AD Ports Group has used deal-making plays to build serious strength in fast-growing business lines. Image Credit: Supplied

The AD Ports Group runs an integrated business across five verticals – digital, economic cities and free zones, logistics, maritime and ports - linking global maritime routes with international trading partners. The entity is dedicated to enabling trade, industrialization, and economic diversification within the country.

In 2022, it forged alliances within the region and outside to establish new routes, such as the agreement with Red Sea Ports Authority and the joint development and operation of a multi-purpose terminal in Safaga Port along Egypt’s coastline.

These have led to a wide-scale connectivity with vital trading partners across the Arabian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, East Africa, and Central Asia. With its multiple verticals aimed at fostering speedy growth, the Group represents a good proxy for investors seeking exposure to the UAE markets and banking on the country’s sustained progress.

AD Ports Group’s share price has grown over 80 per cent in the past year.

A growth built on projects

The iconic Khalifa Port is part of a masterplan that will equip the hub to handle 15 million TEUs and 25 million tonnes of general cargo yearly by 2030. The port’s current container capacity allows for 7.8 million TEUs annually. A significant hub linking over 25 container shipping lines and connecting to over 70 international destinations, the port is a critical piece of the country’s strategic goal to be a centre of global supply chains.

In 2022, AD Ports acquired 80 per cent stake in Global Feeder Shipping and access one of the largest fleets of container ships globally. By combining GFS’ services with the other companies in its portfolio - Safeen Feeders and Transmar - AD Ports has gained a combined container capacity of 100,000 TEUs.

This makes it the third-largest global carrier by volumes carried and the largest independent feeder company by owned fleet, with 35 vessels. The significance of these developments is the unparalleled competitive edge AD Ports Group has to offer in terms of global reach and capacity when creating partnerships and negotiating deals.

Tapping healthcare

Recently, it unveiled a new distribution business to cater to the region’s growing healthcare market. The Logistics Cluster has sourced exclusive distribution rights for high-in-demand healthcare products. The new business will serve as a comprehensive one-stop shop for healthcare solutions using its 24x7 logistical services, state-of-the-art storage capacity of 31,000 square metres and cold-chain management expertise. This will allow the group to tap into the fast-growing GCC healthcare sector, anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 4.9 per cent from Dh316.6 billion in 2020 to Dh365.7 billion in 2023.

During the pandemic, the group authorized 19,000 square metres of cold storage warehouse space for more than 120 million COVID-19 vaccines. In addition, these facilities had been further expanded to house life-saving medication.