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Ports cluster

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COVID-19 greatly affected the Ports Cluster business of AD Ports Group during 2021, as travel restrictions, quarantines and business shutdowns slowed economic development, shut down cruise terminals, disrupted international trade and resulted in a temporary decrease in global shipping.


To address this challenge, AD Ports Group implemented a forward-looking strategy which led the Ports Cluster of 10 ports and terminals to sign up global shipping line, CMA CGM of France to a long-term, paradigm-changing partnership at Khalifa Port. It also set a record in general cargo volumes, due to securing commodities handled on a temporary, opportunistic basis, and completed an extensive expansion programme at Fujairah Terminals, the multipurpose facility strategically located on the eastern seaboard of the United Arab Emirates.

The AED 500 million project at Fujairah Terminals increased the size of the container terminal to 110,000 m2 plus a 25,000 m2 multipurpose area for general and other types of cargo, with a direct link to Etihad Rail being planned. The project in Fujairah along the Gulf of Oman gives AD Ports Group more capacity to serve shipping lines on the East-West Indian Ocean routes.

Additionally, the Ports Cluster opened South Quay at Khalifa Port, a flagship, deep-water facility for bulk and general cargo handling ahead of schedule, to accommodate Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) and to demonstrate its firm commitment towards customers.

The Ports Cluster also signed a major deal in 2021with the Aqaba Development Corporation to renovate and operate cargo ports and a cruise passenger terminal in Jordan, leading an expansion into the Red Sea area.

With signs of the pandemic retreating in early 2022, the Ports Cluster is once again focused on stepping up the pace of its internationalisation in a step-by-step campaign that will reshape the cluster’s structure and global footprint.


These forward-looking moves strengthened AD Ports Group as one of the world’s fastest growing diversified ports ecosystems, which, despite headwinds from the pandemic, leveraged synergies across its Economic Cities & Free Zones, Ports, Logistics, Maritime and Digital business clusters.

The Ports Cluster’s container business is poised for growth following the signing of a 35-year concession agreement with CMA CGM to jointly build an AED 570 million terminal at Khalifa Port.

The ground-breaking deal will catapult the flagship, Khalifa Port, into the elite league of global ports by hosting three of the world’s four largest shipping companies: MSC, COSCO and CMA CGM
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