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Innovation Innovation


We are always encouraging new thinking to shape the future of the global maritime and trade industry

Transforming the Future of Trade

Innovation, research, and data-backed decisions are the key driving forces behind the phenomenal growth of AD Ports Group. We support our leadership’s vision to diversify the economy and advance innovation in the UAE. 

Re-inventing the way of doing business while looking out for new and more efficient ways has been a constant and continuous exercise for AD Ports Group. We develop and harness the power of emerging technologies to transform the future of trade, stay competitive and achieve sustainable growth.  

To foster innovation across our group we launched an idea management programme (IBTIKAR) in 2012, we set up a Research & Development (R&D) committee, and integrated several innovative solutions, such as innovation lab, knowledge corner and 3D lab printing, in order to build an infrastructure that conceives, fosters and executes innovative ideas in real-time business scenarios.

The Evolution of AD Ports Group Innovation

In line with the UAE national strategy for innovation, AD Ports Group has consistently contributed to strengthening the country’s position as a global hub for innovation through enhancing the ideation of new concepts that ultimately create a widespread culture of innovation.

AD Ports Group strives to continue this trend, incubating innovation across its integrated clusters, supporting the expanding global presence of the Group. We have delivered a world-class and comprehensive portfolio of innovation activities that built internal capabilities and further connected AD Ports Group to the global ecosystem of innovation.

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Discover Our 2022 Accomplishments

AD Ports Group pioneered the deployment of one of the UAE’s first Corporate metaverse events. Since then our group has held a wide range of events within the metaverse, such as customer forums, business meetings and workshops that have implemented several projects and initiatives with over 85% success and satisfaction rate.

Innovation Hackathon
The first innovation hackathon was launched in 2022, under the theme ‘Think, Learn, Innovate’. This event challenges AD Ports Group’s young and talented employees to creatively collaborate to ideate solutions for business challenges and opportunities, such as sustainability and SMART ports in the Logistics and Maritime industries.

Industry 4.0 Abu Dhabi Open Innovation Platform
AD Ports Group Innovation became the founding partner of the Industry 4.0 Abu Dhabi Open Innovation Platform, accelerating the Group’s innovation capabilities and attracting high-caliber start-ups.

Innovation Exploration
A series of innovation awareness and exploration sessions were held across AD Ports Group’s clusters to discover innovative solutions for green and sustainable ports, smart technology, futuristic economic cities and logistics.
Innovation Campaigns
AD Ports Group targeted innovation business solutions throughout the year with the implementation of eight innovation campaigns, such as ‘Supply Chain Solution’, Customer Satisfaction Solutions’ and ‘How to make Construction in Maritime Safer’.

Training and Development
Over 5400 hours of innovation training sessions and workshops were delivered in 2022, highlighting key topics including business model innovation, internet of things, and the potential of the Metaverse and its use in our industry.

Innovation Events
A wide range of innovation events were celebrated throughout 2022, including the UAE Innovation Month 2022, Innovator of the Future Summer Camp 2022 and ‘Internet of Things Day’. Additionally, AD Ports Group participated in world-class innovation initiatives such as the Future Innovation Summit 3, Industry 4.0 Demo Day and the World Metaverse Show 2022.
AD Ports Group celebrated the 10th anniversary of IBTIKAR, the ideation management programme, which has, enabled the generation of over 12,800 inspiring ideas from staff and stakeholders. To date, over 700 innovators have been recognised and rewarded for their contributions.

AD Ports Group has maintained the ideasUK Platinum accreditation for the sixth year in a row; achieving a 100% perfect score for the second year in a row, as well as attaining the ‘Idea of the Year Award’ and the ‘Continuous Improvement Award’.

Quantum Computing Solutions
AD Ports Group introduced Quantum Computing Solutions to its ports’ operations, ensuring they remain future-ready and enhancing their status as world-class advanced smart ports.

Innovation Café
This dynamic, virtual platform hosted talks with renowned industry experts on key trending global topics, such as the advantages of hydrogen energy and the revolution of web3 technology.

Benchmark Innovation Exercises
AD Ports Group innovation conducted a series of Benchmark exercises with local and international best-in-class organisations to exchange knowledge and share the best practices in Innovation and R&D.
Energy-Saving Coating
AD Ports Group facilitated onsite research and development exercises for energy saving coatings. The second phase of research enabled the development of an AI application that effectively measures the internal temperature of containers and calculates the savings achieved when using the coating.

AD Ports Group provided Manhat, a UAE-based startup, with an operational environment in order to test their patented prototypes that produce clean water, using zero electricity, resulting in zero carbon emissions.


Innovation Ideas


Hours of Innovation Training


Innovation Campaigns

Research & Development

The global supply chain environment is highly competitive, dynamic, and fluid. As a result, the maritime and trade industry continuously demands new innovative ways of doing business. 

With a progressive and sustainable intent in mind, we founded our R&D Committee. The goal was to build on infrastructure to conceive, foster and execute innovative ideas in real-time business scenarios.  

Our R&D committee also raises awareness about the importance of technical and scientific research, publishing research papers, and organising workshops to explain the ongoing research and developments. 

23.2 Million AED

Saved Through Innovative Ideas


Innovative Ideas Implemented


Proof of Concepts and R&D Projects Executed

Remote Pilotage

AD Ports Group introduced Remote Pilotage to maintain business continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic to enhance social distancing and limit movement of staff. SAFEEN, part of AD Ports Group, was the first marine operator in the GGC to provide such a solution.  

Autonomous Truck System

AD Ports Group launched the first autonomous truck system in the Middle East at CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal in Khalifa Port. Equipped with advanced traffic monitoring, driving guidance and a 360 sensory system, this smart automation is another step forward for Khalifa Port, one of the world’s most technologically advanced ports.

Smart Containers

AD Ports Group launched the Smart Container Initiative to house its digital solutions in a resilient, safe and optimised eco-friendly mobile environment. Powered by clean energy, the solar-panelled steel and aluminium smart containers reduce Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) by more than 20% and slash carbon emissions by half.

Innovative Solutions

For AD Ports Group, unconventional thinking and a futuristic outlook have been the key elements of our unprecedented growth since inception. Today, with the use of cutting-edge technology and ultra-modern automation techniques, AD Ports Group is not only making it easier for its stakeholders and customers to do business but is also setting an example for the worlds ports and industrial community to follow.


Ports Operational Innovations

Khalifa Port is an outstanding testimony of how cutting-edge engineering innovation has been fused with tailored technology and world-class creative processes to create a seamless port experience.

The port offers innovative solutions, including:
Better steel coil handling capabilities are unlocked by using coil forklifts instead of using traditional crane hooks.
By bringing all critical data and workflows on a single platform, this system allows Khalifa Port authorities to optimise staff and assets allocation in the best way possible.
Evaluation of a patented fuel additive to reduce carbon emissions and fuel consumption was undertaken on MICCO trucks resulting in commendable savings of over 20% in fuel consumption and carbon footprint reduction.
Minimal to no human intervention is needed to operate Gantry Cranes ensuring maximum safety and optimal output.
From reading shipping line schedules, prioritising tasks, to delegating them to the employees, this system does it all on auto-pilot.
Innovative permeable concrete was tested and introduced at Khalifa Port, which has helped eliminate flooding and water stagnation.
To ensure 360-degree surveillance and security, unmanned drones are deployed over land, sea, and areas without CCTV coverage at Khalifa Port facility.

Smart Infrastructure

KEZAD lies adjacent to Khalifa Port and spans over 550 square kilometres at the gateway between East and West.

Positioned as the Middle East's industrial, logistics and trade hub, the giant economic zone is itself a fountainhead of innovation and leading-edge solutions.
A specially constructed roadway that enables cost-effective and energy efficient transport and delivery of aluminum in molten form, saving energy and GHG emissions.
An environment breakwater was built at Khalifa Port to safeguard Ras Ghanada coral reefs.
To ensure hassle-free movement of ultra-wide equipment between KEZAD and Khalifa Port, an eight-lane roadway has been constructed. Reduced traffic incidents with less noise and air pollution are key benefits of this development. 
SAFEEN Group has built and employed a unique marine debris cleaning boat and removed several hundred tonnes from marine debris to date.
Multiple air quality and marine water quality stations have been installed to ensure that our environmental impacts are monitored and managed.

Digital Innovation

At AD Ports Group, it has been our ambition to invest in and propagate cutting-edge technology for use in the trade community. This ambition was realised when we laid the foundation of the first of its kind Digital Innovation Lab in the Middle East.

With the setup, we aimed to cater to the needs of disruptive technologies such as AI, Cyber Security, and the use of robotics to optimise operations and positively impact the pillars of sustainability
Maqta Gateway developed the region’s first Port Community System (PCS), a leading-edge digital platform solution that provides a single window facilitating information flow between all stakeholders, port authorities, and traders.
ATLP aims to digitally facilitate trade through sea, land, air, economic and free zones, in addition to enhancing customer and stakeholder experience within the trade and logistics sectors. The platform is developed and operated by Maqta Gateway, under the supervision of the Department of Economic Development.
A platform built using the latest blockchain technology to track every stage of vaccine distribution. The solution is provided to the HOPE Consortium, a UAE-based public-private partnership, offering a unique end-to-end supply chain solution capable of delivering large quantities of COVID-19 vaccines, from production to those in need, anywhere in the world.
Masaha is an advanced application that lets KEZAD customers access and use all services provided by Maqta Gateway. Using the App, users can apply for services, set up a business and track the status of the application in real-time.
This mobile application serves as a tool to get the real-time status of the shipments for all the registered users of Maqta Gateway’s Port Community System (mPCS).
AD Port Group

IBTIKAR Programme

IBTIKAR programme was kickstarted in 2012 to present a platform for the celebration of ideas and ingenuity in the maritime community. Initially an AD Ports Group in-house suggestion scheme programme, it has continued to grow to encourage active participation from not only our employees but also from customers and stakeholders to be idea generators.

Since then, it has become a part of the success stories of various ideas and accolades. After becoming the first ports company in the world to be accredited by IdeasUK in 2016. IBTIKAR presents an open stage for people to share their ideas, get evaluated, and eventually realise them in the most feasible way possible.

We offer opportunities to international participants with different perspectives from across the globe. Be an idea generator or innovator by taking part in our success story.