Held under the patronage of Saudi Ports Authority, the International Port Development Conference was held on May 6 & 7 at the Jeddah Hilton Hotel, Saudi Arabia, bringing together industry leaders, policymakers, international experts, and stakeholders, to discuss advancements in developing smart and sustainable port infrastructure for strengthening global maritime portfolio.

The conference comes in line with the ongoing efforts of Saudi Arabia to develop and enhance its maritime sector. As it aims to strategize for sustainable industry growth, with a strong emphasis on green and eco-friendly solutions, this event stands as a testament to Saudi Arabia’s dedication to becoming a global maritime leader.

The conference covered dynamic topics relevant to port development, construction, operation, and maritime logistics. Also, discussions were mainly focused on strategies for sustainable growth within the maritime sector, embrace technological trends like digitization, automation, and decarbonization, and explore infrastructure enhancements that support efficient maritime logistics. The conference’s panel discussions were held under various titles mainly related to: Port infrastructure modernization strategies for upgrading ports to enhance efficiency and capacity; Master plan challenges and design consideration for the development of ports and marinas; Present trade patterns and evolving shipping tendencies; Global shipping’s decarbonization regulatory developments and their impact on ports and marine. 

In his opening speech, Saud AL Onaini, Vice President – Mawani said: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has extended sea coastline with a total length of up to 3,800 km along the most important shipping lanes for seaport trade. Many Saudi ports were built on it, including commercial, industrial and petroleum ports, which contributed to the movement of trade and economy of 350 globally ports”.

“The development of the maritime transport industry requires the concerted efforts of all partners in this sector to ensure the continuity of global supply chain with high quality and cost effective”, AL Onaini added.

Read More:Transporting the First Container Shipment from Jubail Commercial Port to Riyadh Dry Port via Railways

Yousef Al Dossarym General Manager - Maritime Environment & Safety at Transport General Authority underscored the significance of cooperation between the different stakeholders in the face of challenges. He said: “In order to overcome all the challenges that come with decarbonization, digitalization and Artificial Intelligence and all other maritime trends, all sectors and stakeholders must work together to adapt to all these changes.”

From a regulatory point of view, Al Dossarym also spoke of TGA’s role in adopting regulations: “In addition to the SOLAS Convention, which covers various safety aspects such as safety of navigation, and emergency properness, TGA has also prepared executive regulations, which allow any development of operational procedures and adhere to majors that protect the human life and reduce the likelihood of any incident.”

Moreover, Mahdi Allawatia, Projects Director at SOHAR Port and Freezone, highlighted Sohar Port and its position, highlighting all the services and activities offered by the port. With main focus on the use of clusters and the principle behind them. He states: “Our uniqueness is that we have a cluster. And to understand the principal behind having an international cluster, we are creating today a synergy between industries within the ports, in addition to creating new downstream and opportunities.


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Issue 90 of Robban Assafina

(Mar./April 2024)


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