“The emirate and the UAE as a whole cannot rely on living on oil revenues forever, so the massive investment in infrastructure designed to encourage non-oil activities is key to the long-term prosperity of the country,” Gulf News said in its editorial today while commenting on the official launch of Khalifa Port.
Port Khalifa and the huge industrial zone around the port, the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad), are set to redefine the UAE’s industrial landscape and on their own are expected to contribute 15 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil GDP by 2030. The development of ports and logistical hubs will play a vital role in the nation’s future prosperity, as it looks at developing important global positions in the strategic industries that the plan calls for.
Port Khalifa’s first phase will have the capacity to handle 2.5 million TEUs and 15 million tonnes of general cargo, and the second phase of a possible five phases in all will bring another terminal with the same handling capacity, doubling the start up capacity. These will be the first steps in a plan to expand the port to handle more than 15 million TEUs, with Kizad expected to grow over the next 20 years to just over 417 square kilometres, which is two thirds the size of Singapore.
“Of course in addition to being an essential part of Abu Dhabi’s long term economic strategy, it also has the huge benefit for Abu Dhabi residents and roads, all the heavy trucks that currently pound down to Mina Zayed will move away from the city. Mina Zayed will now concentrate on cruise liners, and its existing general cargo business that handles the traditional dhow traffic,” the paper pointed out.