Abdulateef Al‐MulhimAbdulateef Al‐Mulhim,
Commodore, Royal Saudi
Navy (Retired)

It was until 1975 that Jubail was a small fishing village. Commuting from Dammam to Jubail was time consuming and tiring. That small fishing village had very few inhabitants living in small houses dotted along the Arabian Gulf’s shoreline. Few know that its history dates back to at least 7,000 years. According to historians, thousands of years ago the people of Dilmun established a settlement here. It was in 1933 when Jubail gained immense importance on the world map. It was the year when the first team of geologists entered then newly established Saudi Arabia to explore oil. That changed not only the face of Jubail but there was no looking back for Saudi Arabia. The Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu was established to plan and establish the largest petrochemical site. The industrial city of Jubail didn’t only impact Jubail, it also changed the overall economy of the Kingdom. Currently, the population of Jubail stands at around 300,000 people with the city expanding in all directions. Jubail has the largest petrochemical installations in the Middle East, the largest naval base in the Gulf region, the world’s biggest independent water and power project (IWPP) and two of the largest seaports of the world. There are many other mega projects being constructed in Jubail. Just last year Marafiq built a water desalination plant based on reverse osmosis system (ROS) costing SR850 million for SADARA Chemical Company. SADARA is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and the American-based company, Dow Chemical.

These projects are the driving force behind the Saudi economy. Saudi Basic Industrial Company (SABIC) and many other chemical companies are the most lucrative and profitable Saudi Stock Exchange Companies. The city of Jubail has one of the most beautiful beaches in the Kingdom and most modern civic infrastructure. In addition to these expansions in residential and industrial areas, the city of Jubail has enforced the best environmental protection rules and regulations. The Royal Commission applies the laws and standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) and US Agency for Environmental Protection. Jubail now has one of the most complex expressways and streets network and many high standard hotels. In other words, Jubail is undoubtedly a model city. Nowadays, Jubail is increasing turning into an international hotspot for industrial and infrastructure forums and conferences. Jubail has also the potential of becoming a great tourist destination. Just a while ago, a 10-day annual flower festival was held in Jubail with 200,000 plants on display. The event was attended by more than 250,000 people. The geographical location of Jubail makes it very attractive for both domestic and international tourists. Written by Abdulateef Al‐Mulhim. Jubail: Fishing Village to an Industrial City reprinted with permission of Arab News and Abdulateef Al‐Mulhim.