From the wells of Shakik he crossed the waterless Nafud in four days to Jubba, and after a halt there in the nomad camps, he moved on to Hail, already a thriving town, and the capital of the Shammar state whose limits included all northern Arabia from Kasim to the Syrian border.
The harbour is too shallow to admit vessels of large size, but the proximity of the town to Odessa secures for it a thriving business in wine, salt, fish, wool and tallow.
Though restricted to the citadel, the medieval town became the administrative and ecclesiastical capital of Peloponnesus, and enjoyed a thriving trade and silk industry until in 1147 it was sacked by the Normans.
It is the chief depot for grain raised in the Gezira, has oil and soap works, and is a thriving commercial centre, being on the main trade route between Khartum and Abyssinia.
They established the trade in the thriving towns of Asia Minor, and they planted it as far west as Sicily, as Sicilian silks of the 12th century with Saracenic patterns still testify.