DP World has unveiled plans to develop Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah port in support of the Saudi Vision 2030 and a new $500 billion mega-project to create the NEOM economic zone.
Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh on a panel discussion, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of terminal operator DP World, outlined the significance of the port as a gateway for NEOM's aim to handle 10% of world trade.
DP World’s South Container Terminal (SCT) at Jeddah Islamic Port forms a crucial link in the world’s busy east-west trade routes through the Red Sea, serving a major domestic cargo base in Saudi Arabia and as a connection to markets in Africa and the Middle East.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman revealed that his NEOM development will cover an area of 26,000 square kilometres on the Red Sea coast and will run across Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt.
The Prince said: “Neom will be constructed from the ground-up, on greenfield sites, allowing it a unique opportunity to be distinguished from all other places that have been developed and constructed over hundreds of years and we will use this opportunity to build a new way of life with excellent economic prospects.”
Bin Sulayem commended the visionary project and highlighted how DP World’s plans for Jeddah will provide support through a geographical proximity to major markets and trade routes.
He said: “As the first major investor in Jeddah port for almost 20 years now, we are committed to supporting the Kingdom’s effort to leverage its resources and investment capabilities through the development of Jeddah port.
“Our plans involve increasing efficiencies using innovative tech solutions and making it a semi-automated facility to create skilled jobs for Saudi nationals, transforming the port to an important gateway to markets serving 500 million people which will make the Kingdom’s ports and logistics services a necessity and not a choice for global trade markets, particularly the Red Sea, which is the bloodline of global trade.
“Jeddah Port is pivotal in facilitating the movement of goods between east and west, and in boosting Saudi exports.
“Our proposals are designed at boosting efficiency by enabling local businesses, opening new avenues for growth while supporting the government in achieving the Saudi Vision 2030.
“This is part of our role as partners – to add value to nations and to deliver sustainable solutions for the benefit of all.
“Trade and infrastructure are key pillars in diversifying economies supported by technology and automation as we’ve seen at our Jebel Ali Port and Freezone, which together contribute to over 20% of Dubai’s GDP.
“Logistics corridors are another way of making life easier for business. While access to data through digital technology and transparent information are also essential in building governance.
“The UAE and Saudi Arabia’s strong historic relations are underlined by the clear vision of its great leaders who have planned a bright future for their people based on solid economic foundations.”