Rahat is a Bedouin town established by the state of Israel in 1972 and declared as a city in 1994, with a population of 62,400 in 2015. Rahat is ranked in the lowest socio-economic ranking of localities in Israel. As the largest Bedouin city in the world, Rahat contains 25 schools (both primary and elementary), 194 kindergartens, a community center, and a theater. There are 20 active medical clinics and two emergency medical centers, which also serve the Bedouins living in the nearby unrecognized villages.
In 2012, the industrial zone “Idan HaNegev” was established near Rahat in partnership with the regional council of Bnei Shimon and the Lehavim Local Council. In 2015, the Government approved a plan to expand the city of Rahat by adding more neighborhoods on land allocated from the region of Bnei Shimon. As of 2017, Rahat municipality is conducting a legal battle against the Authority for Development and Settlements of the Bedouins in the Negev and their attempts to relocate the village of Az-Zarnuk to Rahat.