The Egyptian government has signed an agreement with the Emirati country to improve logistics and port management at its commercial maritime gateways in the Suez Canal area

The Emirates supports Egypt's port development

REUTERS/BEN JOB - Khalifa Port Taweelah Container Terminal, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The cooperation in logistics and port management between Egypt and the United Arab Emirates is part of the Egyptian government's objective to modernise its port facilities and improve the competitiveness of its ports. In this way, Cairo hopes to increase the efficiency of port services, which will contribute to an increase in the country's economy. 

With the help of Abu Dhabi Ports, Cairo hopes to improve its access to global maritime trade markets through the modernisation of its existing port facilities. This includes improving security services, quality control and increasing operational efficiency. The work will also involve the extension of the ports' existing wharves and inland transport services, and the agreement will allow Cairo to develop new business areas such as maritime tourism, logistics and marine energy. 

The Emirati group's investment in Egypt represents a great opportunity for the country of the Nile. The move helps the North African country harness the potential of the 10 ports and terminals to increase foreign investment, upgrade existing infrastructure and increase trade and capital inflows. This will be a step forward in the modernisation of the Egyptian economy and for the Emiratis as well, as they will be able to offer professional advice and services, which will help ensure that investments are efficient and profitable. 

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Cairo is capitalising on the strategic location of the Suez Canal region to expand its maritime trade. Ports around the canal, such as Port Said, Adabiya, Arish, Sokhna and Al-Tur, are being upgraded to improve infrastructure, with an expansion of the container terminal and an improved road and rail network. The Egyptian government is also working to attract investors to start up the superstructure, management and operation of the ports. These improvements, together with a competitive pricing policy, will enable Cairo to become a major transit port and a gateway for international trade. 

Abu Dhabi Ports' Khalifa Port has been positioned as one of the most innovative and profitable seaports in the world, according to port performance indices from Standard and Poor's Global Market Intelligence Unit and the World Bank. This is because the terminal offers world-class infrastructure, efficient maritime traffic management and minimal waiting time for loading and unloading containers. And therefore the port has become one of the top five globally in the world container rankings. 

Ahmed al-Shami, a member of the Suez Investors Association, said that local ports have suffered from poor management and service delivery over the years. The partnership with Abu Dhabi Ports is a step forward to improve investment in the ports. The Safaga 2 terminal is expected to start operations in the second quarter of 2025, handling general and dry cargo of 5 million tonnes and liquid cargo of 1 million tonnes. Abu Dhabi Ports is investing $200m to upgrade its infrastructure so the money will be used for the construction of superstructures, outfitting equipment, buildings and other real estate facilities, as well as for the utilities network within the concession area. 

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The Emirati group recently signed two 15-year agreements with the General Authority for the Development of the Suez Canal Economic Zone to establish two bulk cement handling terminals at the ports of Arish and West Port Said. These investments total $33 million and are expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2023. 

Egypt Holding Company for Maritime and Land Transport accepted Abu Dhabi Ports' offer, and an agreement is expected to be signed to acquire an influential stake in the Port Said and Damietta container and cargo handling companies. 

Fouad Thabet, a member of the Port Said Investors Association, explained that Egypt's economic crisis was one of the main reasons for attracting Arab investment led by Abu Dhabi Ports. The concession agreement at Safaga port is a long-term project, however, Abu Dhabi Ports believes it is a good time to achieve a good return on investment. The agreement includes the development, management and operation of new cruise terminals at Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada, Ro-Ro vessels and multi-purpose terminals at Sokhna Port. 

Ports and the services they offer are critical to international trade and it is therefore important for authorities to ensure that ports meet international standards and are able to offer the right services to meet the demand from neighbouring countries. 

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