Qatar Defies Saudi-Led Bloc With Inauguration of New Port

Published September 6th, 2017 - 10:34 GMT
Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani led on Tuesday the inauguration of the new Hamad Port. (AFP/ File)
Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani led on Tuesday the inauguration of the new Hamad Port. (AFP/ File)

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani led yesterday’s inauguration of the $7.4bn Hamad Port, which is expected to rake in some QR2.5bn in direct and indirect investments once fully operational.

The ceremony was highlighted by the Emir’s placement of Hamad Port’s logo on the project model, marking the official opening of the 28.5sq km port, whose full capacity will exceed 7.5mn containers per year on completion of all its construction phases.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani attends the opening ceremony of the Hamad port in Doha, on September 5, 2017. (QNA/Handout via Reuters)

During the event, the Emir met with ministers and senior officials from Morocco, Oman, Italy, Iran, France, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, and Kuwait who attended the inauguration ceremony held in the Umm Al Houl area south of Doha. The meeting discussed a number of issues of mutual interest.

Speaking at the event, Qatar's Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti said His Highness the Emir foresaw “all the hard possibilities of the future” and motivated the nation “to face all of its challenges.”

“We say this as we introduce today a major element of Qatar National Vision 2030, which will see Qatar become an attractive economic destination in every sense of the word. Hamad Port demonstrates this most vividly as it has played a very important role recently by providing direct marine shipping routes with key regional and world seaports in a short time, thus contributing to securing the goods, supplies, and all that is needed for our vital projects,” al-Sulaiti added.

The minister said Hamad Port will contribute to increasing trade volume between Qatar and other global markets. He also noted that the port will create job opportunities for the youth, raise living standards, and improve Qatar’s competitiveness by transforming it into a regional business centre.

“We have proven beyond any doubt how much we are flexible but steadfast when it comes to facing challenges without compromising values, traditions, and ambitions. We have all reason today to keep our heads up, given the amount of difficulties we have overcome and the challenges we have faced. Today, we are stronger and more determined with even more options at hand,” al-Sulaiti said.

The transport minister stressed that the construction of the Hamad Port was completed “ahead of schedule” and “below budget.”

By Peter Alagos

 


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