The President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed, member of the Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, along with other senior officials. Image Credit: Supplied

The UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, inaugurated Khalifa Port’s expansion -- a major development project with a total investment of Dh4 billion -- on Tuesday.

As part of the expansion, which includes the development of the port’s South Quay, Khalifa Port Logistics, and Abu Dhabi Terminals, Khalifa Port has grown from 2.43 sqkm to 8.63 sqkm, while its quay wall has been extended from 2.3 km to 12.5 km.

It now provides 21 berths and offers a range of bespoke services for key strategic industries, positioning it among the global elite of deep-water ports, with an estimated value of Dh20.4 billion.

“Khalifa Port Expansion is a major national project that is considered an important addition to the UAE’s ports and logistic services and will further enhance the UAE’s position in the global trade,” the President said. “Khalifa Port, along other national ports, are important cornerstones to the development and diversification of the national economy.”

The expansion programme is set to make a major contribution to AD Port Group’s goal of increasing handling capacity at Khalifa Port by 2030 to 15 million TEUs per year, and general cargo handling capacity to 25 million tonnes.

The President was briefed by Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Chairman of AD Ports Group, and Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO of AD Ports Group, on the key milestones of Khalifa Port expansion projects since its opening 10 years ago.

Officially inaugurated by the late Sheikh Khalifa on 12.12.12, Khalifa Port was developed from a stretch of reclaimed land 4km out to sea and is now a major hub serving more than 25 container shipping lines with direct links to more than 70 international destinations. It has been ranked in the top five of the global Container Port Performance Index (CPPI), developed by the World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence, and now hosts three of the world’s top four shipping operators, CSP COSCO, MSC and CMA CGM.

“Today, Khalifa Port is one of the most advanced deep-water ports in the world. By continuing to expand our operations internationally, we are honouring the memory of the leaders who placed us on the path to progress. We have continued to reach new heights and deliver outstanding results through our expertise and global focus,” said Al Ahbabi.

The AD Ports Group has evolved into a significant driver of economic growth, contributing Dh152.8 billion to UAE GDP, representing 13 per cent of the UAE’s non-oil GDP and creating approximately 373,500 jobs. It continues to attract foreign direct investment through economic cities and industrial zones managed by KEZAD Group and provides a broad range of digital services to enable trade and transport.

In addition, AD Ports Group has grown its fleet to more than 175 vessels and expanded the range of trade routes to span most of the world and provide the highest levels of connectivity between the Arabian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, East Africa, and Central Asia.

The result has been a record financial performance – with revenue of Dh1,466 million and net profit of Dh334 million in Q3 2022 – as well as a significantly higher global profile for the company and for Abu Dhabi as a major driver of trade, industry and logistics.