A is a first-level administrative division
Administrative division
An administrative division, subnational entity, or country subdivision is a portion of a country or other political division, established for the purpose of government. Administrative divisions are each granted a certain degree of autonomy, and are required to manage themselves through their own...

 of many Arab countries, and a second-level administrative division in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

. The term is usually translated to governorate
A governorate is an administrative division of a country. It is headed by a governor. As English-speaking nations tend to call regions administered by governors either states, provinces, or colonies, the term governorate is often used in translation from non-English-speaking administrations.The...

 in English, and occasionally to province
A province is a territorial unit, almost always an administrative division, within a country or state.-Etymology:The English word "province" is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century Old French "province," which itself comes from the Latin word "provincia," which referred to...

. It comes from the Arabic root 'h-f-ẓ' which means to 'keep and guard'. The head of a Muhafazah is called"Muhafiz.


The word is a 19th century translation of French préfecture
A prefecture in France can refer to :*the Chef-lieu de département, the town in which the administration of a department is located;*the Chef-lieu de région, the town in which the administration of a region is located;...


Muhafazah's in Arab countries

  • Governorates of Bahrain
    Governorates of Bahrain
    Bahrain is split into five governorates. These governorates are:- Former municipalities :Bahrain was formerly split into twelve municipalities that were all administered from the capital city of Manama. On July 3, 2002, these were superseded by the five governorates of Bahrain...

  • Governorates of Egypt
    Governorates of Egypt
    Egypt is divided for administrative purposes into 27 governorates . Egyptian governorates are the top tier of the country's five-tier jurisdiction hierarchy. A governorate is administered by a governor, who is appointed by the President of Egypt and serves at the president's discretion...

  • Governorates of Iraq
    Governorates of Iraq
    ||Iraq is composed of 18 provinces :#Baghdād #Salāh ad-Dīn #Diyālā #Wāsit #Maysān #Al-Basrah #Dhī Qār #Al-Muthannā #Al-Qādisiyyah...

  • Governorates of Jordan
    Governorates of Jordan
    ||The country of Jordan is divided into 12 governorates .-References:...

  • Governorates of Kuwait
    Governorates of Kuwait
    Kuwait is divided into 6 governorates .The governorates are further subdivided into districts.-See also:*ISO 3166-2:KW...

  • Governorates of Libya
    Governorates of Libya
    The governorates of Libya were a tenfold top-level administrative division of Libya from 1963 until 1983.They came into being on 27 April 1963...

  • Governorates of Lebanon
    Governorates of Lebanon
    ||Lebanon is divided into six governorates , listed with their capitals in parentheses:#Beirut #Mount Lebanon #North #Beqaa #Nabatiye #South...

  • Governorates of Oman
  • Governorates of the Palestinian National Authority
  • Governorates of Saudi Arabia
    Governorates of Saudi Arabia
    ||Governorates are the second level of regional administration within Saudi Arabia. Each of Saudi Arabia's 13 emirates is sub-divided into governorates. Governorates are further sub-divided into sub-governorates , though some sub-governorates report directly to the emirate capital rather than to...

     (2nd level)
  • Governorates of Syria
    Governorates of Syria
    Syria has fourteen governorates, or muhafazat . The governorates are divided into sixty districts, or manatiq , which are further divided into subdistricts, or nawahi...

  • Governorates of Yemen
    Governorates of Yemen
    |Yemen is divided into 21 governorates :The governorates are subdivided into 333 districts , which are subdivided into 2,210 sub-districts, and then into 38,284 villages ....

The Governorates of Tunisia
Governorates of Tunisia
||Tunisia is divided into 24 governorates : Ariana Béja Ben Arous Bizerte Gabès Gafsa Jendouba Kairouan Kasserine Kebili Kef Mahdia Manouba Medenine Monastir Nabeul Sfax Sidi Bouzid Siliana Sousse Tataouine...

 are wilayah
A wilāyah or vilâyet , or vilayat in Urdu and Turkish, is an administrative division, usually translated as "province", rarely as "governorate". The word comes from the Arabic "w-l-y", "to govern": a wāli — "governor" — governs a wilayah, "that which is governed"...

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