JEDDAH — A new mega port at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) aims to take business away from Dubai’s Jebel Ali by offering a quicker and cheaper service.
Officials behind the KAEC, one of four new cities approved by the late King Abdullah said freight destined for Riyadh will be shipped directly to the new King Abdullah Port in KAEC instead of Dubai where it currently goes.
“At the moment lots of products destined for Riyadh are shipped to Dubai, but that will change. They’ll be shipped here as it is cheaper – and can be delivered more quickly within the Kingdom,” said Rayan Bukhari, a manager at the King Abdullah port in comments published by the BBC.
At 70 square miles KAEC will eventually be a metropolis slightly larger than Washington DC.
“We aim to create one of the world’s largest ports,” he told the BBC, adding: “We’re not competing with Jeddah’s Islamic port – but we are going to take business away from Jebel Ali in Dubai. That’s because of our quicker, more automated offloading and customs procedure.”
King Abdullah Port is a full-service commercial port with a highly strategic location. The port will deliver world-class service by means of state-of-the-art computer systems and a highly experienced staff.
The first privately owned and funded port in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the port is overseen by a single regulator – this is the foundation for a streamlined experience.
The emergence of China and India as major world economies has contributed to the Gulf region as an increasingly attractive hub. In fact, a recent report by global analyst EC Harris ranked the Mideast as most attractive in the world for port investment.
King Abdullah Port lies directly on the main Asia Europe trunk line. In fact, it can reduce East-West transhipment times by 5 to 7 days.
In addition to being on this major global trade route, King Abdullah Port is situated near the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s industrial and population centers. With this ideal location, it is being developed to increase the speed and efficiency of shipping.
Both the local regulators and the master developer of the port are working together to ensure that the port’s modern infrastructure, constant focus on innovation, commitment to customer service, and competitive regulations will encourage shipping lines to avoid major diversions and to rely on King Abdullah Port instead.
The King Abdullah Port is just part of the KAEC story. Encircling the port is the city’s Industrial Valley, while further afield are areas set aside for residential communities, tech clusters, universities and hospitals.
On the eastern side of the city will be its second major link to the outside world, the Haramain Station. When that is opened, the city will become one of four stops on Saudi Arabia’s latest high-speed rail network, linking the megaproject with Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah.
The government has set up an Economic Cities Authority overseeing all four megacities and dealing with every license, construction permit and approval needed from different ministries.
So far only 15 percent of the city has been developed – industrial estates, residential districts and public facilities are currently under construction.