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Rabigh (Arabic:رابغ) is an ancient town on the western coast of Saudi Arabia (Red Sea). It is in Makkah Province. It used to be named "Al-Johfa" until the early years of the 17th century. In some ancient stories the town had been completely destroyed through a sea water. When it was rebuilt it was renamed as "Rabigh".
The Islamic Prophet Muhammad ordered a military expedition in Batn Rabigh. It was carried out bu Ubaydah ibn al-Harith, he was the commander of the second raid. This raid took place nine months after the Hijra, a few weeks after the first one at al-Is.
About a month after Hamzah's unsuccessful bid to plunder, Muhammad entrusted a party of sixty Muhajirun led by Ubaydah to conduct another operation at a Quraysh caravan that was returning from Syria and protected by two hundred armed men. The leader of this caravan was Abu Sufyan ibn Harb.
The Muslim party went as far as Thanyatul-Murra, a watering place in Hejaz. No fighting took place, as the Quraysh were quite far from the place where Muslims were in the offing to attack the caravan. Nevertheless, Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas shot an arrow at the Quraysh. This is known as the first arrow of Islam. Despite this surprise attack, no fighting took place and the Muslims returned empty-handed. It is believed that Ubaydah was the first to carry the banner of Islam; others say Hamzah was the first to carry the first banner .
The town of Rabigh is located on the east coast of the Red Sea north of the equator between latitudes 22/23 on the Tropic of Cancer. Thus, it experiences extreme heat in summer. The temperature rises somewhat in winter as well. The temperatures begin to rise in month of April & reach maximum between July to September often reaching beyond 45 degrees Celsius. The climate is characterized by high relative humidity, especially in the summer. It also experiences short sudden rain showers due to extreme humidity.
Its population is around 180,352 according to the most recent government census.
Rabigh has one state-run hospital (named "Rabigh Hospital") that offers a wide arrange of health-care services but does not have the ability to perform major surgeries. There are also four small general private healthcare centres (Al Nakheel National Clinic- Al Amal PolyClinic- Al Bishri PolyClinic- Dr. Kh. Idris Polyclinic) and a dental clinic called "Rabigh Dental Clinic."
Rabigh has many schools for both boys and girls at all levels and private schools. There is a branch of King Abdul Aziz University which headquartered in Jeddah and another college that has many departments, such as language, computer science, engineering and medical.
Rabigh has several industries such as a factory of Arabian Cement, an electricity station that supports Makkah & Madinah and a large refinery belonging to Saudi Aramco.
The refining operations in Rabigh have increased significantly as Aramco, in joint venture with Sumitomo Chemical of Japan, has built a new petro-chemical plant, Petro Rabigh. Once this 3,000-acre (12 km2) refinery is completed, it will be the world's largest petro-chemical plant.
Also about 40 km from Rabigh a new city named King Abdullah Economic City is under construction under the leadership of “The custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud”. While the planned city, first announced in 2005, would be fairly small (168 km², 50 km in length) it will be an important landmark in Saudi Arabia. The project cost is estimated at about 100 Billion SAR (US$26.67 Billion). "The project is part of the Kingdom's US$500-billion investment program to build six new cities that double as housing and commercial hubs for the country's young and growing population. The hope is the new centres will be home to five million people by 2020 and create one million jobs".
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