Jubail is a city in the Eastern province on the Persian Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia. It comprises the Old Town of Al Jubail, which was a small fishing village until 1975, and the new industrial area.
In 1975, the Saudi government designated Jubail as the site for a new industrial city. Rapid expansion and industrialization ensued. The new industrial and residential areas were named Madīnat al Jubayl aṣ Ṣinā`īyah (Jubail Industrial City). The 2009 Census Report for Jubail Industrial City estimates the resident population at 150,367.
It is the largest industrial complex of its kind in the world and comprises petrochemical plants, fertilizer plants, a steel works, an industrial port and myriad support industries. The Royal Saudi Naval Base, a separate commercial port, and a military air base are at Jubail. It holds the Middle East's largest and the world's fourth largest petrochemical company, SABIC. The world's largest seawater desalination plant, Saline Water Conversion Corporation, is at Jubail. It provides 50% of the country's drinking water through desalination of seawater from the Persian Gulf. A Japanese-South Korean consortium holds a $1.9 billion contract to build a new facility capable of producing a billion litres of fresh water per day by the end of 2013