat Pasha, then governor-general, seized the occasion of asserting Turkish dominion on the Persian Gulf coast, and in 1875, in spite of British protests, occupied El Hasa and established a new province under the title of Nejd, with its headquarters at Hofuf, of which Abdallah was appointed governor.
Up to 1913 the Turks exercised the right of suzerainty over the maritime districts of El Hasa and Hofuf, and claimed it in Qatar and Kuwait.
In the territory controlled by the Emir of Nejd the official religion is Wahabi, but a few Shiahs are still to be found in the districts of El Hasa and Hofuf.