Until a century ago Jubail was an unpopulated area, visited only by Bedouins passing through, or to replenish water supplies. In 1331(H), King Abdul Aziz attached Al-Hasa area to the kingdom, and in the same year the first Emirate was established in Jubail.
Jubail became the center for commercial exchange between the Gulf States and the Al-Hasa area, particularly in the gem trade and this trade had a great impact on the development of the area. Jubail became the center for the purchasing and exporting gems to India and Europe. In 1395H the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu was established. It assumed the responsibility of planning and establishing the basic infrastructure and operation of public facilities in both the industrial cities of Jubail on the eastern coast of the Arabian Gulf and Yanbu on the western coast of the Kingdom. Saudi Basic Industries Company (SABIC) was established in 1976. SABIC took responsibility of the ambitious Saudi industrial program and established industries that would invest in the country's hydrocarbon and mineral resource and market its products in the local and international markets.