Brand History
Our Heritage
Life in nineteenth-century Arabia was a simple, if sometimes harsh, affair. This was the world in which the Baeshen family took its first steps as traders, sending dhows to India for rice, sugar and other goods for the Arabian market. Families were tight-knit, money was an after-thought and shopkeepers, having made their sales for the day, would often refer customers to neighboring stores as a sign of friendship and unity. There were no skyscrapers, of course, no asphalt roads, and no oil wells. Cities were small and much of the population did as their ancestors had done before them, wandering the seemingly endless sands of this vast desert expanse. Little did anyone suspect that Baeshen’s first forays across the Indian Ocean, initiated in 1887, were the seeds for one of the most successful and most enduring family businesses ever to grow on the Arabian Peninsula.
Expanding the portfolio
When the two brothers, Ahmad Mohammed Saleh Baeshen and Abdulkader Baeshen, took the reins of the business in the early 20th century, they aggressively expanded the family’s trading portfolio. They dealt in a wide array of household products, recognizing, if not necessarily defining, a marketing category that would eventually be known as FMCG, or Fast-Moving Consumer Goods. And within that category were two products that still define their company today: tea and
sugar. The local market had a thirst for strong, richly flavored tea that the Baeshen brothers quenched with the importation of a long-leaf Ceylonese tea. The tea was packed in wooden chests at its origins and shipped across the Indian Ocean to what was soon to become modern-day Saudi Arabia. Abu Jabal (meaning “father of the mountain,” “father of” being typical of named products at the time) first appeared in Arabia in 1920. Over the following 30 years, Abu Jabal became so popular with Saudi tea drinkers that other importers deviously slapped the brand name on their own products, hoping to trick consumers into buying their tea. 
Trademark protection
Trademark protection was a little known concept at the time, but in 1954, the Baeshen family registered Abu Jabal with the Saudi Authorities, putting an end to any confusion caused by unscrupulous competition. Also, in 1954, the Bee Sugar brand was registered, as well. Three years later, on April 11, 1957, the family business was officially registered with the Saudi government under the name Ahmed Mohamed Saleh Baeshen & Company (AMS Baeshen & Co.). Preceding by a few years the official registration of AMS Baeshen & Co., the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) was founded by Royal Decree in 1946. Ahmed Mohammed Saleh Baeshen was one of the founding members and served as chairman during its
early development and remained an active member for much of his life. Today, the JCCI headquarters has a hall named after him.
The Baeshen family home, one of the old coral mansions in downtown Jeddah, once housed generations of the family on its upper three floors. With the flight over time from downtown’s al Balad district, the house, like those of the other great trading families, was abandoned for many years. Nevertheless, the family has been maintaining the house So that it still reflects the beauty and grandeur of Jeddah’s historic district. Today, with renovations sweeping the city center, the family efforts are complimenting the work by the municipality to refurbish the historical district in hope that it will be recognized as a UNESCO Heritage site.
The House of Quality Tea
At about the same time AMS Baeshen & Co. became a registered enterprise, the two brothers created a special blend of Ceylonese tea that they served only to family and friends. It is said that the privileged few were so enamored of the new blend that they encouraged the brothers to commercialize it and offer it to the public. They complied and Rabea Tea, which today comprises the largest variety of teas under one brand in Saudi Arabia, was born. Rabea was trademarked in 1969 and AMS Baeshen & Co. was on its way to becoming “The House of Quality Tea.” The Arabia of the late 19th century was a far different place from the Saudi Arabia of the 1950s. And the Saudi Arabia of the early 1950s was a far cry from the business, social and cultural environment that developed during the second half of the 20th century. Everything in the Kingdom -- from transportation to eating habits -- was undergoing massive change. The business environment, long conducive to family businesses, was beginning to present challenges that demanded new ways of thinking and a fresh approach to consumers. AMS Baeshen’s mandate was to meet those challenges without sacrificing the company’s long-standing mission: maintaining the trust of Saudi consumers by offering them superior quality products.
 
Our Company Evolution
As we shall see, meeting these challenges has
demanded the evolution of the company from a family
business to a progressive, vertically-integrated operation
that embraces the ways of modern commerce;
innovation both in production and corporate structure;
and in-house development of brands that meet consumer
needs. These are the cornerstones of a company intent
on controlling its own destiny as it navigates an everchanging
business environment. This is the profile of
Ahmed Mohamed Saleh Baeshen & Company.
To diversify tea sourcing, better control quality and to
have more operating flexibility, the company decided to
vertically integrate its business and started tea blending
and packing. Something of an industrial “revolution” had
already swept Saudi Arabia in the ‘70s and ‘80s. With the
influx of new wealth, some of the more far-sighted titans
of Saudi industry recognized the financial and cultural
advantages to establishing local manufacturing
operations. South Jeddah, long a literal wasteland,
became crowded with manufacturers and warehousers.  
Brand timeline
1920
The establishment of a trading company

Founded by Mr. Ahmad Mohammad Baeshen as a trading company in a wide range of commodities

1950
22 September
The introduction of Rabea Tea

Introduced  own “Rabea” brand and directed focus on tea by also introducing other brands

1995
22 September
The establishment of Rabea tea factory

Established one of the largest state-of-the-art factories in the Middle East covering tea buying, tasting, blending, packing, distributing and selling.

2006
22 September
Introduction of resealable teabags

First to enter the market with re-sealable (foiled-wrapped) teabag pack to keep it fresh and last longer

2008
22 September
Relaunch of Rabea

Re-launched Rabea brand with full family of offerings – Premium, Express, and Green

2009
22 September
Introduction of carton packaging

Introduced new carton package innovation for full leaf tea products.

2011
22 September
Joint Stock Company

Establishment as a joint stock company

2013
22 September
The Strong year
Launch of Extra Strong 
2014
22 September
Talqeemah in teabags

Launch of Talqeemah in teabags

2015
22 September
Launch of KICK
The launch of KICK- Rabea's latest innovation, a black tea with coffee level caffeine
2016
22 September
The year of health and wellness

Launch of Herbal and Speciality range consisting of 7 variants

2017
22 September
The year of Green
Launch of all new Green variants