Kota Belud is roughly at the midpoint of the federal highway connecting the state capital, Kota Kinabalu and Kudat, near the northern tip of Sabah. Kota Belud's population is divided between the Bajau-Sama, Dusun and Illanun people. It is noted for its open air market, or tamu, which is held every Sunday. Once a year, the tamu is held on a much larger scale. During this time, it is known as the Tamu Besar or Grand Market.