Building on efficiency
The growth of Khalifa Port goes on demand. Khalifa Port can grow naturally to reach 15m TEUs and 35m tonnes of general cargo. Now we have a capacity of 2.5m TEU which we can grow to 5m TEUs with the current infrastructure. In terms of general cargo, we can cater for 12m tonnes. Khalifa Port is already serving as a hub.
Now, we are in the middle. We are served by Khalifa Port, we already have the right infrastructure, so in terms of electricity, water, roads, accessibility – it’s already there. It has the most modern infrastructure in terms of truck roads, and it’s planned also to be linked with the railway, which will be linking also to the other GCC countries and beyond. This is what we are offering to our clients. We are not offering concept designs or “this is what we are going to build in the future”. Seeing is believing.
If we start with the location of Khalifa Industrial Zone (Kizad), we are in the middle between the east and the west. Within a four-hour time zone, you can reach the majority of the countries around us. So, today Khalifa Port is directly linked to more than 55 ports around the world, and this number is growing year-on-year.
Yes, the port’s community system for example, it exists; but we want to take it one step further. Al Maqta Gateway is all about transforming the way of doing business: it is an overarching system, where all other systems, like the Customs, the food control, the terminal operations, the marine services, come under this system, so our clients will access a single window and do all of their transactions. We want, wherever they are, that they can deal with their cargo, they can do their payments online, and they can not only track their cargo, but benefit from other features in terms of statistics and business intelligence.
In the cruise business, it is not about a single location or a single port. They will require multiple destinations. Today we are breaking 200,000-passengers, but the challenge was finding enough destinations for the cruise businesses. We are adding another destination in Abu Dhabi, which is Sir Bani Yas Island, and we are providing a beach experience. We have a cooperation with Etihad Airlines to fly all the passengers into Abu Dhabi using Abu Dhabi infrastructure, going through the experience of Abu Dhabi and the cruise terminal, then they will go on a tour in the region, then they will disembark from our cruise terminal back to their country using, again, Etihad.
We are part of the global world, yet there is so much potential within Abu Dhabi and within the UAE, and this is where we see the growth in Khalifa Port. We are competing: 60% of the trade coming to this region comes through the UAE. But now, we don’t want only to compete; we want to be at the forefront in terms of technology, in terms of capacity and in terms of the offering to our clients.