Through new partnerships and shipping routes, AD Ports Group continues to develop the highest levels of connectivity between the Arabian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, East Africa, and Central Asia. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: A year after Abu Dhabi Port Group listed its shares on the Abu Dhabi Securities Market (ADX), the company achieved remarkable results in 2022 with mega expansion projects, the launch of new trade corridors, and several acquisitions.

Throughout the year, AD Ports Group has continued to demonstrate its drive to position Abu Dhabi at the frontier of world trade, the company announced in a press release on Sunday. In December 2022, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, inaugurated the expansion of Khalifa Port. The expansion works position Khalifa Port among the global elite of deep-water ports, with an estimated value of Dh20.4 billion.

The Group surpassed several key financial records in 2022 as well. In the first nine months of 2022, the Group’s revenue had grown 53 per cent year-on-year to Dh1,466 million; EBITDA increased 52 per cent to Dh594 million, and net profit soared 77 per cent to reach Dh334 million.

Through new partnerships and shipping routes, AD Ports Group continues to develop the highest levels of connectivity between the Arabian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, East Africa, and Central Asia, it stated.

Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, Chairman of AD Ports Group, said, “As we work to develop infrastructure across assets in the UAE further and beyond, our objective is to position the company as a global enabler that supports industrial growth and contributes to our leaders’ strategic aims to diversify the UAE economy.”

A year of acquisitions

The company completed its first international acquisition in September, acquiring a 70 per cent stake in Egypt’s Transmar and TCI, and followed that with agreements to acquire an 80 per cent stake in Global Feeder Shipping (GFS), which will see the Group significantly expand its fleet and container capacity.

It also acquired a 100 per cent stake in Spain’s Noatum, a global logistics giant. “Upon completion, these investments will consolidate AD Ports Group’s position as a market leader across multiple industries, operating ports and terminals around the world, with a fleet of 175 vessels, a feeder container capacity of around 100,000 TEUs, and a global logistics brand providing specialist services across multiple territories,” said AD Ports Group.

Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO of AD Ports Group, said, “AD Ports Group has evolved from a key contributor to Abu Dhabi’s economy into a publicly listed entity with an expanding global reach that is actively transforming key industries worldwide.”

Capt. Shamisi added, “We believe that there are major opportunities ahead for AD Ports Group in international markets. We used our time in 2022 to restructure our company into empowered business clusters that work together to achieve our strategic goals.”

Other vital acquisitions include Divetech and ASCL and joint ventures within the UAE, including the launch of SAFEEN Invictus and SAFEEN Surveys and Subsea Services.

Last year, the company signed agreements with the Red Sea Ports Authority for major port projects along Egypt’s coastline and with SEG, one of the largest oil and gas companies in Uzbekistan, to open new logistics and freight businesses in the Central Asian nation.

Work continued developing the Marsa Zayed mega-project in Aqaba, in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The company closed the year with several binding agreements in Africa, including one with the Africa Finance Corporation to address infrastructure gaps across the continent.

Strategic expansions

Most recently, AD Ports Group also began a strategic expansion of its services in the Caspian Sea and Black Sea regions, as it entered a shareholder agreement with KMTF (Kazmortransflot), a fully- owned offshore logistics and services subsidiary of the Kazakh National Oil Company (KazMunayGas). The deal will lead to the development of a new joint venture, under which the two companies will provide a broad range of services, including offshore support vessels, integrated offshore logistics and subsea solutions and container feedering, ro-ro and crude oil transportation in the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea regions.

AD Ports Group also transformed its offering in the Economic Cities and Free Zones (EC&FZ) space, launching ‘KEZAD Group’ to integrate its existing trade, logistics, and industrial business grouping into one consolidated entity comprising 12 economic zones with a total area of 550 square kilometres.

The Group’s digital subsidiary, Maqta Gateway, played a crucial role in supporting AD Ports Group’s international expansion in multiple areas. The Advanced Trade and Logistics Platform “ATLP”, the single official window for trade in Abu Dhabi, surpassed the milestone of facilitating more than 100 million digital transactions. Maqta Gateway also collaborated with Emirates Post Group and SkyGo to launch aerial drone trials for flying postal delivery service.