Yanbu was originally an important fishing coast on the Red Sea. Therefore, very naturally, fishing was still the most important source of employment in this coastal plain. However, in the past 2 decades,
Yanbu transformed into an industrial hub for 4 industries including the primary category, oil-based category, light manufacturing industries and other secondary industries that could support Saudi Arabian economy and business. Yanbu was planned with the aim of modernizing Saudi Arabia's economy and strengthening its business. The new industrial city of Yanbu can be described to be the most well planned modern city of Saudi Arabia, with an infrastructure that could well rival most Western cities of the world. Yanbu today has developed into the most attractive residential and industrial city of Saudi Arabia. 8 heavy industries are also located at Yanbu.