Container volumes at Saudi ports rise 17.6% to 2m tons in Q1: Mawani

Container volumes at Saudi ports rise 17.6% to 2m tons in Q1: Mawani
Container volumes at Saudi ports rise 17.6% to 2m tons in Q1: Mawani

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Abu Dhabi plans to attract more than 24 million visitors by the end of this year, according to its Department of Culture and Tourism. 

The new targets follow a surge in visitors to Abu Dhabi in 2022, with hotel occupancy rates and other metrics demonstrating the industry’s revival, the state news agency WAM reported.   

The emirate received 18 million visitors, representing a 13 percent increase from the previous year, while the hotel occupancy rates reached 70 percent, surpassing the Middle East average of 67 percent in 2022.  

The emirate welcomed visitors from around the world, with the highest number of international visitors coming from India, Saudi Arabia, the UK, and the US, respectively.  

“Our ambitious goal to welcome more than 24 million visitors by the end of 2023 builds on healthy growth over the past year. This encouraging performance was enabled through powerful collaborations and delivery of memorable travel and business experiences throughout the year,” said Saood Abdulaziz Al-Hosani, undersecretary at Abu Dhabi’s Department for Culture and Tourism.

AD Ports Group purchases new vessels  

AD Ports Group has announced plans to expand its fleet by purchasing five bulk carriers and three crude oil tankers, reported the state news agency WAM. 

These vessel acquisitions will follow the recently signed agreements to enhance the group’s shipping division.  

The five bulk carriers, to be purchased at 459 million dirhams ($125 million), form part of the long-term agreement with Saif Powertec signed in April 2022.  

The deal facilitates the movement of general and dry bulk cargo between Port of Fujairah in the UAE with Bangladesh, the Indian subcontinent, South-East Asia and other global destinations.  

The purchase of three crude oil tankers, with a total transaction value of 496 million dirhams, will form part of the seven-year vessel pooling agreement signed in December 2022 with KazMorTransFlot, a subsidiary of Kazakh National Oil Co. for the transport of crude oil internationally.  

Mohamed Juma Al-Shamisi, managing director and group CEO of AD Ports Group, said the extension of the fleet is a remarkable milestone for AD Port’s maritime cluster and will further equip the business with the right assets and logistics capabilities to adapt to the evolving global demand within the industries.  

“More importantly, the vessel acquisitions are part of a larger expansion strategy by our Group aimed at broadening our portfolio of services and taking our experience and service excellence to the wider bulk shipping and offshore oil markets,” Al-Shmisi added.  

Under the terms of the strategic partnership agreement between KNOC and AD Ports Group, the two companies will review opportunities to collaborate on a broad range of projects, including the development of a new fleet of shallow-water vessels to support offshore operations in the Caspian Sea and the development of a tanker fleet to support the export of Kazakh oil.

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