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Mon 23 Mar 2015 03:01 PM

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New Saudi megaport aims to snatch Dubai freight business

King Abdullah Port plans to take business from Dubai's Jebel Ali by offering cheaper, quicker service

New Saudi megaport aims to snatch Dubai freight business
The entrance of King Abdullah Economic City in Jeddah. (Getty Images)

A new megaport at Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Economic City 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 monarch King Abdullah said freight destined for Riyadh will be shipped directly to the new port 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."

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 licence, 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.

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Saad 5 years ago

Throughout my career I have heard that "We are gonna be bigger, better, take business, blah blah blah from Dubai" like a million times, literally. All I have to say is, good luck!!

JHP 5 years ago

What is the expected date to have this new seaport operational ?
Hoping that it will be more efficient than the Jeddah's one !!!