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Saudi Arabia – Ports

Saudi Ports Authority is a government agency that supervises the ports of Saudi Arabia. It was founded in 1976 as an independent agency of the Prime Minister's office, to bring together the governance and operations of the multiple ports of the country to one office.

Saudi Arabia has the largest marine network in the Middle East, consisting of ten ports, six of which are container ports.

JEDDAH Islamic Port

Jeddah Islamic Port is located in the middle of an international shipping route between east and west. It is the largest and busiest port in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The port lies on the Red Sea coast at latitude 21° 28' north and longitude 39° 10' east. It is the Saudi's principal port serving the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The port serves the commercial centers through which 59% of the Saudi's imports by sea are being handled. The importance of Jeddah Port increased and reached its maximum limit when Saudi Arabia was developing into a modern country.

The Port was established in September 1976 whereupon it started developing its facilities. The port has expanded from a modest 10 operational berths in 1976 to the 58 berths of international standard in service today.

Jeddah Islamic Port occupies an area of 10.5 square kilometers and its deep water quays provide an overall berthing length of 11.2 kilometers with a maximum draft of 16 metres.

The port can accommodate the latest generation of large container vessels with a capacity of 6500 TEUs.

1.      King Abdul Aziz Port

King Abdul Aziz Port, also known as Dammam Port, is a port in the city of Dammam, Saudi Arabia. It the largest port in the Persian Gulf, and the second largest and second busiest port in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, after the Jeddah Islamic Port. King Abdul Aziz Port is a major export centre for the oil industry, and also a key distribution centre for major landlocked cities in the country, particularly the capital cities of provinces, such as Riyadh which is linked to Dammam by a railway line.

King Abdul Aziz Port covers an area of over 19,000 hectares. The port has a fully equipped 13.5-hectare ship repair complex with two ship repair and maintenance docks and an advanced training center. It also has a 95-meter (310 ft) tower and special stations that handle containers, bulk cereals, and cold and frozen foods.

Following the discovery of large oil reserves in the Eastern Province in 1938, the small coastal village of Dammam rapidly developed into a major regional city and important seaport. It became a centre for natural gas and petroleum reserves and the commercial hub of eastern Saudi Arabia. The majority of the modern city of Dammam and its suburbs were built after the 1940s. Rapid expansion brought the cities of Dammam and Khobar within a few minutes drive by the 1980s. Further population growth and economic expansion resulted in the cities of Dammam, Khobar and Dhahran being merged into the Dammam Metropolitan Area. Several major projects to develop the port were initiated in 2013.

Dammam port's facilities were expanded as part of Saudi Arabia's Second Five Year Plan (1975–80). Sixteen new piers were constructed at the port as part of the development. In 1975, the port imported 2.486 million tons of goods or about 40% of Saudi Arabia's total imports for that year. Imports through Dammam port reached 14.515 million tons in 1982. A total of 3,228 ships visited the port in 1987, and 7.322 million tons of goods were imported.

There are two container terminals at the King Abdul Aziz Port. Both terminals operate 24 hours a day, with shift breaks, and breaks for meals and prayer.

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