AD Ports Group, the operator of industrial cities and free zones in the emirate, aims to explore opportunities in regional and international markets by signing international partnership agreements, said Capt Mohamed Al Shamsi, managing director and group chief executive of the ports operator.
The group’s investments will help to improve the emirate’s stature as a key supporter of international trade and logistical services, he told state news agency Wam on Sunday.
The move comes after AD Ports Group signed five joint partnerships with the Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC) in Jordan, Mr Al Shamsi added.
“Abu Dhabi Ports Group is committed to strengthening our partnership with leading companies in Jordan and helping achieve their aspirations to reinforce Aqaba’s stature as a regional hub for trade, logistics, transport and tourism. We are confident that these projects are just the beginning of a fruitful future co-operation,” he said.
AD Ports Group signed multiple strategic partnership agreements with Jordan’s ADC earlier this month with the aim of developing tourism, logistics, transport and digital infrastructure in Aqaba.
These include deals to develop King Hussein International Airport, Marsa Zayed cruise terminal and an advanced digital port community system, in addition to developing and modernising a multipurpose port, AD Ports Group said.
AD Ports Group also teamed up with ADC in September to establish a cruise terminal at Marsa Zayed in Aqaba, which will serve as a gateway for passengers visiting the Red Sea. It will be the first project to be developed by AD Ports Group in Jordan and its first cruise facility outside the UAE.
Mutual investments between the UAE and Jordan are valued at nearly $20 billion, according to Mr Al Shamsi. New projects will boost the value of Emirati investments in Jordan, he added.
“The strategic partnership agreements signed with the ADC aims to strengthen the deep-rooted ties between the UAE and Jordan, as well as support Abu Dhabi Ports’ global expansion plans by capitalising on the strategic location of Aqaba as a regional hub in the Red Sea to attract tourism from Europe,” Mr Al Shamsi said.
AD Ports Group accounted for 13.7 per cent of the emirate's non-oil gross domestic product in 2020 and provided more than 200,000 jobs in the UAE. The group also manages 55 per cent of overall industrial zones in the country, he added.
Owned by one of the region’s largest holding companies, ADQ, AD Ports Group has plans to list on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. The listing is subject to market conditions and regulatory approvals, ADQ said.
AD Ports Group owns and manages 11 ports and terminals in the UAE and Guinea, including Khalifa Port, Zayed Port, Musaffah Port, Fujairah Terminals, Community Ports, Kamsar Port and Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal. It operates more than 550 square kilometres of industrial zones within Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) and ZonesCorp, the largest integrated trade, logistics and industrial business grouping in the Middle East.
In the past few months, AD Ports Group has signed a number of deals across the region strengthening co-operation in transport and maritime sectors.
In September, the company signed an agreement with the General Company for Ports of Iraq to explore investment opportunities.
In November, the UAE company signed an agreement with the Egyptian Group for Multipurpose Terminals, the commercial arm of the Egyptian Ministry of Transportation, to develop and operate a multipurpose terminal in Safaga Port on the Red Sea.