Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port

Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port

GCC to have 65m teu capacity by 2016

Expansions to port facilities are a logical development with GCC states flourishing with greater investment in industrial parks and growing trade and commerce

November 2014

Expansions at GCC ports will increase regional capacity to more than 65 million teu by 2016, according to an expert.

“The GCC has at least 35 major ports and is pursuing an ambitious expansion strategy as the logistics sector and burgeoning non-oil trade continue their growth trajectory to further position the region, and its key ports, as a global hub for trade between Europe, Africa and Asia,” said Chris Hayman, chairman of Seatrade.

His comments came ahead of the Seatrade Middle East Maritime conference.

According to the Agility Logistics Emerging Markets Index 2014, the Gulf countries, along with Jordan, are riding high in the table of international locations offering favourable conditions for business and trade.

In this year’s index, Saudi Arabia climbed one place to third spot, with the UAE at number six followed by Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain at 12, 13, 18 and 22 respectively.

The UAE’s non-oil trade grew by five per cent to $435 billion last year, with the Federal Customs Authority (FCA) reporting total trade exports registering around $50 billion with re-exports growing by 11 per cent to touch $121 billion.

“Petrochemicals aside, the region is seeing huge movement in gold, automotive, precious gems, telecommunications hardware, crude aluminium, copper products, iron scrap and a wide array of items both for import and export, and so its ports play a pivotal role in global trade movement,” said Hayman.

“Global container movements are not slowing down and the order book for ultra-large container vessels is also growing, so this is where regional infrastructure investment has had to rewrite the book in terms of new operational requirements and the development of an integrated network of next-generation facilities in order to handle the estimated $35 billion value of the GCC logistics sector,” he added.

New industrial zones such as the $7.2 billion phased Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) and Jebel Ali’s recently debuted Terminal 3, with its connectivity to the Dubai World Central super-hub, are expected to provide much-needed facilities in the UAE.

The expansion tally includes Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port with its $5 million terminal scheduled to open next year; Oman’s $4 billion Sohar Industrial Zone which will be linked to the GCC rail network and the $143 million sea-air hub expansion at Salalah.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is active with a series of ongoing projects including the $750 million second terminal at Dammam’s King Abdulaziz Port, two further terminals totalling $40 million for King Fahd Industrial Port in Al Jubail and the soon-to-be-unveiled Portside Logistics Facility at Jubail Commercia Port.

In Qatar, the new $7 billion mega-port located close to Mesaieed Industrial Zone will be up-and-running in 2016, while Kuwait’s $1.2 billion, 60-berth Mubarak Al-Kabir seaport (Boubyan) is reportedly set to be privatised according to a Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) report.

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